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Sci. STKE, 12 July 2005
Vol. 2005, Issue 292, p. cm7
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.2922005cm7]


Natural Killer Cell Receptor Signaling Pathway in Mammals

Frédéric Vély1 and Eric Vivier2*

1INSERM U608, 13005 Marseille, France.
2Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, INSERM-CNRS-Université Méditerranée, Campus de Luminy, Case 906, 13288 Marseille cedex 09, France.


Abstract: NK (natural killer) cells are large granular lymphocytes of the innate immune system. They are widespread throughout the body, being present in both lymphoid organs and nonlymphoid peripheral tissues. NK cells are involved in direct innate immune reactions against viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other triggers of pathology, such as malignant transformation, all of which cause stress in affected cells. Importantly, NK cells also link the innate and adaptive immune responses, contributing to the initiation of adaptive immune responses. NK cell responses are mediated through two major effector functions, the direct cytolysis of target cells and the production of cytokines and chemokines. We focus here on how recognition events are integrated to trigger distinct and graded effector functions.

*Corresponding author. E-mail, vivier{at}; telephone, (33)-491-26-94-44; fax, (33)-491-26-94-30

Citation: F. Vély, E. Vivier, Natural Killer Cell Receptor Signaling Pathway in Mammals. Sci. STKE 2005, cm7 (2005).

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