Natural killer cells in human autoimmune disorders

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Abstract

Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes that play a critical role in early host defense against viruses. Through their cytolytic capacity and generation of cytokines and chemokines, NK cells modulate the activity of other components of the innate and adaptive immune systems and have been implicated in the initiation or maintenance of autoimmune responses. This review focuses on recent research elucidating a potential immunoregulatory role for NK cells in T-cell and B-cell-mediated autoimmune disorders in humans, with a particular focus on multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematous. A better understanding of the contributions of NK cells to the development of autoimmunity may lead to novel therapeutic targets in these diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number216
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 11 2013

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