Natural Killer cells and liver fibrosis

Frontiers in Immunology. 2016;7 DOI 10.3389/fimmu.2016.00019

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Frontiers in Immunology

ISSN: 1664-3224 (Online)

Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Internal medicine: Specialties of internal medicine: Immunologic diseases. Allergy

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB, XML

 

AUTHORS

Frank eFasbender (Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors at TU Dortmund - IfADo)
Agata eWidera (Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors at TU Dortmund, IfADo)
Jan G Hengstler (Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors at TU Dortmund, IfADo)
Carsten eWatzl (Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors at TU Dortmund - IfADo)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 14 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

In the 40 years since the discovery of Natural Killer (NK) cells it has been well established that these innate lymphocytes are important for early and effective immune responses against transformed cells and infections with different pathogens. In addition to these classical functions of NK cells, we now know that they are part of a larger family of innate lymphoid cells and that they can even mediate memory-like responses. Additionally, tissue resident NK cells with distinct phenotypical and functional characteristics have been identified. Here we focus on the phenotype of different NK cell subpopulations that can be found in the liver and summarize the current knowledge about the functional role of these cells with a special emphasis on liver fibrosis. NK cell cytotoxicity can contribute to liver damage in different forms of liver disease. However, NK cells can limit liver fibrosis by killing hepatic stellate cell-derived myofibroblasts, which play a key role in this pathogenic process. Therefore, liver NK cells need to be tightly regulated in order to balance these beneficial and pathological effects.