Natural Killer Cells: Basic Science and Clinical Application
Michael T. Lotze and Angus W. Thomson
The Natural Killer [NK] Cell plays a critical role in regulating the innate and adaptive immune response to pathogens, injury and stress. Although originally portrayed as primarily a lytic cell, the NK cell has emerged as a cell capable of helper function, expansion, contraction, and accelerated memory responses - features similar to other adaptive immune cells. It is a professional accelerator of immunity, mediating dendritic cell maturation and its precursors critical for the origin and development of secondary lymph node structures. NK cells also play an essential role in mammalian placentation by regulating the quality of blood supply to the growing fetus. These characteristics place the NK cell in a unique position, with a major role in sculpting the host response to damage and injury.
This volume is the first complete and authoritative reference to explore these emergent, exciting aspects of the NK cell, placing it at the center of damage/danger recognition and the response to stress. Natural Killer Cells details NK cell biology, the role of NK cells in regulating immunity through interactions with other cells and tissues, the participation of NK cells in disease and special topics in NK biology.
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