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.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners

Natural killer (NK) cell

A lymphocyte that acts as a primary immune defense against infection.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The mice fed a diet supplemented with Cistanche extract for only four weeks were found to have a significantly increased number of both T cells and natural killer cells in the blood, while lowering pro-inflammatory IL-6 levels in blood.
Shang et al., "Transfection of chimeric anti-CD138 gene enhances natural killer cell activation and killing of multiple myeloma cells," Molecular Oncology, vol.
Shioi et al., "Association between natural killer cell activity and infection in immunologically normal elderly people," Clinical & Experimental Immunology, vol.
Bruder Costa et al., "Altered functions of plasmacytoid dendritic cells and reduced cytolytic activity of natural killer cells in patients with chronic HBV infection," Gastroenterology, vol.
Viral evasion of natural killer cells. Nat Immunol.
Evaluation of cytotoxic function and apoptosis in IL-12/IL-15-treated umbilical cord or adult peripheral blood natural killer cells by a propidium-iodide based flow cytometry.
Natural killer cells are an essential part of the immune system, killing viruses and leukaemia cells, said Cornelia Ulrich, senior author.
Increase in peripheral natural killer cell activity in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease.
The effect of mirthful laughter on stress and natural killer cell activity.

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