Expansion of CD56-negative, CD16-positive, KIR-expressing natural killer cells after T cell-depleted haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
ABSTRACT The main functions of natural killer (NK) cells are early protection against viruses or tumor cells and production of cytokines that regulate immune functions. The present study assessed the role of different NK subsets in exerting graft-versus-leukemia effects in recipients of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) haploidentical hematopoietic transplants and monitored for the first time CD3-/CD56- lymphocyte expansion. CD3-/CD56- cells expressed NK cell-associated molecules, such as CD16, NKp46, NKp30, CD244 (2B4), CD161, and killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors. CD3-/CD56- cells further exhibited the classical functional characteristics of NK cells: cytolysis of target cells lacking HLA class I, antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and cytokine production. These results demonstrate that CD56- NK cells are functional, recognize missing self and, like their CD56+ counterparts, may contribute to graft-versus-leukemia reactions.
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ABSTRACT: Natural Killer (NK) cell function is regulated by an array of inhibitory and activating surface receptors that during NK cell differentiation, at variance with T and B cells, do not require genetic rearrangement. Importantly, NK cells are the first lymphocyte population recovering after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Thus, their role in early immunity after HSCT is considered crucial, as they can importantly contribute to protect the host from tumor recurrence and viral infections before T-cell immunity is fully recovered. In order to acquire effector functions and regulatory receptors, NK cell precursors undergo a maturation process that can be analyzed during immune reconstitution after HSCT. In this context, the occurrence of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection/reactivation was shown to accelerate NK cell maturation by promoting the differentiation of high frequencies of NK cells characterized by a KIR(+)NKG2A(-) and NKG2C(+) mature phenotype. Thus, it appears that the development of NK cells and the distribution of NK cell receptors can be deeply influenced by HCMV infection. Moreover, in HCMV-infected subjects the emergence of so called "memory-like" or "long-lived" NK cells has been documented. These cells could play an important role in protecting from infections and maybe from relapse in patients transplanted for leukemia. All the aspects regarding the influence of HCMV infection on NK cell development will be discussed.Frontiers in Immunology 12/2013; 4:458. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2013.00458
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ABSTRACT: The feasibility of stem cell transplantation across the major histocompatibility barrier-as in haploidentical stem cell transplantation-has been proved for some time in several studies. The main limitations include a higher graft failure rate, delayed immune reconstitution after transplantation with high rates of life-threatening infections, a higher incidence of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease, and severe acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease. In an attempt to reduce the transplant-related morbidity/mortality, several techniques had been evaluated involving conditioning regimen intensity, graft engineering, post-transplant cellular therapy and immunosuppression. This review will describe the current situation. It will also discuss initiatives and strategies to overcome the limitations associated with transplant across the MHC barrier.Hematology/ Oncology and Stem Cell Therapy 04/2012; 5(2):73-83. DOI:10.1007/978-1-59745-438-4_15
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ABSTRACT: Natural killer (NK) cells play a crucial role in early immunity after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation because they are the first lymphocyte subset recovering after the allograft. In this study, we analyzed the development of NK cells after intrabone umbilical cord blood (CB) transplantation in 18 adult patients with hematologic malignancies. Our data indicate that, also in this transplantation setting, NK cells are the first lymphoid population detectable in peripheral blood. However, different patterns of NK-cell development could be identified. Indeed, in a group of patients, a relevant fraction of NK cells expressed a mature phenotype characterized by the KIR(+)NKG2A(-) signature 3-6 months after transplantation. In other patients, most NK cells maintained an immature phenotype even after 12 months. A possible role for cytomegalovirus in the promotion of NK-cell development was suggested by the observation that a more rapid NK-cell maturation together with expansion of NKG2C(+) NK cells was confined to patients experiencing cytomegalovirus reactivation. In a fraction of these patients, an aberrant and hyporesponsive CD56(-)CD16(+)p75/AIRM1(-) NK-cell subset (mostly KIR(+)NKG2A(-)) reminiscent of that described in patients with viremic HIV was detected. Our data support the concept that cytomegalovirus infection may drive NK-cell development after umbilical CB transplantation.Blood 11/2011; 119(2):399-410. DOI:10.1182/blood-2011-08-372003 · 9.78 Impact Factor