Development and tolerance of natural killer cells

Curr Opin Immunol. 1999 Apr;11(2):129-34. doi: 10.1016/s0952-7915(99)80023-5.


A natural killer (NK)/T-cell-restricted progenitor cell in the fetal blood, with a phenotype of NK1.1(+) CD117 (c-kit)+, can give rise to NK cells. IL-15 is probably required for NK cell differentiation and, in addition, stimulates expression of at least one of the MHC-specific inhibitory receptor families expressed by NK cells. Evidence supports the role of multiple mechanisms in rendering NK cells self tolerant - including selection for expression of self-specific inhibitory receptors, anergy and modulation of the cell surface levels of MHC-specific inhibitory receptors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Interleukin-15 / physiology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / physiology*
  • Lectins, C-Type*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis
  • Mice
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily D


  • Antigens, CD
  • Interleukin-15
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily D