Non-linear multidimensional flow cytometry analyses delineate NK cell phenotypes in normal and HIV-infected chimpanzees.
Natural killer (NK) cells are primary immune effector cells with both innate and potentially adaptive functions against viral infections, but commonly become exhausted or dysfunctional during chronic diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Chimpanzees are the closest genetic relatives of humans and have been previously used in immunology, behavior and disease models. Due to their similarities to humans, a better understanding of chimpanzee immunology, particularly innate immune cells, can lend insight into the evolution of human immunology, as well as response to disease. However, the phenotype of NK cells has been poorly defined. In order to define NK cell phenotypes, we unbiasedly quantified NK cell markers among mononuclear cells in both naive and HIV-infected chimpanzees by flow cytometry. We identified NKG2D and NKp46 as the most dominant stable NK cells markers using multidimensional data reduction analyses. Other traditional NK cell markers such as CD8α, CD16 and perforin fluctuated during infection, while some such as CD56, NKG2A and NKp30 were generally unaltered by HIV infection, but did not delineate the full NK cell repertoire. Taken together, these data indicate that phenotypic dysregulation may not be pronounced during HIV infection of chimpanzees, but traditional NK cell phenotyping used for both humans and other non-human primate species may need to be revised to accurately identify chimpanzee NK cells.
Manickam, C; Li, H; Shah, SV; Kroll, K; Reeves, RK
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