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'Natural Killer' Cells Keep Immune System In Balance

Researchers from Brown University and McGill University have discovered that the natural killer, or NK cells, help prevent T cells from over-responding when a virus hits. This balance helps prevent T cells, which ordinarily serve the immune system, from causing harm.

Natural killer, or NK cells, are part of our innate immune system. A healthy body produces them to respond early during infection. They are activated and they kill cells infected with a given virus.

It turns out NK cells are even more important to the body than previously thought. Researchers from Brown University and McGill University now know that the cells also help keep T cells — major players in cell-mediated immunity — from over-responding. Such a balance helps T cells maintain their role in the body’s adaptive immune response, rather than becoming too numerous and activated to cause harm.
 
 

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