In allogeneic HSCT, NK-cell alloreactivity is determined by the presence in the donor of NK cells expressing inhibitory killer cell Ig-like receptors (KIRs) that recognize HLAclass I allotypes present in the donor but lacking in the recipient. Dominant KIR ligands are the C1 and C2 epitopes of HLA-C. All HLA-C allotypes have either the C1 epitope, the ligand for KIR2DL2/L3, or the C2 epitope, the ligand for KIR2DL1/S1. Here, we show that, in alloreactive NK-cell responses, KIR2DS1 expression represents a remarkable advantage as it allows efficient killing of C2/C2 or C1/C2 myelomonocitic dendritic cells (DCs) and T-cell blasts. When DCs or T-cell blasts were derived from C2/C2, Bw4/Bw4 donors, the activating signals delivered by KIR2DS1 could override the inhibition generated by NKG2A or KIR2DL2/L3 expressed on the same NK-cell clone. Furthermore, substantial lysis of C2/C2, Bw4/Bw6 targets was mediated by KIR2DS1 + NK cells coexpressing KIR3DL1. Importantly, in the case of C1/C2 targets, KIR2DS1 + NK cells were inhibited by the coexpression of KIR2DL2/L3 but not of NKG2A. Thus, KIR2DS1 expression in HSC donors may substantially increase the size of the alloreactive NKcell subset leading to an enhanced ability to limit GVHD and improve engrafment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology