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'Natural killer' cells keep immune system in balance
Date:10/1/2009

of activating receptor that promotes their proliferations.

Once activated, the expanded NK cells help produce a cytokine known as interleukin󈝶, which effects immunoregulation and inflammation control. (Cytokines are protein molecules that help regulate the immune system) In turn, IL-10 helps dampen the T cell response. An overabundance of T cells in this case can harm the body and cause death.

Biron said it was important to learn that it is possible to help make NK cells proliferate, as an important milestone to help sustain them in the body when needed.

Such an understanding is crucial, she said, to help patients with compromised immune systems who may not be able to sustain NK cells on their own.

Biron said the research underscores the need for balance in the immune system, with the right combination of NK and T cells to complement innate and adaptive immunity in the body.

"You want the right balance," she said. "This could help create the right balance."


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Contact: Mark Hollmer
Mark_Hollmer@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

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