NKT cells and the regulation of intestinal immunity: a two-way street
Authors listPhillip Brailey Marta Lebrusant-Fernandez Patricia Barral
The mammalian gastrointestinal compartment is colonised by millions of microorganisms that have a central influence on human health. Intestinal homeostasis requires a continuous dialogue between the commensal bacteria and intestinal immune cells. While interactions between host and commensal bacteria are normally beneficial, allowing training and functional tuning of immune cells, dysregulated immune system-microbiota crosstalk can favour the development of chronic inflammatory diseases, as it is the case for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Natural Killer T (NKT) cells, which recognize CD1-restricted microbial and self-lipids, contribute to the regulation of mucosal immunity by controlling intestinal homeostasis and participating in the development of IBD. Here, we provide an overview of the recently identified pathways underlying the crosstalk between commensal bacteria and NKT cells and discuss the effect of these interactions in intestinal health and disease.