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NKp46 defines ovine cells that have characteristics corresponding to NK cells

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http://www.veterinaryresearch.org/content/42/1/37
Original languageEnglish
Article numberARTN 37
Number of pages12
JournalVeterinary Research
Volume42
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2011

Abstract

Natural killer (NK) cells are well recognized as playing a key role in innate immune defence through cytokine production and cytotoxic activity; additionally recent studies have identified several novel NK cell functions. The ability to study NK cells in the sheep has been restricted due to a lack of specific reagents. We report the generation of a monoclonal antibody specific for ovine NKp46, a receptor which in a number of mammals is expressed exclusively in NK cells. Ovine NKp46(+) cells represent a population that is distinct from CD4(+) and gamma delta(+) T-cells, B-cells and cells of the monocytic lineage. The NKp46(+) cells are heterogenous with respect to expression of CD2 and CD8 and most, but not all, express CD16 - characteristics consistent with NK cell populations in other species. We demonstrate that in addition to populations in peripheral blood and secondary lymphoid organs, ovine NKp46(+) populations are also situated at the mucosal surfaces of the lung, gastro-intestinal tract and non-gravid uterus. Furthermore, we show that purified ovine NKp46(+) populations cultured in IL-2 and IL-15 have cytotoxic activity that could be enhanced by ligation of NKp46 in re-directed lysis assays. Therefore we conclude that ovine NKp46(+) cells represent a population that by phenotype, tissue distribution and function correspond to NK cells and that NKp46 is an activating receptor in sheep as in other species.

    Research areas

  • ACTIVATION, LYMPHOCYTES, INFECTED MACROPHAGES, NATURAL-KILLER-CELLS, IFN-GAMMA, EXPRESSION, MONOCLONAL-ANTIBODIES, MYCOBACTERIUM-BOVIS, LYMPH-NODES, SHEEP

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