Encyclopedia of AIDS

Living Edition
| Editors: Thomas J. Hope, Douglas Richman, Mario Stevenson

NKT Cells: Bridging Innate and Adaptive Immunity

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9610-6_198-1


Invariant natural killer T-cells (iNKTs) are an innate T-cell subset unique in their possession of an invariant T-cell Receptor (TCR) and nonclassical antigen presentation mechanism through the CD1d molecule. iNKTs recognize glycolipids presented on the nonpolymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-like CD1d molecule, unlike conventional T-cells which recognize peptides presented on MHC class I/II molecules. iNKTs can rapidly produce multiple cytokines in response to activation. This rapid cytokine production allows iNKTs to be powerful modulators of the immune response. iNKTs can produce T-helper type 1 (Th1), Th2, and Th17 cytokines depending on stimulus strength, type of stimulation, iNKT subset, and presenting cell type. As a result, iNKTs are able to affect and modulate immune responses to a variety of diseases, both chronic and infectious – including a potentially important role in controlling human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The ability of...


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Major Histocompatibility Complex Class Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Simian Immunodeficiency Virus iNKT Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyTulane University School of Medicine; Tulane National Primate Research CenterCovingtonUSA