The immunoregulatory role of CD1d-restricted natural killer T cells in disease

Hans J J van der Vliet, Johan W Molling, B Mary E von Blomberg, Nobusuke Nishi, Wendy Kölgen, Alfons J M van den Eertwegh, Herbert M Pinedo, Giuseppe Giaccone, Rik J Scheper

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


Natural killer T (NKT) cells constitute a T cell subpopulation that shares several characteristics with NK cells. NKT cells are characterized by a narrow T cell antigen receptor (TCR) repertoire, recognize glycolipid antigen in the context of the monomorphic CD1d antigen-presenting molecule, and have the unique capacity to rapidly produce large amounts of both T helper (Th) 1 and Th2 cytokines. Important roles of NKT cells have now been demonstrated in the regulation of autoimmune, allergic, antimicrobial, and antitumor immune responses. Here, we review the immunoregulatory role of NKT cells in disease and discuss NKT cell based immunotherapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-23
Number of pages16
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD1/immunology
  • Antigens, CD1d
  • Autoimmune Diseases/immunology
  • Communicable Diseases/immunology
  • Galactosylceramides/immunology
  • Graft Survival/immunology
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity/immunology
  • Immunotherapy/methods
  • Killer Cells, Natural/cytology
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms/immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes/cytology

Cite this