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Too many natural killers - meaning ?

Discussion in 'Immunological' started by Hanna, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Hanna

    Hanna Senior Member

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    Jerusalem, Israel
    The proportion of my natural killer cells is more than 25% of total lymphocytes. I was told the maximum is 20% for normal result.
    Does someone has some insight on the subject ?
     
  2. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    Lymphocyte subset numbers vary a lot and do not mean much because they are more a reflection of traffic rates than body numbers. The 'normal result' is just the range that includes about 90% of people. It is not a 'healthy' range, just a statistical range. B cell numbers vary hugely so maybe your NK percentage is high because your B cel percentage is low - which doesn't matter either!
     
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  3. Hanna

    Hanna Senior Member

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  4. Eeyore

    Eeyore Senior Member

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    Right - I'd look at whether the absolute NK count is normal or not - not just the percentage.

    Although I agree with Dr. Edwards' interpretation above, I think there may be some information in this. I would point out that this is speculative, but it's possible your body is upregulating NK expression to compensate for poor NK function (per cell). I don't have good evidence for this occurring in the literature (haven't looked) - but it makes sense that the mechanisms that favor NK differentiation might be affected by impaired NK function.

    If this is true, then the higher levels would be compensatory and beneficial, although there might be an underlying deficit in NK function (or, quite possibly, there might not be...) Again, I emphasize the speculation aspect. The reason my mind goes here at all is that there are so many reports of impaired NK function in ME patients. Have you had a test for NK function? It's done by many of the major medical labs, including Quest and Mayo (but I don't think Labcorp). I would look at that. These tests report lytic function per X lymphocytes - so if NK cells are enriched in the lymphocyte pool on a percentage basis, it will increase the NK function test result.
     
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  5. Hanna

    Hanna Senior Member

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    @Eeyore Thanks for adding your comment. I am afraid I won't be able to know more, as functional NK test was not performed... and there is very little chance that it will be in the near future (as I live in the Middle-East, and access to complex testing is rather limited) :( .
     

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