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To optimize vaccination strategies, it is important to use protocols that can 'jump-start' immune responses by harnessing cells of the innate immune system to assist the expansion of antigen-specific B and T cells. In this Review, we discuss the evidence indicating that invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells can positively modulate dendritic cells and B cells, and that their pharmacological activation in the presence of antigenic proteins can enhance antigen-specific B- and T-cell responses. In addition, we describe structural and kinetic analyses that assist in the design of optimal iNKT-cell agonists that could be used in the clinical setting as vaccine adjuvants.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Rev Immunol

Publication Date





28 - 38


Adjuvants, Immunologic, Animals, Antigens, CD1d, B-Lymphocytes, Cell Differentiation, Clinical Trials as Topic, Cytokines, Dendritic Cells, Forecasting, Galactosylceramides, Glycolipids, Humans, Immunity, Innate, Immunologic Surveillance, Infection, Lymphocyte Activation, Mice, Models, Molecular, Natural Killer T-Cells, Neoplasms, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta, Structure-Activity Relationship, Vaccination