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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 440;

The Janus Face of NKT Cell Function in Autoimmunity and Infectious Diseases

Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Sicily, Via Marinuzzi 3, 90100 Palermo, Italy
Biomedical Department of Internal and Specialized Medicine, Rheumatology Section, University of Palermo, Piazza delle Cliniche 2, 90100 Palermo, Italy
Department of Biopathology and Medical Biotechnology, Section of General Pathology, University of Palermo, Via del Vespro 129, 90100 Palermo, Italy
Central Laboratory Advanced Diagnostic and Biological Research, University Hospital, Via del Vespro 129, 90100 Palermo, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Killer T (NKT) Cells)
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Natural killer T cells (NKT) are a subset of T lymphocytes bridging innate and adaptive immunity. These cells recognize self and microbial glycolipids bound to non-polymorphic and highly conserved CD1d molecules. Three NKT cell subsets, type I, II, and NKT-like expressing different antigen receptors (TCR) were described and TCR activation promotes intracellular events leading to specific functional activities. NKT can exhibit different functions depending on the secretion of soluble molecules and the interaction with other cell types. NKT cells act as regulatory cells in the defense against infections but, on the other hand, their effector functions can be involved in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory disorders due to their exposure to different microbial or self-antigens, respectively. A deep understanding of the biology and functions of type I, II, and NKT-like cells as well as their interplay with cell types acting in innate (neuthrophils, innate lymphoid cells, machrophages, and dendritic cells) and adaptive immunity (CD4+,CD8+, and double negative T cells) should be important to design potential immunotherapies for infectious and autoimmune diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbes; autoimmunity; glycolipids; alpha-galactosylceramide; sulfatide; CD1d; NKT microbes; autoimmunity; glycolipids; alpha-galactosylceramide; sulfatide; CD1d; NKT

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Torina, A.; Guggino, G.; La Manna, M.P.; Sireci, G. The Janus Face of NKT Cell Function in Autoimmunity and Infectious Diseases. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 440.

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