Imprint of human cytomegalovirus infection on the NK cell receptor repertoire.
ABSTRACT Expression of the activating CD94/NKG2C killer lectin-like receptor (KLR) specific for HLA-E was analyzed in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) from healthy adult blood donors; the expression of other natural killer (NK) cell receptors (ie, CD94/NKG2A, KIR, CD85j, CD161, NKp46, NKp30, and NKG2D) was also studied. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection as well as the HLA-E and killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) genotypes were considered as potentially relevant variables associated with CD94/NKG2C expression. The proportion of NKG2C(+) lymphocytes varied within a wide range (<0.1% to 22.1%), and a significant correlation (r = 0.83; P < .001) between NKG2C(+) NK and T cells was noticed. The HLA-E genotype and the number of activating KIR genes of the donors were not significantly related to the percentage of NKG2C(+) lymphocytes. By contrast, a positive serology for HCMV, but not for other herpesviruses (ie, Epstein-Barr and herpes simplex), turned out to be strongly associated (P < .001) with increased proportions of NKG2C(+) NK and T cells. Remarkably, the CD94/NKG2C(+) population expressed lower levels of natural cytotoxicity receptors (NCRs) (ie, NKp30, NKp46) and included higher proportions of KIR(+) and CD85j(+) cells than CD94/NKG2A(+) cells. Altogether, these data support that HCMV infection selectively shapes the natural killer cell receptor (NKR) repertoire of NK and T cells from healthy carrier individuals.
Article: Cellular and molecular basis of haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the successful treatment of high-risk leukemias: role of alloreactive NK cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Natural killer (NK) cells are involved in innate immune responses and play a major role in tumor surveillance and in defense against viruses. Human NK cells recognize human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules via surface receptors [killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) and NKG2A] delivering signals that inhibit NK cell function and kill HLA class I-deficient target cells, a frequent event in tumors or virus-infected cells. NK cell triggering is mediated by activating receptors that recognize ligands expressed primarily on tumors or virus-infected cells. NK cells play also a key role in the cure of high-risk leukemias. Thus, donor-derived "alloreactive" NK cells are fundamental effectors in adult acute myeloid leukemia and in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients undergoing haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Alloreactive NK cells mediate killing of leukemia cells and patient's dendritic cell, thus preventing respectively leukemic relapses and graft-vs-host responses. Cytofluorimetric analysis of KIRs expressed by NK cells allows to define the size of the alloreactive NK subset and the selection of the best potential donor. Recently, it has been shown that also the expression of activating KIRs, in particular the (C2-specific) KIR2DS1, may contribute to donor NK alloreactivity. It has also been established a correlation between the size of the alloreactive NK cell population and the clinical outcome. Notably, the alloreactive NK cells derived from donor's hematopoietic stem cells are generated and persist in patients over time. The high survival rates of patients undergoing haploidentical HSCT highlight an important new reality in the setting of allograft performed to cure otherwise fatal leukemias. Novel approaches are in progress to further improve the clinical outcome based on the infusion of donor alloreactive NK cells either as a component of the transplanted cell population or as in vitro expanded NK cells.Frontiers in immunology. 01/2013; 4:15.
Article: Human papillomavirus immunization is associated with increased expression of different innate immune regulatory receptors.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is able to inhibit the secretion of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and the expression of some immune innate cell receptors. Immunoglobulin-like transcript 2 (ILT2) is a regulatory receptor that seems to participate in the pathogenesis of viral infections. We have studied the expression and function of ILT2 and the expression of other NK cell receptors in 23 healthy women before and after immunization with the quadrivalent HPV (type 6/11/16/18) vaccine (Gardasil). Receptor expression was analyzed by flow cytometry in freshly isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells as well as after in vitro stimulation with the quadrivalent HPV (type 6/11/16/18) vaccine. In addition, the regulatory function of ILT2 on cell proliferation and IFN-γ production was analyzed. We found a significant increase in the expression of ILT2 by NK and CD3(+) CD56(+) lymphocytes and monocytes after quadrivalent HPV (type 6/11/16/18) vaccine immunization. In addition, the in vitro stimulation with the quadrivalent HPV (type 6/11/16/18) vaccine also increased the proportion of CD3(-) CD56(+) ILT2(+) NK cells. Although the inhibitory function of ILT2 on cell proliferation was enhanced after HPV immunization, the in vitro engagement of this receptor did not affect the synthesis of IFN-γ induced by HPV. Finally, a significant increase in the expression of NKG2D, NKp30, and NKp46 by NK and CD3(+) CD56(+) lymphocytes was detected after quadrivalent HPV (type 6/11/16/18) vaccine immunization. Our data indicate that HPV immunization is associated with significant changes in the expression and function of different innate immune receptors, including ILT2, which may participate in the protective effect of HPV vaccines.Clinical and vaccine immunology: CVI 05/2012; 19(7):1005-11. · 2.37 Impact Factor
Article: NK cell responses to cytomegalovirus infection lead to stable imprints in the human KIR repertoire and involve activating KIRs.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Human NK cells are functionally regulated by killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) and their interactions with HLA class I molecules. As KIR expression in a given NK cell is genetically hard-wired, we hypothesized that KIR repertoire perturbations reflect expansions of unique NK cell subsets and may be used to trace adaptation of the NK cell compartment to viral infections. By determining the human "KIR-ome" at a single cell level in over 200 donors, we were able to analyze the magnitude of NK cell adaptation to viral infections in healthy individuals. Strikingly, infection with human cytomegalovirus (CMV), but not with other common herpesviruses, induced expansion and differentiation of KIR-expressing NK cells, visible as stable imprints in the repertoire. Education by inhibitory KIRs promoted the clonal-like expansion of NK cells, causing a bias for self-specific inhibitory KIRs. Furthermore, our data revealed a unique contribution of activating KIRs (KIR2DS4, KIR2DS2, or KIR3DS1), in addition to NKG2C, in the expansion of human NK cells. These results provide new insight into KIR repertoire diversity and its adaptation to viral infection, suggesting a role for both activating and inhibitory KIRs in immunity to CMV infection.Blood 01/2013; · 9.90 Impact Factor