Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Med Primatol. 2010 Aug;39(4):194-212. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0684.2010.00432.x.

Primate-specific regulation of natural killer cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA. peropa@stanford.edu

Abstract

Natural killer (NK) cells are circulating lymphocytes that function in innate immunity and placental reproduction. Regulating both development and function of NK cells is an array of variable and conserved receptors that interact with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules. Families of lectin-like and immunoglobulin-like receptors are determined by genes in the natural killer complex (NKC) and leukocyte receptor complex (LRC), respectively. As a consequence of the strong, varying pressures on the immune and reproductive systems, NK cell receptors and their MHC class I ligands evolve rapidly, are highly diverse and exhibit dramatic species-specific differences. The variable, polymorphic family of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) that regulate human NK cell development and function arose recently, from a single-copy gene during the evolution of simian primates. Our studies of KIR and MHC class I genes in representative species show how these two unlinked but functionally intertwined genetic complexes have co-evolved. In humans, combinations of KIR and HLA class I factors are associated with infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, autoimmunity, reproductive success and the outcome of therapeutic transplantation. The extraordinary, and unanticipated, divergence of human NK cell receptors and MHC class I ligands from their mouse counterparts can in part explain the difficulties experienced in finding informative mouse models for human diseases. Non-human primate models have far greater potential, but to realize their promise will first require more complete definition of the genetics and function of KIR and MHC variation in non-human primate species, at a level comparable to that achieved for the human species.

PMID:
20618586
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2921375
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (11)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Figure 8
Figure 9
Figure 10
Figure 11
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Blackwell Publishing Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk