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J Immunol. 2002 Jul 1;169(1):22-30.

Ly-49s3 is a promiscuous activating rat NK cell receptor for nonclassical MHC class I-encoded target ligands.

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Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Northern California Institute for Research and Education, and University of California, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.


Previous studies of the rapid rejection of MHC-disparate lymphocytes in rats, named allogeneic lymphocyte cytotoxicity, have indicated that rat NK cells express activating receptors for nonclassical MHC class I allodeterminants from the RT1-C/E/M region. Using an expression cloning system that identifies activating receptors associated with the transmembrane adapter molecule DAP12, we have cloned a novel rat Ly-49 receptor that we have termed Ly-49 stimulatory receptor 3 (Ly-49s3). A newly generated anti-Ly-49s3 Ab, mAb DAR13, identified subpopulations of resting and IL-2-activated NK cells, but not T or B lymphocytes. Depletion of Ly-49s3-expressing NK cells drastically reduced alloreactivity in vitro, indicating that this subpopulation is responsible for a major part of the observed NK alloreactivity. DAR13-mediated blockade of Ly-49s3 inhibited killing of MHC-congenic target cells from the av1, n, lv1, and c haplotypes, but not from the u or b haplotypes. A putative ligand was mapped to the nonclassical MHC class I region (RT1-C/E/M) using intra-MHC recombinant strains. Relative numbers of Ly-49s3(+) NK cells were reduced, and surface levels of Ly-49s3 were lower, in MHC congenic strains expressing the putative Ly-49s3 ligand(s). In conclusion, we have identified a novel Ly-49 receptor that triggers rat NK cell-mediated responses.

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