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Nat Immunol. 2010 Dec;11(12):1127-35. doi: 10.1038/ni.1953. Epub 2010 Oct 24.

Critical role for the chemokine receptor CXCR6 in NK cell-mediated antigen-specific memory of haptens and viruses.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

Hepatic natural killer (NK) cells mediate antigen-specific contact hypersensitivity (CHS) in mice deficient in T cells and B cells. We report here that hepatic NK cells, but not splenic or naive NK cells, also developed specific memory of vaccines containing antigens from influenza, vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) or human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Adoptive transfer of virus-sensitized NK cells into naive recipient mice enhanced the survival of the mice after lethal challenge with the sensitizing virus but not after lethal challenge with a different virus. NK cell memory of haptens and viruses depended on CXCR6, a chemokine receptor on hepatic NK cells that was required for the persistence of memory NK cells but not for antigen recognition. Thus, hepatic NK cells can develop adaptive immunity to structurally diverse antigens, an activity that requires NK cell-expressed CXCR6.

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