CD94 ligation induces apoptosis in a subset of IL-2-stimulated NK cells

Hiroaki Ida, Michael J. Robertson, Stephan Voss, Jerome Ritz, Paul Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2154-2160
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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    Ida, H., Robertson, M. J., Voss, S., Ritz, J., & Anderson, P. (1997). CD94 ligation induces apoptosis in a subset of IL-2-stimulated NK cells. Journal of Immunology, 159(5), 2154-2160.