Phenotypic and Functional Analysis of Synovial Natural Killer Cells

  • Nicola Dalbeth
  • Margaret F. C. Callan
Part of the Methods in Molecular Medicine book series (MIMM, volume 136)


Natural Killer (NK) cells are cells of the innate immune system with characteristic effector functions, including recognition and lysis of virus-infected or tumor cells and production of immunoregulatory cytokines, particularly interferon-gamma (IFN-γ). NK cells account for between 10 and 15% of peripheral blood lymphocytes and are also present in synovial fluid and tissue where they might potentially contribute to amplification of the inflammatory process through interactions with macrophages and dendritic cells. This chapter outlines methods of assessing the phenotype of NK cells through analysis of NK-cell markers and the function of NK cells through cytotoxicity assays and measurement of cytokine production.

Key Words

Natural Killer cells phenotype immunohistochemistry cytotoxicity cytokine arthritis 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Dalbeth
    • 1
  • Margaret F. C. Callan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ImmunologyImperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital CampusLondonUK

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