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Eur J Immunol. 2006 Aug;36(8):2170-80.

NKp30 is a functional activation receptor on a subset of rat natural killer cells.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Transplantation and Program in Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5492, USA.


NKp30 is a stimulatory receptor on human NK cells implicated in tumor immunity, and is capable of promoting or terminating dendritic cell maturation. To gain a better understanding of NKp30 biology, we have investigated the expression and function of rat NKp30 (rNKp30). We generated stable transfectants of rNKp30 in RNK16 cells, a rat NK lymphoma line, and used a novel panel of mAb against rNKp30 to study this receptor. Using agonistic rNKp30 mAb, we demonstrated that rNKp30 mediates robust IFN-gamma production and cytolytic responses from rNKp30-transfected RNK16 cells. We determined by flow cytometry that rNKp30 is expressed by a subset of primary NK cells isolated from the blood and spleen, and to a lesser extent also on liver NK cells. Stimulation of rNKp30 on primary NK cells led to IFN-gamma production. Liver NK cells expressed low levels of NKp30 and had reduced rNKp30-mediated IFN-gamma responses. During an alloimmune response in vivo, the proportion of the rNKp30(+) NK cell subset in the peripheral blood significantly increased, suggesting that rNKp30 may play an important role during alloactivation. Thus, our data demonstrate that NKp30 is indeed expressed in rodents and is a functional stimulatory receptor in a subset of rat NK cells.

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