CD8+ T cells rapidly acquire NK1.1 and NK cell-associated molecules upon stimulation in vitro and in vivo.

Assarsson E, Kambayashi T, Sandberg JK, Hong S, Taniguchi M, Van Kaer L, Ljunggren HG, Chambers BJ
J Immunol. 2000 165 (7): 3673-9

PMID: 11034371 · DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.165.7.3673

NKT cells express both NK cell-associated markers and TCR. Classically, these NK1.1+TCRalphabeta+ cells have been described as being either CD4+CD8- or CD4-CD8-. Most NKT cells interact with the nonclassical MHC class I molecule CD1 through a largely invariant Valpha14-Jalpha281 TCR chain in conjunction with either a Vbeta2, -7, or -8 TCR chain. In the present study, we describe the presence of significant numbers of NK1.1+TCRalphabeta+ cells within lymphokine-activated killer cell cultures from wild-type C57BL/6, CD1d1-/-, and Jalpha281-/- mice that lack classical NKT cells. Unlike classical NKT cells, 50-60% of these NK1.1+TCRalphabeta+ cells express CD8 and have a diverse TCR Vbeta repertoire. Purified NK1.1-CD8alpha+ T cells from the spleens of B6 mice, upon stimulation with IL-2, IL-4, or IL-15 in vitro, rapidly acquire surface expression of NK1.1. Many NK1.1+CD8+ T cells had also acquired expression of Ly-49 receptors and other NK cell-associated molecules. The acquisition of NK1.1 expression on CD8+ T cells was a particular property of the IL-2Rbeta+ subpopulation of the CD8+ T cells. Efficient NK1.1 expression on CD8+ T cells required Lck but not Fyn. The induction of NK1.1 on CD8+ T cells was not just an in vitro phenomenon as we observed a 5-fold increase of NK1.1+CD8+ T cells in the lungs of influenza virus-infected mice. These data suggest that CD8+ T cells can acquire NK1.1 and other NK cell-associated molecules upon appropriate stimulation in vitro and in vivo.

MeSH Terms (31)

Animals Antigens Antigens, Ly Antigens, Surface CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes Cell Differentiation Cells, Cultured Cytokines Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic Influenza A virus Killer Cells, Lymphokine-Activated Kinetics Lectins, C-Type Lymphocyte Activation Lymphocyte Specific Protein Tyrosine Kinase p56(lck) Lymphopenia Membrane Glycoproteins Mice Mice, Inbred C57BL Mice, Knockout NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily B Orthomyxoviridae Infections Protein Biosynthesis Proteins Proto-Oncogene Proteins Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fyn Receptors, Interleukin-2 Receptors, NK Cell Lectin-Like Stem Cells T-Lymphocyte Subsets Up-Regulation

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