Clinical application of NKT cell biology in type I (autoimmune) diabetes mellitus

Fletcher, Marie T., and Baxter, Alan G. (2009) Clinical application of NKT cell biology in type I (autoimmune) diabetes mellitus. Immunology and Cell Biology, 87 (4). pp. 315-323.

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Type 1 natural killer T (NKT) cells are a population of CD1d-restricted, regulatory T cells that exhibit various NK cell characteristics and rapidly produce cytokines on stimulation with glycolipid antigen. In type I diabetes (TID), NKT cells are thought to have a tolerogenic function, evidenced by NKT cell numerical and functional deficiencies in the nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse, which when corrected, can ameliorate disease. The mechanisms by which NKT cells can mediate their immunosuppressive effects in NOD mice are still poorly understood, which makes successful clinical translation of NKT- cell-based therapies challenging. However, new insights into the genetic control of NKT cell deficiencies have provided some understanding of the genes that may control NKT cell number and function, potentially offering a new avenue for assessing TID risk in humans. Here, we review the mechanisms by which NKT cells are thought to prevent TID, discuss the evidence for involvement of NKT cells in the regulation of human TID and examine the genetic control of NKT cell number and function. A greater understanding of these areas will increase the chances of successful clinical manipulation of NKT cells to prevent or treat TID.

Item ID: 11383
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1711
Keywords: immunoregulation; autoimmunity; mouse models; tolerance
Date Deposited: 21 May 2010 06:57
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1107 Immunology > 110703 Autoimmunity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920104 Diabetes @ 100%
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