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Srp Arh Celok Lek. 2008 Jul-Aug;136(7-8):423-9.

[The role of cytokine in regulation of the natural killer cell activity].

[Article in Serbian]


Natural killer (NK) cells are characterized by a CD3-CD16+ CD56+ immunophenotype and have a central role in the innate immune system. They are defined by their capacity to kill certain tumour-target cells or virus infected cells without prior sensitization or MHC-restriction.The activity of the NK cells is determined by the balance between activation and inhibitory receptor molecules expressed on the surface of NK cells. However, several cytokines and chemokines can significantly modulate their activity, inducing increase of NK cell activity. Immunomodulation mediated by NK cells is very important mechanism in tumour immunity, as well as in other immunodepressions of the immune system. In this study, we summarize the role of several cytokines, including IFN, IL-1, IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-12 and IL-17, on NK cell function. The NK cells, after activation, depending on cytokine environment, can differentiate into NK1 cells that produce Th1 cytokine type (IFN-gamma, IL-2, IL-12) or NK2 cells that produce Th2 type cytokines, enhance exocytosis and release of previously formed molecules from NK cells (granzyme, perforin). We also describe that the release of cytokines and mediators show local or distance effects, or induce apoptosis (mostly by secreted TNF-alpha) after binding appropriated killer cell receptors from TNF receptor superfamily.

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