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NK cells and apoptosis.

Warren HS, Smyth MJ

  • Journal Immunology and cell biology

  • Published 09 Jun 1999

  • Volume 77

  • ISSUE 1

  • Pagination 64-75

  • DOI 10.1046/j.1440-1711.1999.00790.x


Natural killer (NK) cells are a cell of the innate immune system that play an important role in the early response to viral infections and tumours. Natural killer cells are cytolytic, and secrete cytokines that influence the developing antigen-specific immune response. In the present article the NK cell surface molecules regulating effector function, the NK cell effector mechanisms involved in apoptosis, and the role of NK cell effector mechanisms in immune responses are reviewed.