Book Chapter

Development of Natural Killer Cell Diversity

Christian AJ Vosshenrich, Nicholas D Huntington, Vera SG Ribeiro, Naoko Satoh-Takayama, James P Di Santo

CELL DETERMINATION DURING HEMATOPOIESIS | NOVA SCIENCE PUBLISHERS, INC | Published : 2009

Abstract

Natural killer (NK) cells were discovered some 30 years ago due to their capacity to spontaneously lyse tumour target cells in vitro. Although initially received with scepticism, the 'natural' cytotoxicity exhibited by NK cells has been molecularly dissected and is now generally accepted as an alternative cellular mechanism to detect infected, stressed or transformed cells. Subsequent studies showed that during viral or bacterial infections, NK cells are also prodigious cytokine producers, and by their ability to rapidly amplify and recruit inflammatory cells they play an important role in innate immunity. Thus, in a short period of time, NK cells have evolved from a 'tissue culture artefact..

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