Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 199–213 | Cite as

The immunoregulatory role of type I and type II NKT cells in cancer and other diseases

  • Masaki TerabeEmail author
  • Jay A. Berzofsky


NKT cells are CD1d-restricted T cells that recognize lipid antigens. They also have been shown to play critical roles in the regulation of immune responses. In the immune responses against tumors, two subsets of NKT cells, type I and type II, play opposing roles and cross-regulate each other. As members of both the innate and adaptive immune systems, which form a network of multiple components, they also interact with other immune components. Here, we discuss the function of NKT cells in tumor immunity and their interaction with other regulatory cells, especially CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells.


Tumor immunity NKT cells Regulatory T cells (Treg) Interaction among regulatory cells 



This research was supported by the intramural research program of the National Cancer Institute, NIH and the Gui Foundation.

Conflict of interest

Authors declare they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vaccine Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer InstituteNIHBethesdaUSA

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