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The cytokine receptor DR3 identifies and promotes the activation of thymic NKT17 cells

Luo, Shunqun, Liman, Nurcin, Li, Can, Crossman, Assiatu, Wang, Eddie C. Y. ORCID:, Meylan, Françoise and Park, Jung-Hyun 2023. The cytokine receptor DR3 identifies and promotes the activation of thymic NKT17 cells. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 80 (3) , pp. 1-12. 10.1007/s00018-023-04726-7

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Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells correspond to a population of thymus-generated T cells with innate-like characteristics and effector functions. Among the various iNKT subsets, NKT17 is the only subset that produces the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17. But, how NKT17 cells acquire this ability and what would selectively trigger their activation remain incompletely understood. Here, we identified the cytokine receptor DR3 being specifically expressed on thymic NKT17 cells and mostly absent on other thymic iNKT subsets. Moreover, DR3 ligation promoted the in vivo activation of thymic NKT17 cells and provided costimulatory effects upon agonistic α-GalCer stimulation. Thus, we identified a specific surface marker for thymic NKT17 cells that triggers their activation and augments their effector functions both in vivo and in vitro. These findings provide new insights for deciphering the role and function of murine NKT17 cells and for understanding the development and activation mechanisms of iNKT cells in general.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1420-682X
Date of Acceptance: 13 February 2023
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 06:02

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