Natural-killer (NK)-cell activity was measured in the peripheral blood of twenty patients with atopic dermatitis and in a group of thirteen age-matched non-atopic controls (nine subjects on thirteen occasions). The method uses a chromium-release assay with the human leukaemia cell line, K562, labelled with 5lCr as the target cell. A highly significant reduction in NK-cell activity was found in the patients with atopic dermatitis.
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