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- Interactions Between Natural Killer Cells, Cortisol and Prolactin in Malaria During Pregnancy

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Figure 1: NK cells function through a diverse repertoire of activating and inhibitory receptors. Activating receptor ligation triggers the cytotoxic mechanism, while inhibitory receptors protect from NK cell lysis. Since multiple receptors are involved between NK cells and their targets, the decision of whether or not to kill a target is the net sum of all receptor interactions, and inhibitory receptor signaling is dominant. Both classical and nonclassical class I MHC (left side) and non-MHC ligands (right side) are known for many NK cell receptors.

Figure 1

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Figure 2: Specificity of NK cell function. In contrast to T cells, which require class I MHC to kill their targets, inhibitory KIRs have exactly the opposite effect.

Figure 2

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Source: Clin Med Res. vol 4(1) pp. 33–41,  March 2006

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