natural killer cellsmedical dictionary

Large granular lymphocytes which do not express markers of either T or B-cell lineage. These cells do possess Fc receptors for IgG and can kill target cells using antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity. NK cells can also use perforin to kill cells in the absence of antibody. Killing may occur without previous sensitization.

Synonyms: NK cells.

(05 Mar 2000)