Organ-specific features of natural killer cells.

Shi FD, Ljunggren HG, La Cava A, Van Kaer L
Nat Rev Immunol. 2011 11 (10): 658-71

PMID: 21941294 · PMCID: PMC3620656 · DOI:10.1038/nri3065

Natural killer (NK) cells can be swiftly mobilized by danger signals and are among the earliest arrivals at target organs of disease. However, the role of NK cells in mounting inflammatory responses is often complex and sometimes paradoxical. Here, we examine the divergent phenotypic and functional features of NK cells, as deduced largely from experimental mouse models of pathophysiological responses in the liver, mucosal tissues, uterus, pancreas, joints and brain. Moreover, we discuss how organ-specific factors, the local microenvironment and unique cellular interactions may influence the organ-specific properties of NK cells.

MeSH Terms (22)

Animals Autoimmunity Brain Cell Communication Cytokines Cytotoxicity, Immunologic Disease Models, Animal Female Humans Inflammation Intestinal Mucosa Joints Killer Cells, Natural Liver Mice Mice, Transgenic Organ Specificity Pancreas Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell Receptors, Cytokine Signal Transduction Uterus

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