natural killer cell

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natural killer cell

A large granular lymphocyte that kills virus-infected, cancerous, or abnormal cells without first having been exposed to specific antigens and that also produces a variety of cytokines. Also called NK cell.

nat′ural kill′er cell`

a small killer cell that destroys virus-infected cells or tumor cells without activation by an immune system cell or antibody. Compare killer T cell.
References in periodicals archive ?
The prognostic significance of intratumoral natural killer cells in patients with colorectal carcinoma.
Scientists have been uncertain about how these natural killer cells (NK cells) could contribute to a miscarriage and this has raised doubt over their importance in causing pregnancy loss.
Research has shown that there are increased numbers of immune system natural killer cells (NKCs) in the wombs of women who suffer from recurrent miscarriages.
The pills enhance the activity of natural killer cells - key elements of the immune system.
Researchers had already found that feeding mice white button-mushroom powder cranked up the activity of natural killer cells, an execution squad of the immune system.
The book also addresses key issues that have arisen in the field in recent years, such as the physiological roles of hepatocytes, sinusoidal lining cells, activated macrophages (Kupffer cells), cholangiocytes, and stellate cells, and their modulation of the T cells, natural killer cells, and NKT cells.
Depressed controls were found to have significantly fewer circulating natural killer cells and higher levels of inflammatory mediators such as interleukin-6, interleukin-1[beta], and C-reactive protein than nondepressed patients at both 2 weeks and 6 months after discharge.
Controls for nonspecific staining were monitored with isotype response that may involve natural killer cells.
On the other hand, there were no significant differences between groups in the total number of T cells, helper T cells, B cells, or natural killer cells.
It results from a defect in a gene essential to the development of mature T cells and natural killer cells, the bodys main defenders against foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria.
Natural killer cells that destroy viruses and tumors increase during a state of mirth.

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