Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 18979515
Eur. J. Immunol. 2008 Nov;38(11):2948-51
NK cells were initially identified based on their capacity to destroy susceptible target cells via granule-mediated cytotoxicity. Subsequently, NK-cell cytokine production (IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha) was shown to be critical in restricting pathogen infection, defining a non-cytotoxic role for NK cells in host defense. Recently, specialized NK-cell subsets with biased effector functions have been described in mice and man. This overview will consider the developmental origins and biological implications of this NK-cell diversification.