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Natural killer cells. Target cell recognition mechanisms

Natural killer cells. Target cell recognition mechanisms

Inmunologia 12(4): 101-109

The hypothesis supporting that Natural Killer (NK) cells may specifically recognize alloantigens on target cells has gained support through several experimental systems. On the other hand, the role played by Major Histocompatibility Complex class I molecules (MHC-I) on target cells in the regulation of NK cell activity has been thoroughly documented. The participation of Fc-gamma-RIII (CD16) in antibody-dependent cytotoxicity and the contribution of intercellular adhesion molecules in NK cell activity are well defined; however, the information on other surface receptors and their corresponding ligands specifically involved in triggering NK cell effector functions is still limited. We review the characteristics of a number of surface molecules, preferentially expressed on NK cells, which participate in regulating the activity of this lymphoid population and that might constitute receptors involved in target cell recognition mechanisms.

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