Natural killer cells recognize common antigenic motifs shared by H-2Dd, H-2Ld and possibly H-2Dr molecules expressed on bone marrow cells

Yik Yeung L. Yu, James Forman, Carla Aldrich, Bruce Blazar, Lorraine Flaherty, Vinay Kumar, Michael Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Murine natural killer (NK) cells can mediate specific rejection of bone marrow cell (BMC) allografts. Whereas positive recognition of aliogeneic MHC antigens forms the basis for T cell alloreactivity, it has been postulated that NK cells are reactive against targets that do not express certain self-encoded MHC class I antigens. Here, we study the Immunogenlclty of BMC grafts from two class I transgenlc mice, D8 (B6 mice with an H-2Dd transgene) and C3H.Ld (C3H mice with an H-2Ld transgene). D8 BMC grafts are acutely rejected by B6 but not D8 recipients. This suggests that antigenic motifs associated with the H-2Dd molecule are recognized. B6 mice depleted of their CD3+ but not NK1.1+ cells can still reject D8 BMC grafts. These data suggest that NK1.1+/CD3- cells recognize the H-2Dd derived antigenic motifs. Similarly, C3H.Ld BMC grafts are rejected by B6 × C3H F1 but not B6 × C3H.Ld F1 recipients. Thus, antigenic motifs associated with the H-2Ld molecule can also be recognized. Furthermore, expression of either H-2Dd or H-2Ld by the recipients renders them unable to reject D8 or C3H.Ld BMC grafts. Therefore, H-2Dd and H-2Ld molecules appear to express common antigenic motifs recognized by NK cells. Additional studies with B6.R4 (KbIbSbDr), an intra-H-2 recombinant mouse, indicated that a third class I molecule, possibly H-2Dr, also shared the common antigenic motifs with both H-2Dd and H-2Ld molecules. Thus, positive recognition of class I antigens by NK cells can occur. However, expression of some of these antigenic motifs appear to be negatively controlled by certain H-2r genes as suggested by rejection of D8 and B6.R4 BMC grafts by D8 × B10.RIII Fd and B6.R4 × B10.RIII F1 hybrids respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1297-1306
Number of pages10
JournalInternational immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 1994


  • Class I
  • Natural killer cells
  • Positive recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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