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.
© 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel
- Natural killer cells
- Natural killer subpopulations
- Scavenger receptor
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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
Received: April 13, 2010
Accepted after revision: November 14, 2010
Published online: December 18, 2010
Number of Print Pages : 15
Number of Figures : 5, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 29
Journal of Innate Immunity
Vol. 3, No. 4, Year 2011 (Cover Date: June 2011)
Journal Editor: Herwald H. (Lund), Egesten A. (Lund)
ISSN: 1662-811X (Print), eISSN: 1662-8128 (Online)
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