Therapeutic Approaches Utilising NKT Cells
Natural killer T (NKT) cells are members of the immune armamentarium with profound immunoregulatory effects. They bridge the innate and adaptive immune systems, filling a niche in recognizing glycolipid antigens, and responding rapidly to prime subsequent immune responses. In cancer, type I NKT cells, defined by their semi-invariant T cell receptor (TCR) using Vα14Jα18 in mice and Vα24Jα18 in humans, are mostly host protective, by producing interferon-γ (IFN-γ) to activate and mature dendritic cells (DC) to make IL-12, which in turn activates NK and CD8+ T cells. In contrast, type II NKT cells, characterized by more diverse TCRs recognizing lipids presented by CD1d, primarily inhibited anti-tumor immunity. This chapter will discuss the impact of CD1d-restricted NKT cells in tumor immune surveillance and immunotherapy and highlight recent therapeutic approaches in tumor mouse models with a focus on harnessing the anti-tumor activities of NKT cells.
KeywordsiNKT Cell CD1d Expression Tumor Immune Surveillance Established Subcutaneous Tumor
SRM was supported by a Balzan Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship. MJS was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NH&MRC) Australia Fellowship.
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