The Elusive NKT Cell Antigen--Is the Search Over?

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Science  03 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5702, pp. 1687-1689
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106932

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NKT cells of the immune system are crucial for suppressing autoimmunity and graft rejection, boosting resistance to infection, and promoting tumor immunity. However, little is known about the endogenous antigens that are recognized by these cells. In their Perspective, Godfrey et al. discuss new research that identifies the glycosphingolipid iGb3 as an antigen recognized by NKT cells that is necessary for their development and activation ( Zhou et al.).