natural killer cell

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natural killer cell

n.
A lymphocyte that is activated by double-stranded RNA or lymphokines and fights off viral infections and tumors without evident antigenic specificity. Also called NK cell.

natural killer cell

Etymology: L, natura + ME, kullen, to kill, cella, storeroom
large granular lymphocyte with NK-specific markers, especially CD56. NK cells affect antibody-independent cell-mediated cytotoxicity by recognizing nonself markers on foreign and tumor cells.

natural killer cell

Abbreviation: NK cell
A large granular lymphocyte – a defensive cell of innate immunity – that bonds to cells and lyses them by releasing cytotoxins. Natural killer cells are null cells, lymphocytes that do not have B cell or T cell surface markers, and they can be activated without previous antigen exposure. NK cells destroy cells infected with viruses and some types of tumor cells in cultures. They also secrete gamma interferon (INF?), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa), and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GMCSF), enhancing the effect of T lymphocytes.
Synonym: killer cell
See also: cell

Natural killer (NK) cell

A lymphocyte that acts as a primary immune defense against infection.
References in periodicals archive ?
Supplementation with cistanche has been shown to increase naive T-cells and natural killer (NK) cells while decreasing memory T-cells and pro-inflammatory interleukin-6.
Cord blood natural killer cells are functionally and phenotypically immature but readily respond to interleukin-2 and interleukin-12.
Her research has also suggested the natural killer cells play a part in preventing implantation of a fertilised egg, including IVF treatment.
In normal physiology, natural killer cells defend against viral infections and eliminate neoplastic cells.
In a paper, "Recognition of bacterial glycosphingolipids by natural killer T cells," to be published March 24 in the scientific journal Nature, Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.
Also see Evans 2002 (3): "Our findings provide the first evidence that depression may alter the function of killer lymphocytes in HIV-infected women and suggest that depression may decrease natural killer cell activity and lead to an increase in activated CD8 T lymphocytes and viral load" (quote from the abstract).
The study, which found that long-term immune function decreases in proportion to how many times a woman has intentionally lost weight, measured natural killer cell activity in the women's blood.
The effect of mirthful laughter on stress and natural killer cell activity.
Preliminary experiments showed that NIPCs were not natural killer or T cells.
For example, certain forms of colostrum, as well as larch extract, Coriolus, or MGN-3 have all been shown to enhance a particular white blood cell, the Natural Killer (NK) cell, a key piece in the immune system in its ability to fight cancer.
The investigators suspect that blocking SHIP may affect the response of natural killer cells.
This receptor is found on a number of tumor types, including T cell and Natural Killer cell lymphomas, as well as multiple myeloma.

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