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NKT Cells in Cancer Immunotherapy

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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00314

Possible therapeutic application of targeting type II NKT cell-mediated suppression of tumor immunity

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, School of Medicine, Yokohama City University, Japan
  • 2Vaccine Branch, National Cancer Institute (NIH), United States

Natural Killer T (NKT) cells are a unique T cell subset that exhibits characteristics from both the innate immune cells and T cells. There are at least two subsets of NKT cells, type I and type II. These two subsets of NKT cells have opposite functions in antitumor immunity. Type I NKT cells usually enhance and type II NKT cells suppress antitumor immunity. Additionally, these two subsets of NKT cells cross-regulate each other. In this review, we mainly focus on immunosuppressive NKT cells, type II NKT cells. After summarizing their definition, experimental tools to study them, and subsets of them, we will discuss possible therapeutic applications of type II NKT cell pathway targeted therapies.

Keywords: NKT cell, Type II NKT cell, tumor immunology, Immune Regulation, immune network, Immunosuppression, Immunotherapy, lipid antigens, TGF-

Received: 29 Nov 2017; Accepted: 05 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Tonya J. Webb, University of Maryland, Baltimore, United States

Reviewed by:

Karl O. Yu, Rochester General Hospital, United States
Alena Donda, University of Lausanne, Switzerland  

Copyright: © 2018 Kato, Berzofsky and Terabe. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Masaki Terabe, National Cancer Institute (NIH), Vaccine Branch, Rockville, United States, terabe@mail.nih.gov