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I am involved in writing an academic context when I ran to this sentence and all of a sudden began to doubt if it's right:

"Cytokines also play a key role in the differentiation of NK cells."

I believe there's not supposed to be a "the" before "differentiation", but again I couldn't convince myself so.

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    My ear is very slightly more jarred by the one without the "the". But both ways work fine. – Blaise Zydeco Jan 26 '18 at 23:33
  • This isn't about the article "the" but why you capitalised that in the Question and how you justify “I am involved in writing an academic context when I ran to this sentence and all of a sudden began to doubt if it's right…” Sadly your example "Cytokines also play a key role in the differentiation of NK cells" raises questions of number which belong somewhere such as English Language Leaners. Roughly, if “differentiation" is a general concept it might not; if it’s a specific process it will require an article. That definite article will never hurt, so add it when you’re uncertain. – Robbie Goodwin Feb 7 '18 at 1:59

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