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Transplantation. 2006 Mar 27;81(6):811-7.

The changing role of natural killer cells in solid organ rejection and tolerance.

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Division of Transplantation, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Natural killer (NK) cells have emerged as a particular focus of interest in transplantation due to their ability to distinguish allogeneic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens and their potent cytolytic effector mechanisms. Once relegated to the field of bone marrow transplantation, NK cells have recently been shown to participate in the immune response against solid organ allo- and xenografts. These new findings suggest that the role of NK cells in solid organ rejection and tolerance needs to be reexamined.

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