Human natural killer cells in health and disease.
ABSTRACT Natural killer (NK) cells are an essential component of the innate immune system and play a critical role in tumor immune surveillance. NK cells express their own repertoire of receptors (NKRs) that bind to major histocompatibility class I or class I-like molecules. The balance of signals from stimulation or inhibition of NKRs determines the ability of NK cells to lyse specific targets. In haploidentical stem cell transplantation with purified stem cells, NK cell alloreactivity (killer immunoglobulin-like receptor [KIR] mismatch) has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of relapse in acute myeloid leukemia. There is a need for adequately powered prospective randomized studies to determine the usefulness of NK cells as adoptive immunotherapy, optimal NK cell doses and timing of administration. Further studies are required to determine optimal selection of donors and recipients, both on NKR matching/mismatching, undergoing haploidentical and unrelated hematopoetic stem cell transplantation.
- Immunity 07/1997; 6(6):655-61. · 19.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Surface receptors involved in natural killer (NK) cell triggering during the process of tumor cell lysis have recently been identified. Of these receptors, NKp44 is selectively expressed by IL-2- activated NK cells and may contribute to the increased efficiency of activated NK cells to mediate tumor cell lysis. Here we describe the molecular cloning of NKp44. Analysis of the cloned cDNA indicated that NKp44 is a novel transmembrane glycoprotein belonging to the Immunoglobulin superfamily characterized by a single extracellular V-type domain. The charged amino acid lysine in the transmembrane region may be involved in the association of NKp44 with the signal transducing molecule killer activating receptor-associated polypeptide (KARAP)/DAP12. These molecules were found to be crucial for the surface expression of NKp44. In agreement with data of NKp44 surface expression, the NKp44 transcripts were strictly confined to activated NK cells and to a minor subset of TCR-gamma/delta+ T lymphocytes. Unlike genes coding for other receptors involved in NK cell triggering or inhibition, the NKp44 gene is on human chromosome 6.Journal of Experimental Medicine 04/1999; 189(5):787-96. · 13.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human natural killer (NK) cells are bone marrow (BM)-derived CD2+CD16+CD56+ large granular lymphocytes (LGL) that lack CD3 yet contain the T-cell receptor zeta-chain (zeta-TCR). NK cells provide requisite interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) during the early stages of infection in several experimental animal models. A number of studies have shown that human CD3-CD56+ NK cells can be obtained from BM-derived CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) cultured in the presence of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and an allogeneic feeder cell layer, or IL-2 and other hematopoietic growth factors such as the c-kit ligand (KL). The failure to detect the IL-2 gene product within the BM stroma and the presence of NK cells in IL-2-deficient mice suggested that cytokines other than IL-2 may participate in NK cell differentiation from HPCs in vivo. IL-15 is a cytokine which, while lacking any sequence homology in IL-2, can activate cells via the IL-2 receptor. Here we show that human BM stromal cells express the IL-15 transcript, and supernatants from long-term BM stromal cell cultures contain IL-15 protein. In vitro, CD3-CD56+ NK cells can be obtained from 21-day cultures of CD34+ HPCs supplemented with IL-15 in the absence of IL-2, stromal cells, or other cytokines. The addition of the KL to these cultures had no effect on the differentiation of the CD3-CD56+ cytotoxic effector cells, but greatly enhanced their expansion. The majority of these cells lack CD2 and CD16, but do express zeta-TCR. Similar to NK cells found in peripheral blood, the CD2-CD16-CD56+ NK cells grown in the presence of IL-15 were found to be potent producers of IFN-gamma in response to monocyte-derived cytokines. Thus IL-15, like KL, appears to be produced by BM stromal cells. IL-15 can induce CD34+ HPCs to differentiate into CD3-CD56+ NK cells, and KL can amplify this. Therefore, IL-15 may be a physiologically relevant ligand for NK cell differentiation in vivo.Blood 05/1996; 87(7):2632-40. · 9.06 Impact Factor