An increasing body of evidence suggests that CD1d-restricted invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells play an important immunoregulatory role in a variety of autoimmune diseases in both humans and mouse models. Their role in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), however, is not fully determined, as SLE mouse models have yielded conflicting results demonstrating both a protective function and a pathogenic role. The reduced frequency of iNKT cells in peripheral blood of lupus patients supports the idea of a protective role for these cells in the immunopathology of SLE. Therapeutic approaches using glycolipids provide a promising tool to correct numerical iNKT cell deficiencies and to modulate their function. This review highlights the potential role of iNKT cells in lupus immunopathology and summarizes recent studies concerning iNKT cells in SLE patients, lupus-prone murine models and glycolipid therapy.
- regulatory T cells
- systemic lupus erythematosus
- iNKT cells
Gabriel, L., Morley, B. J., & Rogers, NJ. (2009). The role of iNKT cells in the immunopathology of systemic lupus erythematosus. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1173(Contemporary Challenges in Autoimmunity), 435-441. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04743.x