During human CMV infection, there is a preferential expansion of natural killer (NK) cells expressing the activating CD94-NKG2C receptor complex, implicating this receptor in the recognition of CMV-infected cells. We hypothesized that NK cells expanded in response to pathogens will be marked by expression of CD57, a carbohydrate antigen expressed on highly mature cells within the CD56 dimCD16 + NK cell compartment. Here we demonstrate the preferential expansion of a unique subset of NK cells coexpressing the activating CD94-NKG2C receptor and CD57 in CMV + donors. These CD57 +NKG2C hi NK cells degranulated in response to stimulation through their NKG2C receptor. Furthermore, CD57 +NKG2C hiNK cells preferentially lack expression of the inhibitory NKG2A receptor and the inhibitory KIR3DL1 receptor in individuals expressing its HLA-Bw4 ligand. Moreover, in solid-organ transplant recipients with active CMV infection, the percentage of CD57 +NKG2C hi NK cells in the total NK cell population preferentially increased. During acute CMV infection, the NKG2C+ NK cells proliferated, became NKG2C hi, and finally acquired CD57. Thus, we propose that CD57 might provide a marker of "memory" NK cells that have been expanded in response to infection.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Sep 6 2011|
- Innate immunity
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