Cytokine-induced expression of killer inhibitory receptors in human T lymphocytes.

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Killer inhibitory receptors (KIRs) represent a new family of HLA-class I-specific receptors. KIRs are involved in the function of Natural Killer cells and allow these cells to discriminate between normal cells and cells with impaired expression of HLA-class I molecules. KIRs are also expressed by a subset of cytolytic T lymphocytes in which they may exert an inhibitory effect on TCR-mediated function. Here we review recent data indicating that cytokines such as IL-15, may induce the de novo expression of CD94/NKG2A (a KIR which operationally detects the expression of various HLA-class I alleles). The expression of CD94/NKG2A has been documented not only in CD34+ precursors undergoing maturation towards NK cells, but also in mature T cells which respond in vitro to superantigens or allogeneic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-72
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Cytokine Network
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Cytolytic T lymphocytes
  • HLA-class I antigens
  • Interleukin-15
  • Killer inhibitory receptors
  • Natural Killer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


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