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Natural killer cells

NK cells are a type of lymphocyte that have the ability to induce apoptosis, that is, programmed cell death, in cells infected with intracellular pathogens such as obligate intracellular bacteria and viruses. NK cells recognize these cells by mechanisms that are still not well understood, but that presumably involve their surface receptors. NK cells can induce apoptosis, in which a cascade of events inside the cell causes its own death by either of two mechanisms:

1) NK cells are able to respond to chemical signals and express the fas ligand. The fas ligand    is a surface molecule that binds to the fas molecule on the surface of the infected cell, sending it apoptotic signals, thus killing the cell and the pathogen within it; or

2) The granules of the NK cells release perforins and granzymes. A perforin    is a protein that forms pores in the membranes of infected cells. A granzyme    is a protein-digesting enzyme that enters the cell via the perforin pores and triggers apoptosis intracellularly.

Both mechanisms are especially effective against virally infected cells. If apoptosis is induced before the virus has the ability to synthesize and assemble all its components, no infectious virus will be released from the cell, thus preventing further infection.

Recognition of pathogens

Cells of the innate immune response, the phagocytic cells, and the cytotoxic NK cells recognize patterns of pathogen-specific molecules, such as bacterial cell wall components or bacterial flagellar proteins, using pattern recognition receptors. A pattern recognition receptor (PRR)    is a membrane-bound receptor that recognizes characteristic features of a pathogen and molecules released by stressed or damaged cells.

These receptors, which are thought to have evolved prior to the adaptive immune response, are present on the cell surface whether they are needed or not. Their variety, however, is limited by two factors. First, the fact that each receptor type must be encoded by a specific gene requires the cell to allocate most or all of its DNA to make receptors able to recognize all pathogens. Secondly, the variety of receptors is limited by the finite surface area of the cell membrane. Thus, the innate immune system must “get by” using only a limited number of receptors that are active against as wide a variety of pathogens as possible. This strategy is in stark contrast to the approach used by the adaptive immune system, which uses large numbers of different receptors, each highly specific to a particular pathogen.

Should the cells of the innate immune system come into contact with a species of pathogen they recognize, the cell will bind to the pathogen and initiate phagocytosis (or cellular apoptosis in the case of an intracellular pathogen) in an effort to destroy the offending microbe. Receptors vary somewhat according to cell type, but they usually include receptors for bacterial components and for complement, discussed below.

Soluble mediators of the innate immune response

The previous discussions have alluded to chemical signals that can induce cells to change various physiological characteristics, such as the expression of a particular receptor. These soluble factors are secreted during innate or early induced responses, and later during adaptive immune responses.

Questions & Answers

what are the Hodgkin's disease
Mwasiti Reply
what are the components of cardiovascular system
Mwasiti Reply
Heart Blood Blood Vessel
Md
what is Hodgkin's disease
Mwasiti Reply
What is anatomy
Munira Reply
anatomy is a study of physical and structural functions of human body parts
Mohd
is the study of structure of the body and physical relationship involve between the body system
Mwasiti
is the study of structure of the body and physical relationship involve between the body system
Mwasiti
why simple columnar support peristalisis
Camilius Reply
why when sex of an individual is determined by y chromosome found in male therefore why there is many women than male
pamfili Reply
I'm not sure if I fully understand your question.
are you sure it is more
samir
i don't remember what I said.
I'm not sure if I fully understand your question.
roughly taking a lead.
samir
Muscle of mastication
JIMOH Reply
what is anatomy
Akanle
Sorry....it's the study of human body and it's functions.
Irene
Anatomy is the study of human organs
Kity
what is serum protein?
Salum
what is anatomy
Akanle
Anatomy is the study of human organs
Kity
Who is a bovin
Kity
Who is a bovin
Kity
Why do you ask tough questions I'm in JHS 3
Kity
pls does broken bones get healed
Desmond
yes
Belinda
how
Desmond
by surgery or medication
Desmond
Medication
Irene
why do a bovin not menstruate unlike women?
patrick
Why do you ask tough questions I'm in JHS 3
Kity
Anatomy is the study of structure of the human body
Belinda
yes
Belinda
medication
Belinda
yes
Belinda
animals within that group include cows as well as others.
ihope that was helpful
aaa,kity.bovin is a terminology used by veteranians to refer a cow.for dogs its carnine,cats it's ferline...etc
patrick
i believe if you look up the classification of Bovin , it tell clarify more for you.
ihope that was helpful
i don't think my first message about taxonomy sent
i don't think my first message about taxonomy sent
difference between seminiferous tubules and ejaculatory duct
Muhammad Reply
tell me the answer boss
Musibi
wats dis group
Kity
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Agemo Reply
what is azygous vein
Karan Reply
Sir muscle contraction ka topic kis part m milega
sonugora Reply
Sir muscle contraction ka topic kis part m milega
sonugora Reply
what is manipulated
Ambika Reply
life circle of RBC and the life circle of WBC.
Yemi Reply
RBC 120days
Zeph
RBC 120days and WBC 10-12days
sai
what is cardiac vascular system
Hari
what is anatomy?
Md Reply
what is manipulated
Ambika
anatomy is the branch of medical science which deal with the gross structure of body or organ
Ambika
note shoulder joint
jagadeesh
what is cardiovascular system
Hari
what is manipulated
Ambika
anatomical position
Ambika
?
Ambika
Scapula
sonugora
Study of internal structures
sonugora
the system of heart and vessels
Manar
what is collar Bone?
jagadeesh

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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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