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What is a natural killer cell?

Natural killer cells have been arbitrarily defined using a number of different phenotypic and functional criteria. We asked Lorenzo Moretta if we have truly discovered the core identity of this critical player in eliciting immune responses.

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Figure 1: Receptors and ligands involved in human NK cell–mediated cytotoxicity.
Figure 2: Donor NK cell–mediated killing of leukemic cells: more than a dream in bone marrow transplantation.

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Acknowledgements

Supported by grants awarded by Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Progetto Finalizzato Biotecnologie, MURST-CNR 5% CNR Biotechnology program 95/95 and Telethon-Italy (grant number E.0892).

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Correspondence to Lorenzo Moretta.

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Moretta, A., Bottino, C., Mingari, M. et al. What is a natural killer cell?. Nat Immunol 3, 6–8 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1038/ni0102-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ni0102-6

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