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Reciprocal Crosstalk between Dendritic Cells and Natural Killer T Cells: Mechanisms and Therapeutic Potential

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Review article (peer-reviewed)
Author Keller Christian W, Freigang Stefan, Lünemann Jan D,
Project Molecular mechanisms of lipid-induced vascular inflammation in atherosclerosis
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Review article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Frontiers in Immunology
Page(s) 1 - 13
Title of proceedings Frontiers in Immunology
DOI 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00570

Open Access

Type of Open Access Website


Natural killer T cells carrying a highly conserved, semi-invariant T cell receptor (TCR) [invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells] are a subset of unconventional T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipids presented by CD1d molecules. Although CD1d is expressed on a variety of hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic cells, dendritic cells (DCs) are key presenters of glycolipid antigen in vivo. When stimulated through their TCR, iNKT cells rapidly secrete copious amounts of cytokines and induce maturation of DCs, thereby facilitating coordinated stimulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. The bidirectional crosstalk between DCs and iNKT cells determines the functional outcome of iNKT cell-targeted responses and iNKT cell agonists are used and currently being evaluated as adjuvants to enhance the efficacy of antitumor immunotherapy. This review illustrates mechanistic underpinnings of reciprocal DCs and iNKT cell interactions and discusses how those can be harnessed for cancer therapy.