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Overview on NK Cells and Possible Mechanisms for their Cytotoxic Activity

  • Ronald B. Herberman
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 146)

Abstract

As evidenced by the strong emphasis of this volume on T cells, there has been a long-standing interest in determining the mechanism of cytolysis by immune T cells. Similarly, much attention has been devoted to the mechanism of cytotoxicity by macrophages, as summarized well here by Key et al (1). During the past few years, natural killer (NK) cells have attracted considerable attention as particularly important elements in natural resistance against tumors and possibly against some microbial infections (2). It therefore is of equal concern to elucidate the mechanism of lysis of target cells by NK cells. A further intriguing question that can be raised, in light of the extensive research on mechanisms of lysis by other effector cells, is whether the mechanism of lysis by NK cells is unique or whether it is similar or even identical to that of one or more of the other cell types. Much of the available evidence on these issues is summarized in the manuscript by Goldfarb et al in this volume (3). Here it seems more appropriate to emphasize the approaches which have been taken to study the mechanism of lysis by NK cells, and to point out current gaps in our knowledge and possible ways to obtain more definitive indications of the critical processes involved in the interaction between NK cells and their target cells.

Keywords

Natural Killer Natural Killer Cell Natural Killer Activity Large Granular Lymphocyte Human Natural Killer Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald B. Herberman
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of ImmunodiagnosisNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA

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