Cre recombinase-mediated inactivation of H-2Dd transgene expression: evidence for partial missing self-recognition by Ly49A NK cells

We have established H-2D(d)-transgenic (Tg) mice, in which H-2D(d) expression can be extinguished by Cre recombinase-mediated deletion of an essential portion of the transgene (Tg). NK cells adapted to the expression of the H-2D(d) Tg in H-2(b) mice and acquired reactivity to cells lacking H-2D(d), both in vivo and in vitro. H-2D(d)-Tg mice crossed to mice harboring an Mx-Cre Tg resulted in mosaic H-2D(d) expression. That abrogated NK cell reactivity to cells lacking D(d). In D(d) single Tg mice it is the Ly49A+ NK cell subset that reacts to cells lacking D(d), because the inhibitory Ly49A receptor is no longer engaged by its D(d) ligand. In contrast, Ly49A+ NK cells from D(d) x MxCre double Tg mice were unable to react to D(d)-negative cells. These Ly49A+ NK cells retained reactivity to target cells that were completely devoid of MHC class I molecules, suggesting that they were not anergic. Variegated D(d) expression thus impacts specifically missing D(d) but not globally missing class I reactivity by Ly49A+ NK cells. We propose that the absence of D(d) from some host cells results in the acquisition of only partial missing self-reactivity.

Published in:
J Immunol, 167, 11, 6256-62
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of Lausanne, Epalinges, Switzerland.

 Record created 2008-01-10, last modified 2018-03-17

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