Monday, 14 June
Rm 208, 2nd Floor
720 Cumberland Street
Dr Andrew Highton
Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago
‘Natural killers: educated and hungry’
Natural killer (NK) cells are a critical component of the innate immune system important in the control of viral infection and cancer. NK cells expressing inhibitory receptors for cognate ligands are educated and gain a higher functional potential compared to those that do not, but this education process is not fully understood. Recent work has revealed that the function of NK cells is closely tied to cellular metabolism. We sought to find whether the education state of human NK cells was linked to their metabolic profile. Uptake of metabolic substrates was compared between educated and uneducated NK cell populations along with blockade of metabolic pathways. Here, I will discuss the differences found between educated and uneducated NK cell populations from this research.