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NKT cells - Research Paper Example

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Review of the Biology of NKT Cells Name Institution Course Review of the Biology of NKT Cells Natural Killer T cells (NKT) form a unique lineage of lymphocytes that exhibit unique characteristics depending on the associated T-cell repertoires. Immunologists have described three types of NKT cells in their efforts to analyze the roles played by these cells in promoting immune system functions…
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Download file to see previous pages Immunologists have been striving to unearth the connection between NKT cells and the inflammatory characteristics of asthma, in a bid to design new intervention strategies. This paper will review the biology of Natural Killer T cells and the prevention strategies of asthma and allergic diseases. Biology of NKT Cells Natural Killer T cells form a subset of lymphocytes as scientists have described. Depending on the T-cell receptor repertoires, NKT cells fall into three categories. The first type of NKT cells is the classical NKT cells that exhibit conserved T-cell receptors (Akbariet al 2006). Immunologists have been described type 1 NKT cells in mice and humans, with those in humans named invariant NKT cells. Type 2 is also available in both mice and humans but have a diverse range of T-cell receptors. However, type 2 faces a restriction from CD1d. The third type forms the independent category of NKT cells characterized as expressing either Ly49 or NK1.1 (CD161 in humans). Moreover, it proved quite difficult to isolate this type of NKT cells. Immunologists have succeeded in isolating type 1 and associating it with the development of asthma. NKT cells present numerous similarities to Th2 Cells, which trigger the processes that cause the development of asthma. ...
However, the two types of cells exhibit different activation processes (Wohlleben&Erb, 2006). Processes Leading to the Development of Asthma and related Atopic Diseases Experts seeking to understand the immunologic processes that lead to the development of asthma, have described the process in detail. Asthma results from the Th2 responses taking place in the lungs. The production of Th2 responses result from the action of allergen specific CD4+. The basis of asthma development is that there must be activation of transcription factors from the downstream factors resulting to the production of Th2 effector cells. The effect of these processes is the production of cytokines such as interleukins IL-4, IL-5, IL-9, and IL-13. Moreover, these processes trigger the recruitment of eosinophils and allergen specific immunoglobulin E by beta cells (Mallevaey et al, 2006). Granulation of eosinophils and mast cells occurs with as they indulge in a cross-linking with immunoglobulin E (igE). This causes the production of mucous and airway hyper-reactivity and a chronic inflammation of the airway. These are the central attributes of asthma.Processes that trigger Th2 responses often lead to airway hyper-reactivity and inflammation. Immunologists have highlighted that Th1 responses do not trigger this hyper-reactivity and inflammation defining asthma and other atopic diseases. There is evidence suggesting that children contacting bacterial infections that trigger Th1 responses in their earlier years have a less likelihood of developing asthma. NKT Cells and Asthma There is evidence that NKT cells have the potential to trigger Th2 responses that often lead to development of asthma and other atopic diseases. This is because of their ability to recognize glycolipid ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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