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 ?
Control of human viral infections by natural killer cells.
Cord blood natural killer cells are functionally and phenotypically immature but readily respond to interleukin-2 and interleukin-12.
Human natural killer cell deficiencies and susceptibility to infection.
Expression of adult and fetal natural killer cell markers in sinonasal lymphomas.
Chronic resistance exercise training improves natural killer cell activity in older women.
6] The lymphoma cells express the natural killer cell marker CD56, but not the natural killer cell markers CD16 and CD57.
Identification of subsets with cytotoxic T-lymphocyte or natural killer cell differentiation.
It directly activates the immune system through natural killer cells via the SLAMF7 pathway, and also targets SLAMF7 on myeloma cells, tagging these malignant cells for natural killer cell-mediated destruction via antibody-dependent cellular toxicity.
Interleukin-2 (IL-2) enhances overall immune function, most notably by enhancing natural killer cell activity.

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