The NK cell receptor repertoire: Formation, adaptation and exploitation

Werner Held*, Jérôme D. Coudert, Jacques Zimmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The identification of NK cell receptors specific for MHC class I molecules has greatly improved our knowledge of NK cell reactivity and specificity. Inhibitory receptors prevent NK cell activation directed against cells expressing self-MHC class I molecules. Consequently, diseased cells that do not express self-MHC class I molecules become susceptible to NK cell-mediated attack. Because of the specificity and distribution of inhibitory NK cell receptors, cells that express non-self (allogeneic) MHC class I molecules are also susceptible to NK cell reactions. This feature has been exploited in a clinical setting to treat leukemia patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-237
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


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