NK markers are expressed on a high percentage of virus-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells

Mark Slifka, Robb R. Pagarigan, J. Lindsay Whitton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

212 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

NK cells have been phenotypically defined by the expression of specific markers such as NK1.1, DX5, and asialo-GM1 (ASGM1). In addition to NK cells, a small population of CD3+ T cells has been shown to express these markers, and a unique subpopulation of NK1.1+ CD3+ T cells that expresses an invariant TCR has been named 'NKT cells.' Here, we describe NK marker expression on a broad spectrum of MHC class I- and MHC class II-restricted T cells that are induced after acute viral infection. From 5 to > 500 days post lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection, more than 90% of virus- specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells coexpress one or more of these three prototypical NK markers. Furthermore, in vivo depletion of NK cells with anti-ASGM1 Ab resulted in the removal of 90% of virus-specific CD8+ T cells and 50-80% of virus-specific CD4+ T cells. This indicates that studies using in vivo depletion to determine the role of NK cells in immune defense could potentially be misinterpreted because of the unintended depletion of Ag- specific T cells. These results demonstrate that NK Ags are widely expressed on the majority of virus-specific T cells and indicate that the NK and T cell lineages may not be as distinct as previously believed. Moreover, the current nomenclature defining NKT cells will require comprehensive modification to include Ag-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells that express prototypical NK Ags.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2009-2015
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume164
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2000
Externally publishedYes

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Viruses
T-Lymphocytes
Natural Killer Cells
Natural Killer T-Cells
Virus Diseases
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus
Cell Lineage
Terminology
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

NK markers are expressed on a high percentage of virus-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. / Slifka, Mark; Pagarigan, Robb R.; Whitton, J. Lindsay.

In: Journal of Immunology, Vol. 164, No. 4, 15.02.2000, p. 2009-2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Slifka, Mark ; Pagarigan, Robb R. ; Whitton, J. Lindsay. / NK markers are expressed on a high percentage of virus-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. In: Journal of Immunology. 2000 ; Vol. 164, No. 4. pp. 2009-2015.
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