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Hum Immunol. 2000 Aug;61(8):721-8.

Expression of the CD80 and CD86 molecules enhances cytotoxicity by human natural killer cells.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.


In contrast to the inhibitory pathway of NK cell regulation, much less is known about stimulatory or activation signals in NK cells. Both CD80 and CD86 function as costimulatory molecules in T-cell cytotoxicity. Several previous reports, most of them in the murine system, have indirectly or directly indicated the possible role of B7 molecules (CD80 and CD86) triggering NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity in vitro. Nevertheless, only little is known about the role of these molecules on human target cells. Therefore, anti-CD80 and anti-CD86 mAbs were used in blocking experiments and both were shown to inhibit lysis by human NK cells. The degree of inhibition observed was variable. 64% of these NK clones were strongly inhibited by both anti-CD80 and anti-CD86 (Type 1). A small number (19%) were only moderately inhibited by both of these antibodies (Type 2), and 17% of these NK clones were inhibited strongly by anti-CD86 but weakly or not at all by anti-CD80 (Type 3). To further examine the importance of these proteins, B7.1 (CD80) and B7.2 (CD86) genes were transfected into the mouse mastocytoma P815 cell line that could not be killed by the human NK cells. These transfectant cell lines were then tested in cytotoxicity assays using a number of human NK lines. Expression of the CD80 and CD86 molecules resulted in enhanced lysis of P815 by most of the NK lines tested. Thus, both CD80 and CD86 molecules are involved in triggering of human NK cells.

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