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J Immunol. 1986 Dec 15;137(12):3742-7.

The NK-1.1(-) mouse: a model to study differentiation of murine NK cells.


The NK-1.1(-) mouse was constructed by weekly injections of monoclonal anti-NK-1.1 antibody from birth through adulthood. Spleen cells from these mice have decreased NK-1.1+ cells and null (Thy-1- and B220-) cells. Their splenic NK activity to YAC targets was low and was not enhanced by IFN-alpha or IFN-beta. Bone marrow (BM) of these NK-1.1(-) mice have normal precursors to NK cells: 1) NK activity could be generated from NK-1.1(-) BM cells cultured in rIL 2 for 5 to 6 days. These cultured BM cells expressed Qa-5, Thy-1, AsGm-1, and NK-1.1 antigens. The precursor cells of these BM cytotoxic cells are NK-1.1-; 2) transfer of BM cells from the NK-1.1(-) mice reconstituted the NK activity of irradiated, NK-depleted recipients. Lymphokine-activated killer cells could also be generated from spleens of these NK-1.1(-) mice. Therefore, the NK-1.1(-) mice were specifically depleted of mature cytotoxic NK cells, but not the NK-1.1- precursors of NK cells. This mouse model is valuable to study ontogeny and physiologic relevance of NK cells.

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