University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Immunology in Pathology > Natural Killers or Natural Protectors? The Role of NK cells During Intestinal Inflammation

Natural Killers or Natural Protectors? The Role of NK cells During Intestinal Inflammation

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Host: Dr Francesco Colucci, fc287@medschl.cam.ac.uk

In addition to their more traditional role in innate immunity, such a tumour surveillance and viral clearance, recent studies have indicated that NK cells also modulate responses during chronic inflammatory disease. However, due to conflicting reports and lack of clear data from in vivo models the role of NK cells in this context remains uncertain. Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic relapsing and remitting inflammatory condition of the large bowel with an approximate prevalence of 1:1000 in developed countries and increases with socioeconomic development. While the pathogenesis of UC is still incompletely understood, previous work indicated a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors with a dysregulated immune response. A characteristic pathological finding in the inflamed mucosa of experimental colitis models and UC patients is dense neutrophil infiltration and associated production of reactive oxygen species.

I will discuss a previously undescribed immunoregulatory mechanism of action of NK cells by attenuating neutrophil-mediated tissue injury during intestinal inflammation.

This talk is part of the Immunology in Pathology series.

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