NK Cells of Kidney Transplant Recipients Display an Activated Phenotype that Is Influenced by Immunosuppression and Pathological Staging

PloS One
Ulrike HoffmannChristine Falk

Abstract

To explore phenotype and function of NK cells in kidney transplant recipients, we investigated the peripheral NK cell repertoire, capacity to respond to various stimuli and impact of immunosuppressive drugs on NK cell activity in kidney transplant recipients. CD56dim NK cells of kidney transplanted patients displayed an activated phenotype characterized by significantly decreased surface expression of CD16 (p=0.0003), CD226 (p<0.0001), CD161 (p=0.0139) and simultaneously increased expression of activation markers like HLA-DR (p=0.0011) and CD25 (p=0.0015). Upon in vitro stimulation via Ca++-dependent signals, down-modulation of CD16 was associated with induction of interferon (IFN)-γ expression. CD16 modulation and secretion of NFAT-dependent cytokines such as IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-10 and IL-31 were significantly suppressed by treatment of isolated NK cells with calcineurin inhibitors but not with mTOR inhibitors. In kidney transplant recipients, IFN-γ production was retained in response to HLA class I-negative target cells and to non-specific stimuli, respectively. However, secretion of other cytokines like IL-13, IL-17, IL-22 and IL-31 was significantly reduced compared to healthy donors. In contrast to suppression of cytokine exp...Continue Reading

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Methods Mentioned

BETA
biopsies
biopsy
flow cytometry
FACS
nuclear translocation

Software Mentioned

Diva
Plex Manager
GraphPadPrism
Bio
FACS
Immunospot

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