Natural Killer T cell obsession with self-antigens

Curr Opin Immunol. 2013 Apr;25(2):168-73. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2013.01.002. Epub 2013 Feb 4.


Natural Killer T (NKT) cells are distinct lymphocyte lineages that recognize lipid antigens presented by the non-classical Major Histocompatibility Complex molecule CD1d. Two categories of NKT cells, type I and type II, have been described based on T-cell receptor expression and antigenic specificity. In both cases, increasing evidence suggest that recognition of self-antigens by these cells plays an important role not only in their development but also in their regulation of a broad range of immune responses. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of how and when NKT cell autoreactivity manifests itself, how the NKT T cell receptor engages self-antigens and the nature of these self-antigens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoantigens / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Natural Killer T-Cells / immunology*


  • Autoantigens