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Medical Term:

natural killer cells


large granular lymphocytes that 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 occurs without previous sensitization.

Synonym(s): NK cells

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.