CD94 (Kp43) is a member of the human C-type lectin superfamily encoding type II membrane glycoproteins expressed on NK cells and a subset of T cells. Ligation of CD94 has been shown to either potentiate or inhibit NK cell proliferation and cytolytic effector function. Here we show that CD94 ligation triggers apoptosis in IL-2-primed NK cells. Evidence for CD94-induced apoptosis includes: 1) chromalin condensation as measured by increased fluorescence of Hoechst dye, 2) induction of DNA fragmentation, and 3) characteristic morphology by transmission electron microscopy. IL-2 priming (at least 12 h) is required for activation-induced NK cell death triggered by CD94. Activation-induced NK cell death triggered by CD94 ligation is extremely rapid (DNA fragmentation is first observed at 120 min). Unlike activation-induced T cell death, it is not inhibited by neutralizing Abs reactive with TNF-α or Fas ligand. Our results suggest that CD94 may play a role in the elimination of activated NK cells during the transition from the innate to the Ag-specific immune response.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy