Natural killer cells have a memory
Researchers have decoded a new mechanism of how the immune system can specifically attack pigmented cells of the skin. It was previously believed that so-called natural killer cells did not have an immunological memory for the body’s own tissues. However, the scientists have now been able to show that these special immune cells can indeed “remember” pigmented cells when they come into more frequent contact with a specific contact allergen. These results may provide new insights into the development of the skin-depigmenting disease vitiligo but may also offer new options for the treatment of malignant melanoma.