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Semin Immunol. 2008 Dec;20(6):369-75. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2008.09.007. Epub 2008 Nov 1.

NK cell receptors in rodents and cattle.

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Department of Anatomy, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, PO Box 1105 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway.


Natural killer (NK) cells discriminate between normal syngeneic cells and infected, neoplastic or MHC-disparate allogeneic cells. The reactivity of NK cells appears to be regulated by a balance between activating receptors that recognize non-self or altered self, and inhibitory receptors recognizing normal, self-encoded MHC class I molecules. Subfamilies of NK receptors undergo rapid evolution, and appear to co-evolve with the MHC. We here review present views on the evolution and function of NK cell receptors, with an emphasis on knowledge gained in cattle and rodents.

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