natural killer cell

noun

Definition of natural killer cell

: a large granular lymphocyte capable especially of destroying tumor cells or virally-infected cells without prior exposure to the target cell and without having it presented with or marked by a histocompatibility antigen

called also NK cell

Examples of natural killer cell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN): Formerly called natural killer cell leukemia/lymphoma, per the LLS, BPDCN is a rare combination of leukemia and lymphoma. Barbara Brody, Health.com, 30 Sep. 2021 That's because touching increases the natural killer cells that help us fight off illnesses, said Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine. Lz Granderson, ajc, 16 Apr. 2020 Specifically, exercise helps to recruit highly specialized immune cells—such as natural killer cells and T cells—find pathogens (like viruses) and wipe them out. Mallory Creveling, Health.com, 16 Apr. 2020 March 26, 2020 That’s because touching increases the natural killer cells that help us fight off illnesses, said Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2020 The innate immune system, composed of white blood cells such as macrophages, natural killer cells and neutrophils, was supposed to have no such memory. Jop De Vrieze, Science | AAAS, 23 Mar. 2020 An important immunotherapeutic approach uses natural killer cells. Robert J. Hariri, WSJ, 13 Mar. 2020 From Killers to Builders If macrophages are the greatest multitaskers in the immune system, then natural killer cells are the most poorly named. Quanta Magazine, 11 Feb. 2020 The researchers also tweaked the natural killer cells in two other ways. Linda Carroll, NBC News, 5 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'natural killer cell.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of natural killer cell

1975, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of natural killer cell was in 1975

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Last Updated

4 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Natural killer cell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/natural%20killer%20cell. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for natural killer cell

natural killer cell

noun

Medical Definition of natural killer cell

: a large granular lymphocyte capable especially of destroying tumor cells or virally infected cells without prior exposure to the target cell and without having it presented with or marked by a histocompatibility antigen

called also NK cell

More from Merriam-Webster on natural killer cell

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about natural killer cell

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