A distinct subset of human NK cells expressing HLA-DR expand in response to IL-2 and can aid immune responses to BCG

Evans, JH; Horowitz, A; Mehrabi, M; Wise, EL; Pease, JE; Riley, EM; Davis, DM; (2011) A distinct subset of human NK cells expressing HLA-DR expand in response to IL-2 and can aid immune responses to BCG. European journal of immunology, 41 (7). pp. 1924-1933. ISSN 0014-2980 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/eji.201041180

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Subsets of NK cells can have distinct functions. Here, we report that >25% of human peripheral blood NK cells express HLA-DR after culture with IL-2. This can be driven by an expansion of a small subset of NK cells expressing HLA-DR, in contrast to previous assumptions that HLA-DR is upregulated on previously negative cells. HLA-DR-expressing NK cells showed enhanced degranulation to susceptible target cells and expressed chemokine receptor CXCR3, which facilitated their enrichment following exposure to CXCL11/I-TAC. Suggesting HLA-DR-expressing NK cells have an important role in an immune response, stimulation of PBMCs with Mycobacterium bovis BCG (BCG) triggered expansion of this subset. Importantly, the magnitude of an individual's NK cell IFN-gamma response triggered by BCG was associated with the initial frequency of HLA-DR-expressing NK cells in PBMCs. More directly indicating the importance of HLA-DR-expressing NK cells, enriching the frequency of this subset in PBMCs substantially augmented the IFN-gamma response to BCG. Thus, HLA-DR expression marks a distinct subset of NK cells, present at low frequency in circulating blood but readily expanded by IL-2, that can play an important role during immune responses to BCG.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Cellular crosstalk, HLA-DR, IL-2, Immune responses, NK cells, natural-killer-cells, falciparum-infected erythrocytes, bacillus-calmette-guerin, dendritic cells, receptor expression, in-vivo, chemokine receptors, rapid induction, ifn-gamma, t-cells
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Immunology and Infection
Research Centre: Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 21491418
Web of Science ID: 293131200013
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/279


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