Development of invariant natural killer T cells

Curr Opin Immunol. 2016 Apr;39:68-74. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2016.01.001. Epub 2016 Jan 21.


Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells develop into functionally distinct subsets. Each subset expresses a unique combination of transcription factors that regulate cytokine gene transcription upon activation. The tissue distribution and localization within tissues also varies between subsets. Importantly, the relative abundance of the various subsets is directly responsible for altering several immunological parameters, which subsequently affect the immune response. Here, I review recent advances in our understanding of the molecular regulation of iNKT cell subset development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Natural Killer T-Cells / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Thymus Gland / cytology*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Transcription Factors