Natural killer cells and innate immunity to protozoan pathogens.


Korbel, DS; Finney, OC; Riley, EM; (2004) Natural killer cells and innate immunity to protozoan pathogens. International journal for parasitology, 34 (13-14). pp. 1517-28. ISSN 0020-7519 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2004.10.006

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Abstract

Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphoid cells that mediate significant cytotoxic activity and produce high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to infection. During viral infection, NK cell cytotoxicity and cytokine production is induced principally by monocyte-macrophage- and dendritic cell-derived cytokines but virally encoded ligands for NK cells are also beginning to be described. NK derived interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production is also essential for control of several protozoal infections including toxoplasmosis, trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis and malaria. The activation of NK cells by protozoan pathogens is also believed to be cytokine-mediated although some recent studies suggest that direct recognition of parasites by NK cells also occurs. Both indirect signalling via accessory cell-derived cytokines and direct signalling, presumably through NK receptors, are needed in order for human malaria parasites (Plasmodium falciparum) to optimally stimulate NK activity.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Immunology and Infection
Research Centre: Leishmaniasis Group
Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 15582528
Web of Science ID: 225810400011
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/14098

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