Cytokine-induced memory-like natural killer cells

Megan A Cooper, Julie M Elliott, Peter Keyel, Liping Yang, J A Carrero, Wayne M Yokoyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The mammalian immune response to infection is mediated by 2 broad arms, the innate and adaptive immune systems. Innate immune cells are a first-line defense against pathogens and are thought to respond consistently to infection, regardless of previous exposure, i.e., they do not exhibit memory of prior activation. By contrast, adaptive immune cells display immunologic memory that has 2 basic characteristics, antigen specificity and an amplified response upon subsequent exposure. Whereas adaptive immune cells have rearranged receptor genes to recognize the universe of antigens, natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune lymphocytes with a limited repertoire of germ-line encoded receptors for target recognition. NK cells also produce cytokines such as IFN-gamma (IFN-γ) to protect the host during the innate response to infection. Herein, we show that cytokine-activated NK cells transferred into naïve hosts can be specifically detected 7-22 days later when they are phenotypically similar
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1915-1919
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
StatePublished - 2009


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