Natural Killer T cells

Balancing the Regulation of Tumor Immunity

  • Masaki Terabe
  • Jay A. Berzofsky

Part of the Cancer Drug Discovery and Development book series (CDD&D)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Masaru Taniguchi, Shin-ichiro Fujii, Toshinori Nakayama, Shinichiro Motohashi, Nyambayar Dashtsoodol, Hiroshi Watarai et al.
    Pages 1-13
  3. Bo Pei, Mitchell Kronenberg
    Pages 15-37
  4. John-Paul Jukes, Jonathan D. Silk, Mariolina Salio, Vincenzo Cerundolo
    Pages 39-53
  5. Jessica J. O’Konek, Jay A. Berzofsky, Masaki Terabe
    Pages 55-70
  6. Jianyun Liu, Gourapura J. Renukaradhya, Randy R. Brutkiewicz
    Pages 71-94
  7. Shin-ichiro Fujii, Kanako Shimizu
    Pages 95-110
  8. Stephen R. Mattarollo, Mark J. Smyth
    Pages 111-128
  9. Mark A. Exley, Lydia Lynch, Michael Nowak
    Pages 129-151
  10. Famke L. Schneiders, Rik J. Scheper, Hetty J. Bontkes, B. Mary E. von Blomberg, Alfons J. M. van den Eertwegh, Tanja D. de Gruijl et al.
    Pages 169-183
  11. Shinichiro Motohashi, Yoshitaka Okamoto, Toshinori Nakayama
    Pages 185-198
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 199-205

About this book


Natural killer T (NKT) cells are CD1d-restricted T cells that respond to lipid, not protein, antigens presented by CD1d, which is a non-classical MHC class I-like molecule.  This relatively small but pivotal T cell population bridges the gap between innate and adaptive immunity by rapidly produce large amounts of many kinds of cytokines and by providing the T cell arm of the adaptive immune system a mechanism to detect lipid antigens. NKT cells also have both regulatory and effector functions and have been shown to play critical roles in the regulation of immune responses in many disease settings including cancer. Stimulating the protective functions of NKT cells while inhibiting the negative regulatory activity shows promise for the therapy of cancer and several approaches are in clinical trials.


            This book reviews what we have learned about NKT cells during last two decades through functional studies in the context of tumor immunology, including clinical trials of NKT cell targeted therapy.  This knowledge should also be informative to understand the role of this underappreciated T cell population in many other fields outside of tumor immunology.


CD1d dendric cells iPS-Derived NKT Cells lymphoma α-Galactosylceramide

Editors and affiliations

  • Masaki Terabe
    • 1
  • Jay A. Berzofsky
    • 2
  1. 1.National Cancer Institute (NCI), Molecular Immunogenetics & VaccineNational Institutes of Health (NIH)BethesdaUSA
  2. 2.National Cancer Institute, Lab. Developmental &National Institutes of Health (NIH)BethesdaUSA

Bibliographic information