Lipid and glycolipid antigens of CD1d-restricted natural killer T cells

Manjunatha M. Venkataswamy, Steven A. Porcelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


In spite of their relatively limited antigen receptor repertoire, CD1d-restricted NKT cells recognize a surprisingly diverse range of lipid and glycolipid antigens. Recent studies of natural and synthetic CD1d-presented antigens provide an increasingly detailed picture of how the specific structural features of these lipids and glycolipids influence their ability to be presented to NKT cells and stimulate their diverse immunologic functions. Particularly for synthetic analogues of α-galactosylceramides which have been the focus of intense recent investigation, it is becoming clear that the design of glycolipid antigens with the ability to precisely control the specific immunologic activities of NKT cells is likely to be feasible. The emerging details of the mechanisms underlying the structure-activity relationship of NKT cell antigens will assist greatly in the design and production of immunomodulatory agents for the precise manipulation of NKT cells and the many other components of the immune system that they influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-78
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Antigen presentation
  • CD1d
  • Glycolipid
  • Natural killer T cell
  • α-Galactosylceramide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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