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Natural Killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes of the innate immune system, originally described by their capacity to control tumour cells and eliminate virus-infected cells. However accumulating evidence suggests that NK cells can interact with various components of the immune system and play a critical role in autoimmune diseases by limiting or exacerbating immune responses. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterised by joint inflammation and cartilage and bone destruction. NK cells are enriched within the joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis but how they contribute to disease pathology is currently not fully elucidated. This review will outline the current understanding of NK cell biology and how these cells may modulate disease pathogenesis in rheumatoid arthritis through interactions with other immune cells.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.imlet.2010.11.001

Type

Journal article

Journal

Immunol lett

Publication Date

05/2011

Volume

136

Pages

115 - 121

Keywords

Animals, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Autoimmune Diseases, Homeostasis, Humans, Immunomodulation, Immunophenotyping, Killer Cells, Natural, Lymphocyte Activation