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Med Sci (Paris). 2013 Apr;29(4):389-95. doi: 10.1051/medsci/2013294012. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

[Natural killer cells: adaptation and memory in innate immunity].

[Article in French]

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Centre d'immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, Aix-Marseille Université UM2, campus de Luminy case 906, 13288 Marseille, France.


Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes of the innate immune system that can kill tumor and infected cells. NK cells also secrete cytokines that participate in the shaping of the adaptive immune response. During the past few years, several studies have shown that the threshold of NK cell responsiveness is more adaptable than originally thought. NK cell reactivity is tuned by the environment and depends on the time of exposure of NK cells to their microenvironment. The impact of the NK cell response on immunity also depends on the intensity and the nature of the tumor or infections assaults. We review here how the local context impacts on NK cell responsiveness and shapes the outcome of NK cell activation.

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