Invariant NKT (iNKT) cells, which express the invariant Vα14Jα18 TCR that recognizes lipid antigens, have the ability to rapidly respond to agonist stimulation, producing a variety of cytokines that can shape both innate and adaptive immunity. iNKT cells have been implicated in host defense against microbial infection, in anti-tumor immunity, and a multitude of diseases such as allergies, asthma, graft versus host disease, and obesity. Emerging evidence has demonstrated crucial role for mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in immune cells, including iNKT. In this review we will discuss current understanding of how mTOR and its tight regulation control iNKT cell development, effector lineage differentiation, and function.
Keywords: CARMA1; Diacylglycerol kinases; PTEN; Raptor; Ras; RasGRP1; Rictor; Signal transduction; TSC1/2; iNKT cell; iNKT1; iNKT17; iNKT2; mTOR.
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