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Keywords:

  • diversity;
  • integration;
  • KIR;
  • NK cells;
  • receptors;
  • signalling

Summary

The key role of natural killer cells in many aspects of the immune response is now being recognized. The last decade has seen an exponential increase in our understanding of the workings of these cells. Receptor diversity is crucial in allowing natural killer cells to respond effectively to a variety of different pathogens. This article reviews aspects of natural killer cell diversity that combine to generate populations of functional natural killer cells that exist within both the individual and throughout the population at large.