NKT cells, Treg, and their interactions in bone marrow transplantation

Holbrook E. Kohrt, Asha B. Pillai, Robert Lowsky, Samuel Strober

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is a potentially curative treatment for patients with leukemia and lymphoma. Tumor eradication is promoted by the anti-tumor activity of donor T cells contained in the transplant; however, donor T cells also mediate the serious side effect of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Separation of GVHD from graft anti-tumor activity is an important goal of research in improving transplant outcome. One approach is to take advantage of the immunomodulatory activity of regulatory NKT cells and CD4+ CD25+ Treg of host and/or donor origin. Both host and donor NKT cells and donor Treg are able to prevent GVHD in murine models. In this review, we summarize the mechanisms of NKT cell- and Treg-mediated protection against GVHD in mice while maintaining graft anti-tumor activity. In addition, we also examine the interactions between NKT cells and Treg in the context of BMT, and integrate the data from murine experimental models with the observations made in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1862-1869
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Natural killer T cells
  • Regulatory T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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