Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 176–186

Natural killer lymphocytes: biology, development, and function

Authors

    • Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy CenterSaint Savas Cancer Hospital
  • Sonia A. Perez
    • Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy CenterSaint Savas Cancer Hospital
  • Angelos D. Gritzapis
    • Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy CenterSaint Savas Cancer Hospital
  • Constantin N. Baxevanis
    • Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy CenterSaint Savas Cancer Hospital
Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00262-003-0478-4

Cite this article as:
Papamichail, M., Perez, S.A., Gritzapis, A.D. et al. Cancer Immunol Immunother (2004) 53: 176. doi:10.1007/s00262-003-0478-4

Abstract

Natural killer (NK) lymphocytes represent the first line of defense against virally infected cells and tumor cells. The role of NK cells in immune responses has been markedly explored, mainly due to the identification of NK cell receptors and their ligands, but also through the analysis of mechanisms underlying the effects of various cytokines on NK cell development and function. A population of lymphocytes that shares function and receptors with NK cells is represented by natural killer T (NKT) cells. NKT lymphocytes are regulators of both innate and adaptive immune responses, but have also been reported to function as effector antitumor cells. The marked progress in our understanding of the biology, development, and function of NK/NKT cells has provided the basis for their potential application in tumor clinical trials.

Keywords

NK cellsNKT cellsReceptorsCytokinesTumor modelsStem cellsClinical trials

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004