Natural Killer Cells and Thyroid Diseases

Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). 2019 Jun;34(2):132-137. doi: 10.3803/EnM.2019.34.2.132.


Abnormal production of thyroid hormone is one of the common endocrine disorders, and thyroid hormone production declines with age. The aging process also negatively affects the immune system. An interaction between endocrine system and the immune system has been proposed to be bidirectional. Emerging evidence suggests an interaction between a lymphocyte population, called natural killer (NK) cells and thyroid gland function. Here, we review the relationship between NK cells and thyroid function and disease.

Keywords: Anaplastic; Immunotherapy; Killer cells, natural; Programmed cell death 1; Thyroid cancer, papillary; Thyroiditis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Thyroid Diseases / complications
  • Thyroid Diseases / immunology*