Viral and bacterial infections induce expression of multiple NK cell receptors in responding CD8(+) T cells.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

NK cells express several families of receptors that play central roles in target cell recognition. These NK cell receptors are also expressed by certain memory phenotype CD8(+) T cells, and in some cases are up-regulated in T cells responding to viral infection. To determine how the profile of NK receptor expression changes in murine CD8(+) T cells as they respond to intracellular pathogens, we used class I tetramer reagents to directly examine Ag-specific T cells during lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus and Listeria monocytogenes infections. We found that the majority of pathogen-specific CD8(+) T cells initiated expression of the inhibitory CD94/NKG2A heterodimer, the KLRG1 receptor, and a novel murine NK cell marker (10D7); conversely, very few Ag-specific T cells expressed Ly49 family members. The up-regulation of these receptors was independent of IL-15 and persisted long after clearance of the pathogen. The expression of CD94/NKG2A was rapidly initiated in naive CD8(+) T cells responding to peptide Ags in vitro and on many of the naive T cells that proliferate when transferred into lymphopenic (Rag-1(-/-)) hosts. Thus, CD94/NKG2A expression is a common consequence of CD8(+) T cell activation. Binding of the CD94/NKG2A receptor by its ligand (Qa-1(b)) did not significantly inhibit CD8(+) T cell effector functions. However, expression of CD94 and NKG2A transgenes partially inhibited early events of T cell activation. These subtle effects suggest that CD94/NKG2A-mediated inhibition of T cells may be limited to particular circumstances or may synergize with other receptors that are similarly up-regulated.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McMahon, CW; Zajac, AJ; Jamieson, AM; Corral, L; Hammer, GE; Ahmed, R; Raulet, DH

Published Date

  • August 1, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 169 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 1444 - 1452

PubMed ID

  • 12133970

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1767

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4049/jimmunol.169.3.1444


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States