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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
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ISSN Imprimer: 1040-8401
ISSN En ligne: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.2018025248
pages 105-130

Strategies to enhance NK cell function for the treatment of tumors and infections

Jacquelyn Freund-Brown
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Leilani Chirino
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Taku Kambayashi
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104

RÉSUMÉ

Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune cells equipped with the ability to rapidly kill stressed cells that are neoplastic or virally infected. These cells are especially important in settings where these stressed cells downregulate MHC class I molecules and evade recognition by cytotoxic T cells. However, the activity of NK cells alone is often suboptimal to fully control tumor growth or to clear viral infections. Thus, the enhancement of NK cell function is necessary to fully harness their antitumor or antiviral potential. In this review, we discuss how NK cell function can be augmented by the modulation of signal transduction pathways, by the manipulation of inhibitory/activating receptors on NK cells, and by cytokine-induced activation. We also discuss how some of these strategies are currently impacting NK cells in the treatment of cancer and infections.


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