Natural killer cells

Natural killer (NK) cells are not clonally distributed, nor do they exhibit memory responses. They patrol the body looking for cells which have lost expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules, e.g. cells infected with certain viruses and some types of tumor cells. If such cells are encountered, they are then killed by the NK cells.

See also: Acute phase proteins; Basophils; Complement, alternative pathway; Complement, classical pathway; Eosinophils; Interferon a; Interferon ß;

Interferon 7; Monocytes; Neutrophils; Phagocytosis;

Phylogeny of the immune response; Skin, contribution to immunity; Mast cells.

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