NK cells interactions with dendritic cells shape innate and adaptive immunity

Fabienne Brilot, Till Strowig, Christian Munz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


While natural killer (NK) cells received their name from their ability to mediate spontaneous cytotoxicity, it has recently become clear that they require activation to target most transformed and infected cells. Dendritic cells (DCs) have been shown to mediate NK cell activation during innate immune responses. Surprisingly, this interaction was recently reported to be required to restrict infections by NK cells, and to take place in secondary lymphoid organs. Here we review these recent studies on NK cell interactions with DCs, discuss the molecular mechanisms underlying the cross-talk between these two innate lymphocyte populations, and out-line how DCs and NK cells synergize to enhance innate immunity against microbes and tumors as well as shape the adaptive immune system. Based on this better understanding, we propose that NK cells should be targeted for their protective functions and as an adjuvant during immunotherapy development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6443-6454
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience - Landmark
Issue number17
StatePublished - 1 May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokines
  • Dendritic Cells
  • Herpesvirus
  • Immunological Synapse
  • Natural Killer Cells
  • Review


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