The antileukemia effect of HLA-matched NK and NK-T cells in chronic myelogenous leukemia involves NKG2D-target-cell interactions

Stem Cell Allotransplantation Section, Hematology Branch, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Department of Transfusion Medicine, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Blood (Impact Factor: 10.45). 12/2005; 106(10):3666-72. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2005-02-0479
Source: PubMed


To study natural killer (NK) cell-mediated antileukemic activity in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), we investigated the ability of HLA-matched and mismatched CD56(+) cells to inhibit granulocyte macrophage-colony-forming unit (CFU-GM) formation by leukemic CD34(+) cells. In 14 HLA-identical donor-recipient pairs, donor CD56(+) cells inhibited CML CFU-GM comparably to effectors from 14 HLA-mismatched unrelated individuals (mean inhibition 42% +/- 9% vs 39.5% +/- 7% at a 10:1 effector-to-target (E/T) ratio), suggesting that killer inhibitory receptor (KIR) incompatibility was not essential for an antileukemic effect. Both CD56(+)CD3(-) (natural killer [NK]) and CD56(+)CD3(+)(NK-T) cells inhibited CFU-GM growth of CML but not normal CD34(+) cells. A mechanism for this leukemia-specific cytotoxicity was suggested by the abnormal overexpression of major histocompatibility class I chain-related gene A or gene B (MICA/B) on CML CD34 cells and their ability to bind the NK activation ligand NKG2D. However, in vivo, CML cells may avoid NK-cell-mediated immune destruction by immune escape, shedding MICA into the plasma, thereby down-regulating NKG2D on CML CD56(+) cells.

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