The cells that knew too much

Baxter, Alan (2000) The cells that knew too much. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 105 (12). pp. 1675-1677.

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In this issue of the JCI, Ikehara et al. (1) report a novel function for an unusual population of lymphocytes — natural killer T (NKT) cells. These cells were originally identified as CD4–CD8– (double negative, DN) T cells responsible for rapid production of large amounts of IL-4 (2, 3), a cytokine that plays a critical role in supporting immunoglobulin production and inhibiting some inflammatory responses. NKT cells are now usually identified either by the coexpression of the NK cell marker NKR-P1 (NK1.1 in mice) and the T-cell antigen receptor (TCR), or by the presence of unusually restricted TCRα chains (termed Vα24JαQ in humans and Vα14Jα281 in mice and rats; refs. 4, 5). Although these cells may either be DN or express intermediate levels of the CD4 accessory molecule (CD4int), the fact that most NKT cells in humans, mice, and rats use similar TCRα chains has led to the suggestion that they recognize a restricted range of targets (4). Consistent with this hypothesis, many NKT-cell clones appear to be stimulated by the MHC class I–like molecule CD1, and NKT cells are severely depleted in mice carrying a targeted deletion of CD1d (6, 7).

Item ID: 17249
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 1558-8238
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Invited commentary

Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2011 04:23
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1107 Immunology > 110706 Immunogenetics (incl Genetic Immunology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920108 Immune System and Allergy @ 100%
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