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MORENO FERNANDEZ, MARÍA EUGENIA; RUGELES LOPEZ, MARÍA TERESA  and  MONTOYA GUARIN, CARLOS JULIO. NK Cells: characteristics and role during the infection by rype-1 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1). Iatreia [online]. 2007, vol.20, n.1, pp.47-63. ISSN 0121-0793.

NK cells exhibit spontaneous activity against tumor and infected cells, particularly with virus. They are characterized by the expression of the CD16 and CD56 molecules. Two NK cell subpopulations have been described: CD16Low/CD56Hi and CD16Hi/CD56Low that differ in the cytokines produced and their cytotoxic ability. NK cell activation is regulated by the expression of inhibition and activation receptors, which interact with different ligands on the target cells. The effector activity of these cells includes lysis of target cells by different mechanisms and the production of cytokines; through these soluble factors NK cells participate in diverse physiological processes such as hematopoyesis and regulation of different immune cells. During HIV-1 infection, NK cells participate in the control of viral replication by both, cytotoxic mechanisms and production of cytokines, particularly -chemokines. However, the HIV-1 has developed mechanisms to evade the antiviral response exerted by NK cells. In addition, HIV-1 infection induces quantitative and functional abnormalities in NK cells that could be developed very early during the evolution of this viral infection contributing to the severe immunosuppression characteristic of AIDS.


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