Journal article

Bench-to-bedside review: Natural killer cells in sepsis - guilty or not guilty?

Fernando Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes, Jean-Marc Cavaillon, Minou Adib-Conquy

Critical Care | Published : 2013

Abstract

Bacterial sepsis and septic shock are complex inflammatory disorders associated with a systemic inflammatory response syndrome. In the most severe cases of infection, an overzealous release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inflammatory mediators by activated leukocytes, epithelial cells and endothelial cells, known as a 'cytokine storm', leads to deleterious effects such as organ dysfunction and even death. By the end of the 20th century, natural killer (NK) cells were for the first time identified as important players during sepsis. The role of this cell type was, however, double-edged, either 'angel' or 'devil' depending upon the bacterial infection model under study. Bacterial sensors (s..

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