Human CD56bright NK cells: An update.
- HIV Clinical and Translational Research
- Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Human NK cells can be subdivided into various subsets based on the relative expression of CD16 and CD56. In particular, CD56(bright)CD16(-/dim) NK cells are the focus of interest. They are considered efficient cytokine producers endowed with immunoregulatory properties, but they can also become cytotoxic upon appropriate activation. These cells were shown to play a role in different disease states, such as cancer, autoimmunity, neuroinflammation, and infection. Although their phenotype and functional properties are well known and have been extensively studied, their lineage relationship with other NK cell subsets is not fully defined, nor is their precise hematopoietic origin. In this article, we summarize recent studies about CD56(bright) NK cells in health and disease and briefly discuss the current controversies surrounding them.