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The CD6 Scavenger Receptor Is Differentially Expressed on a CD56dim Natural Killer Cell Subpopulation and Contributes to Natural Killer-Derived Cytokine and Chemokine SecretionBraun M.a, b · Müller B.b, c · ter Meer D.d · Raffegerst S.d, e · Simm B.b · Wilde S.d · Spranger S.d · Ellwart J.d · Mosetter B.d · Umansky L.b, c · Lerchl T.b, c · Schendel D.J.d, e · Falk C.S.b, c
aCenter for Infectious Medicine, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; bImmune Monitoring Unit, German Cancer Research Center, National Center for Tumor Diseases, Translational Oncology and Institute for Immunology, University Heidelberg, Heidelberg, cDepartment of Transplantation Immunology, IFB-Tx, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, dInstitute of Molecular Immunology, and eClinical Cooperation Group Immune Monitoring, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Munich, Germany Corresponding Author
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Christine S. Falk
Department of Transplantation Immunology, IFB-Tx
Medizinische Hochschule Hannover MHH
Carl-Neuberg-Strasse 1, DE–30625 Hannover (Germany)
Tel. +49 511 532 9745, Fax +49 511 532 8044, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The CD6 scavenger receptor is known to be expressed on virtually all T cells and is supposed to be involved in costimulation, synapse formation, thymic selection and leukocyte migration. Here, we demonstrate that CD6 is differentially expressed by a subpopulation of peripheral CD56dim natu- ral killer (NK) cells and absent on CD56bright NK cells. CD56dimCD16+ cells represent the major NK subset in the periphery, and most cells within this group are positive for CD6. Most killer immunoglobulin-like receptor- and immunoglobulin-like transcript-positive cells also belong to the CD6+ subpopulation, as expected from their restricted expression on CD56dim NK cells. In addition, CD6+ NK cells are similar to the newly identified CD94lowCD56dim NK subpopulation and most distant from the recently defined CD27+ NK subpopulation based on the reverse correlation of expression between CD6 and CD27, a marker associated primarily with CD56bright NK cells. With respect to CD6 function on NK cells, direct CD6 triggering did not result in degranulation but induced secretion of cytokines (interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α) and chemokines [CXCL10 (IP-10), CXCL1 (GRO-α)]. Thus, CD6 expression on peripheral NK cells marks a novel CD56dim subpopulation associated with distinct patterns of cytokine and chemokine secretion.
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