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Science 306 (5702): 1687-1689

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

The Elusive NKT Cell Antigen--Is the Search Over?

Dale I. Godfrey, Daniel G. Pellicci, Mark J. Smyth

NKT cells of the immune system are crucial for suppressing autoimmunity and graft rejection, boosting resistance to infection, and promoting tumor immunity. However, little is known about the endogenous antigens that are recognized by these cells. In their Perspective, Godfrey et al. discuss new research that identifies the glycosphingolipid iGb3 as an antigen recognized by NKT cells that is necessary for their development and activation (Zhou et al.).

D. I. Godfrey and D. G. Pellicci are in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. M. J. Smyth is in the Cancer Immunology Program, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. E-mail: godfrey{at}

T cell receptor signal strength in Treg and iNKT cell development demonstrated by a novel fluorescent reporter mouse.
A. E. Moran, K. L. Holzapfel, Y. Xing, N. R. Cunningham, J. S. Maltzman, J. Punt, and K. A. Hogquist (2011)
J. Exp. Med. 208, 1279-1289
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Transcription factor Bcl11b controls selection of invariant natural killer T-cells by regulating glycolipid presentation in double-positive thymocytes.
D. I. Albu, J. VanValkenburgh, N. Morin, D. Califano, N. A. Jenkins, N. G. Copeland, P. Liu, and D. Avram (2011)
PNAS 108, 6211-6216
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Diverse Endogenous Antigens for Mouse NKT Cells: Self-Antigens That Are Not Glycosphingolipids.
B. Pei, A. O. Speak, D. Shepherd, T. Butters, V. Cerundolo, F. M. Platt, and M. Kronenberg (2011)
J. Immunol. 186, 1348-1360
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Natural killer T cells: Know thyself.
M. Kronenberg and L. Gapin (2007)
PNAS 104, 5713-5714
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Chewing the fat on natural killer T cell development.
D. I. Godfrey, M. J. McConville, and D. G. Pellicci (2006)
J. Exp. Med. 203, 2229-2232
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
A structural basis for selection and cross-species reactivity of the semi-invariant NKT cell receptor in CD1d/glycolipid recognition.
L. Kjer-Nielsen, N. A. Borg, D. G. Pellicci, T. Beddoe, L. Kostenko, C. S. Clements, N. A. Williamson, M. J. Smyth, G. S. Besra, H. H. Reid, et al. (2006)
J. Exp. Med. 203, 661-673
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
TLR-Dependent IL-4 Production by Invariant V{alpha}14+J{alpha}18+ NKT Cells to Initiate Contact Sensitivity In Vivo.
P. W. Askenase, A. Itakura, M. C. Leite-de-Moraes, M. Lisbonne, S. Roongapinun, D. R. Goldstein, and M. Szczepanik (2005)
J. Immunol. 175, 6390-6401
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
The Influence of CD1d in Postselection NKT Cell Maturation and Homeostasis.
F. W. McNab, S. P. Berzins, D. G. Pellicci, K. Kyparissoudis, K. Field, M. J. Smyth, and D. I. Godfrey (2005)
J. Immunol. 175, 3762-3768
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
NKT Cell Stimulation with Glycolipid Antigen In Vivo: Costimulation-Dependent Expansion, Bim-Dependent Contraction, and Hyporesponsiveness to Further Antigenic Challenge.
A. P. Uldrich, N. Y. Crowe, K. Kyparissoudis, D. G. Pellicci, Y. Zhan, A. M. Lew, P. Bouillet, A. Strasser, M. J. Smyth, and D. I. Godfrey (2005)
J. Immunol. 175, 3092-3101
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

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