Role of natural killer cells in the pathogenesis and progression of multiple sclerosis

Barbara Morandi, Placido Bramanti, Irene Bonaccorsi, Erika Montalto, Daniela Oliveri, Gaetana Pezzino, Michele Navarra, Guido Ferlazzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural killer (NK) cells are a subset of lymphocytes which have long been alleged to play an immunoregulatory role in the prevention of autoimmune diseases. Here, we briefly review NK cell features and the major findings from studies on NK cells in human and animals susceptible to multiple sclerosis (MS). Although most studies in human seem to suggest an association between disease and deficiencies in NK cells, it is also clear that NK cells can be both protective and pathogenic in MS models. These contrasting observations could result from differences in experimental procedures as well as from differences in NK cell subset targeted. Whatever the case, the functional features of these cells and their potential role in regulation of autoimmunity suggest that NK cell-based therapies might be an interesting approach for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacological Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


  • Autoimmunity
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Natural killer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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