Natural Resistance Mechanisms: Introduction
This symposium entitled “Natural Resistance Mechanisms” is meant to focus on immunity conferred by cells that don’t require antigen specific induction for acquisition of their function. Natural resistance also implies a degree of immunity demonstrable in the absence of overt stimulation, although modification of activity can be induced either by the host in response to challenge or by iatrogenic intervention. One class of cells possessing these properties are natural killer (NK) cells and there has been a lot of interest lately in their origin, function, and regulation. While we will discuss these cells at length, our focus should not be exclusively upon NK cells. Other cell types also are involved in natural resistance of which the monocyte/macrophage is a prime example.