Human CD8+ T lymphocyte subsets that express HLA class I-specific inhibitory receptors represent oligoclonally or monoclonally expanded cell populations

Maria Cristina Mingari, Francesca Schiavetti, Marco Ponte, Chiara Vitale, Enrico Maggi, Sergio Romagnani, James Demarest, Giuseppe Pantaleo, Anthony S. Fauci, Lorenzo Moretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A small percentage of human T lymphocytes, predominantly CD8+ T cells, express receptors for HLA class I molecules of natural killer type (NK-R) that are inhibitory for T-cell antigen receptor (TCR)-mediated functions. In the present study, it is demonstrated that the various NK-R molecules typically expressed by NK cells are also expressed on peripheral blood T lymphocytes. These CD3+ NK-R+ cells have a cell surface phenotype typical of memory cells as indicated by the expression of CD45RO and CD29 and by the lack of CD28 and CD45RA. Furthermore, by the combined use of anti-TCR Vβ- specific antibodies and a semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction assay, the TCR repertoire in this CD3+ NK-R+ cell subset was found to be skewed; in fact, one or two Vβ families were largely represented, and most of the other Vβs were barely detected. In addition, analysis of recombinant clones of the largely represented Vβ families demonstrated that these Vβs were oligoclonally or monoclonally expanded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12433-12438
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Oct 29 1996



  • class I major histocompatibility complex
  • cytolytic T lymphocytes
  • monoclonal T cell expansions
  • natural killer cell receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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