Recent advances in iNKT cell development

Kristin Hogquist, Hristo Georgiev

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Grant information: This work was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) fellowship GE 3062/1-1 (to HG) and by National


  • Agonist selection
  • CD1d
  • Development
  • Invariant natural killer T cells
  • Lipid
  • Subsets
  • T cell receptor signalling
  • Thymus
  • Thymus

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

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