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J Neuroimmunol. 2007 Nov;191(1-2):2-7. Epub 2007 Sep 29.

The role of natural killer cells in curbing neuroinflammation.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, U-M Multiple Sclerosis Program and Holtom-Garrett Neuroimmunology Laboratory, University of Michigan, 4009 BSRB, 109 Zina Pitcher Place, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200, USA. bmsegal@med.umich.edu

Abstract

Natural killer (NK) cells are evolutionarily early lymphocytes that lack antigen-specific receptors and, hence, are considered to be part of the innate immune system. The majority of research on NK cells has focused on their ability to lyse "target cells", generally identified by low or absent MHC Class I expression, such as tumor cells and virus infected cells. However, an alternative role of these leukocytes as regulators of adaptive (and potentially destructive) immune responses, in particular organ-specific autoimmune diseases, has been increasingly recognized. Here we discuss the growing body of evidence that NK cells limit damage in autoimmune demyelinating disease by inhibiting autoreactive T cell responses without harming resident neurons or glia.

PMID:
17904646
PMCID:
PMC2215057
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneuroim.2007.09.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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