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Eur J Immunol. 1998 Dec;28(12):4198-206.

Alpha1/alpha2 domains of H-2D(d), but not H-2L(d), induce "missing self" reactivity in vivo--no effect of H-2L(d) on protection against NK cells expressing the inhibitory receptor Ly49G2.

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Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Introduction of the MHC class I transgene H-2Dd on C57BL/6 (B6) background conveys NK cell-mediated "missing self" reactivity against transgene-negative cells, and down-regulates expression of the inhibitory receptors Ly49A and Ly49G2 in NK cells. We here present an analysis of transgenic mice expressing chimeric H-2Dd/Ld MHC class I transgenes, and show that the alpha1/alpha2 domains of H-2Dd were necessary and sufficient to induce "missing self" recognition and to down-modulate Ly49A and Ly49G2 receptors. In contrast, transgenes containing the alpha1/alpha2 domains of H-2Ld induced none of these changes, suggesting that not all MHC class I alleles in a host necessarily take part in NK cell education. The lack of effect of the alpha1/alpha2 domains of H-2Ld on NK cell specificity was surprising, considering that both H-2Ld and H-2Dd have been reported to interact with Ly49G2. Therefore, the role of H-2Ld for protection against NK cells expressing Ly49G2 was re-investigated in a transfection system. In contradiction to earlier reports, we show that H-2Dd, but not H-2Ld, abolished killing by sorted Ly49G2+ NK cells, indicating that H-2Ld does not inhibit NK cells via the Ly49G2 receptor.

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