Natural Killer Cell Protocols pp 335-352

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 612) | Cite as

Functional Analysis of Human NK Cells by Flow Cytometry

  • Yenan T. Bryceson
  • Cyril Fauriat
  • João M. Nunes
  • Stephanie M. Wood
  • Niklas K. Björkström
  • Eric O. Long
  • Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren


Natural killer (NK) cells are a subset of lymphocytes that contribute to innate immunity through cytokine secretion and target cell lysis. NK cell function is regulated by a multiplicity of activating and inhibitory receptors. The advance in instrumentation for multi-color flow cytometry and the generation of specific mAbs for different epitopes related to phenotypic and functional parameters have facilitated our understanding of NK cell responses. Here, we provide protocols for flow cytometric evaluation of degranulation and cytokine production by human NK cells from peripheral blood at the single-cell level. In addition to offering insight into the regulation of human NK cell responses, these techniques are applicable to the assessment of various clinical conditions, including the diagnosis of immunodeficiency syndromes.

Key words

Human natural killer cells immunophenotyping polychromatic flow cytometry CD107a lysosomal-associated membrane protein-1 chemokines IFN-γ MIP-1β TNF-α 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yenan T. Bryceson
    • 1
  • Cyril Fauriat
    • 1
  • João M. Nunes
    • 1
  • Stephanie M. Wood
    • 1
  • Niklas K. Björkström
    • 1
  • Eric O. Long
    • 2
  • Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Infectious Medicine, Department of MedicineKarolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital HuddingeStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Laboratory of ImmunogeneticsNational Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of HealthRockvilleUSA

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