Natural Killer Cells

Maintaining a healthy immune system is the key to longevity. The immune system is challenged daily with attacks from foreign pathogens, and while a healthy immune system creates a strong and complex defense, the immune system’s ability to fight declines with age. Your chance of developing some form of cancer skyrockets after the age of 40 – reaching nearly 50% by the age of 80. One key cell type that is responsible for age-associated diseases is called a senescent cell, or a cell that simply occupies space but no longer has a functional purpose. What if we can deter the chance of developing these age-associated conditions by using adoptive cell transfer? 

Natural Killer (NK) cells are one of our first lines of defense against cancer, viruses, and importantly, senescent cells. Up to 15% of our white blood cells are comprised of these NK cells, which act as immediate responders to boost the immune system. With more than 1,000 ongoing clinical trials using NK cells, these mighty cells have shown compelling promise in destroying cancer cells and possibly even curing cancer altogether. 

In addition to their potential for eradicating cancer, NK cells have also been proven to remove senescence. A recent publication entitled “Autologous NK cells propagated and activated ex vivo decrease senescence markers in human PBMCs” clearly suggests a role for activated NK cells in removal of age-affected immune cells, and even more compelling, a great reduction in senescence associated with age-associated diseases. This suggests a reduction in senescence may actually help strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. 

Here are some benefits of NK cells supported by scientific research:

Cancer prevention

NK cells can detect and kill cancer cells through a process called cytotoxicity. Research has shown that higher levels of NK cell activity are associated with lower rates of cancer1-2.

Protection against infections

NK cells are involved in the body’s defense against infections caused by viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms3. Studies have demonstrated that individuals with higher NK cell activity are less likely to develop infections4.

Autoimmune disease regulation

NK cells play a role in regulating the immune system and preventing autoimmune diseases. NK cells can kill autoreactive immune cells and regulate the production of antibodies5.

Improved outcomes after organ transplantation

NK cells have been shown to play a role in organ transplant rejection. Studies have suggested that higher levels of NK cell activity can improve outcomes after organ transplantation by reducing the risk of rejection6.

Better response to immunotherapy

NK cells can play a role in improving the response to immunotherapy, a type of cancer treatment that uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Research has shown that NK cells can enhance the effectiveness of immunotherapy by helping to target cancer cells7.

Anti-inflammatory effects

NK cells can produce cytokines that have anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have shown that NK cells can help to reduce inflammation in conditions like arthritis8.

Senescent cell elimination

NK cells play a role in eradicating senescent cells, which are damaged cells that accumulate with age and contribute to aging-related diseases. Studies have suggested that NK cells can recognize and kill senescent cells, promoting tissue regeneration and delaying aging9-10.

Like the immune system, NK cells also age over time. However, REHEALTH has developed a proprietary method of purifying and expanding NK cells in order to activate them to a younger state. Imagine using your own cells to maintain a healthy and youthful immune system.

REHEALTH’s proprietary method for NK cell expansion yields incredible results.

Here at REHEALTH, we offer NK cell therapies for age-associated diseases with your immune health in mine. If we can reduce senescence of the immune system, we believe your immune system will be much healthier and capable of combating diseases and other obstacles it battles daily. 

See if REHEALTH is Right for You

At REHEALTH, our mission is to improve patient health and well-being through precision stem cell therapeutics. Our team of certified physicians will work with you to design a personalized therapeutic approach to target your specific needs. 

Join thousands of other patients who have experienced relief they never thought was possible. Schedule a free discovery call and start your journey to recovery today.

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  1. Ruggeri, L., Capanni, M., Urbani, E., Perruccio, K., Shlomchik, W. D., Tosti, A., … & Velardi, A. (2002). Effectiveness of donor natural killer cell alloreactivity in mismatched hematopoietic transplants. Science, 295(5562), 2097-2100.
  2. Parihar, R., Rivas, C., Huynh, M., Omer, B., Lapteva, N., & Metelitsa, L. S. (2012). NK cells expressing a chimeric activating receptor eliminate MDSCs and rescue impaired CAR-T cell activity against solid tumors. Cancer immunology research, 1(4), 292-302.
  3. Lanier, L. L. (2008). Evolutionary struggles between NK cells and viruses. Nature reviews immunology, 8(4), 259-268.
  4. Biron, C. A., & Byron, K. S. (1981). In vitro and in vivo studies of cytokines involved in the regulation of natural killer cell activity. Advances in immunology, 30, 77-131.
  5. Vivier, E., Raulet, D. H., Moretta, A., Caligiuri, M. A., Zitvogel, L., Lanier, L. L., … & Ugolini, S. (2011). Innate or adaptive immunity? The example of natural killer cells. Science, 331(6013), 44-49.
  6. Lee, K. M., Kim, J. I., Stott, R., Soohoo, J., O’Farrell, A. M., & Yee, C. (2015). Anti-tumor cytotoxicity mediated by natural killer cells is enhanced by antibodies to CD137.
  7. Parihar, R., Rivas, C., Huynh, M., Omer, B., Lapteva, N., & Metelitsa, L. S. (2012). NK cells expressing a chimeric activating receptor eliminate MDSCs and rescue impaired CAR-T cell activity against solid tumors. Cancer immunology research, 1(4), 292-302.
  8. Lee, J. H., & Jeong, H. J. (2018). Anti-inflammatory effects of natural killer cells. Journal of clinical medicine, 7(9), 1-10.
  9. Schafer, M. J., Miller, J. D., LeBrasseur, N. K., & White, T. A. (2019). Cellular senescence: a key driver of aging and age-related disease. Science, 364(6449), eaaw0919.
  10. Krizhanovsky, V., Yon, M., Dickins, R. A., Hearn, S., Simon, J., Miething, C., … & Lowe, S. W. (2008). Senescence of activated stellate cells limits liver fibrosis. Cell, 134(4), 657-667.