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Clin Exp Immunol. 1996 Mar;103(3):408-13.

Natural Killer (NK) cell deficiency associated with an epitope-deficient Fc receptor type IIIA (CD16-II).

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Division of Immunology, The Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.


Susceptibility to herpes virus infections has been described in experimental animals depleted of NK cells and in patients with defective NK cell function. We have identified a child with recurrent infections, especially with herpes simplex virus, who had a decreased number of CD56(+)CD3(-) NK cells in circulation. Her NK cells expressed an altered form of the Fc receptor for IgG type IIIA (Fc gamma RIIIA or CD16-II) which was not reactive with the anti-CD16-II MoAb B73.1. Sequence analysis revealed the patient to be homozygous for a T to A substitution at position 230 of CD16-II cDNA, predicting a Leu(66) to His(66) change in the first immunoglobulin domain of CD16-II at the B73.1 recognition site. Spontaneous NK cell activity of the patient's peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was markedly decreased, while antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) was unaffected. These results suggest that this child suffers from a defect affecting the development and function of NK cells, resulting in NK cytopenia and clinically significant immunodeficiency. The role of the CD16-II mutant in the pathogenesis of the patient's NK cell deficiency is discussed.

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