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[KIR and allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation - review].

[Article in Chinese]

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Institute of Hematology, People's Hospital, Peking University, Beijing 100044, China.


The profound graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect presented after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) has been evidenced. In contrast to T cell mediated GVL, natural killer (NK) cells recognize target cells and introduce GVL effect by using an integration of activating and inhibitory receptors. This review has summarized current literatures from 2001 - 2003 on human killer cell immunoglobulin receptors (KIR) and other NK cell receptors involved in recognition of tumor targets and the polymorphism of KIR genes of donor/recipient pairs of related and unrelated Allo-HSCT. KIR epitope mismatch may facilitate engraftment and reduce leukemia relapse post transplant by mediating lysis of recipient's cells and introducing GVL effect under the condition of KIR epitope mismatch. Clinical roles of KIR in Allo-HSCT and immunotherapy are discussed. Technologic approach in allogeneic reactive NK cells introduction, identification and selection in vitro, development of inhibitory receptor blockade as well as up-regulation of activating NK cells may significantly enhance GVL immune response. Further investigation on the regulation of KIR inhibitory receptors enables to design novel strategy in cancer immunotherapy over the forthcoming decade.

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