Interferon-producing killer dendritic cells (IKDC) were first described for their outstanding anti-tumoral properties. The "IKDC" terminology implied the description of a novel DC subset and initiated a debate on their cellular lineage origin. This debate shifted the focus away from their notable anti-tumoral potential. IKDC were recently redefined as precursors to mature NK (mNK) cells and consequently renamed pre-mNK cells. Importantly, a putative human equivalent of pre-mNK cells was recently associated with improved disease outcome in cancer patients. It is thus timely to revisit the functional attributes as well as the therapeutic potential of pre-mNK cells in line with their newly defined NK-cell precursor function.
Keywords: anti-tumoral activity; cellular differentiation; human; mouse; natural killer cells; pre-mNK cells.