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Trends Microbiol. 2002 Oct;10(10):470-4.

Successful control of viruses by NK cells--a balance of opposing forces?

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Dept of Microbiology, School of Biomedical and Chemical Sciences, Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA, Australia.


Natural killer (NK) cells play a crucial role in limiting the severity of diseases caused by a range of viruses. Recent data have shown that the effector functions of NK cells can be specifically stimulated when NK cell activation receptors engage cellular major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-like ligands induced after infection or by specific viral gene products. However, to counter this NK cell response viruses have evolved an array of strategies to subvert efficient NK cell activation. These data indicate that the balance of host NK cell responses and viral NK cell escape mechanisms can be strategically poised as each strives for survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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