Recent studies suggest that murine invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cell development culminates in three terminally differentiated iNKT cell subsets denoted as NKT1, 2, and 17 cells. Although these studies corroborate the significance of the subset division model, less is known about the factors driving subset commitment in iNKT cell progenitors. In this review, we discuss the latest findings in iNKT cell development, focusing in particular on how T-cell receptor signal strength steers iNKT cell progenitors toward specific subsets and how early progenitor cells can be identified. In addition, we will discuss the essential factors for their sustenance and functionality. A picture is emerging wherein the majority of thymic iNKT cells are mature effector cells retained in the organ rather than developing precursors.
- Agonist selection
- Invariant natural killer T cells
- T cell receptor signalling
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't