Natural killer T (NKT) cells constitute a unique subset of innate-like T lymphocytes which differ from conventional T cells by recognizing lipid antigens presented by the non-polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) I-like molecule CD1d. Despite being a relatively infrequent population of lymphocytes, NKT cells can respond rapidly upon activation with glycosphingolipids by production of cytokines which aim to polarize different axes of the immune system. Due to their dual effector capacities, NKT cells can play a vital role in cancer immunity, infection, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. It is believed that modulation of their activity towards immune activation can be a useful tool in anti-tumor immunotherapeutic strategies. Here we summarize the characteristics of NKT cells and discuss their involvement in immunosurveillance. Furthermore, an update is given about their role and the progress that has been made in the field of multiple myeloma (MM). Finally, some challenges are discussed that are currently hampering further progress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23128-40
Number of pages13
Issue number17
Early online date17 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2016

ID: 23491896