Chapter 14. Natural killer cells and cross-talk with dendritic cells

Lorenzo Moretta, G. Ferlazzo, G. Melioli, A. Moretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural Killer (NK) cells, a major actor of the innate immunity, play a central role in defences against viral infectious and tumor growth. NK cells are regulated by a number of surface receptors that either activate or inhibit their function. Of major interest are the inhibitory receptors specific for HLA-class I molecules. These receptors allow to discriminate between normal cells, expressing sufficient amounts of HLA-class I molecules, and cells that have lost the surface expression of one or more HLA-class I alleles, as it occurs in virus-infected or tumor cells. As shown by recent studies, NK cells can interact with dendritic cells (DC), another important player of the innate immunity. The cross-talk between these cells, taking place in inflamed tissues and lymph nodes, may shape the functional activities of both cell types and influence downstream adaptive responses initiated by the interaction between DC and T lymphocyte in secondary lymphoid tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-139
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Allergy Reviews
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


  • Activating receptors
  • Bacteria-induced dendritic cell maturation
  • Dendritic cells
  • HLA-class-I-specific inhibitory receptors
  • Natural killer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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