Role of NKp46 expression in cytokine production by CD56-positive NK cells in the peripheral blood and the uterine endometrium

Megumi Yokota, Atushi Fukui, Ayano Funamizu, Rika Nakamura, Mai Kamoi, Kohei Fuchinoue, Yukie Sasaki, Rie Fukuhara, Hideki Mizunuma
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology: AJRI 2013, 69 (3): 202-11

PROBLEM: To investigate the role of natural cytotoxicity receptor, NKp46 expression in cytokine-producing NK cells.

METHOD OF STUDY: CD56(+) /NKp46(+) NK cells from the peripheral blood and the uterine endometrium were magnetically separated. IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-4, IL-10, and TGF-β(1) expressions on NK cells were investigated using multicolor flow cytometry.

RESULTS: Peripheral blood and uterine endometrial NK cells were grouped into 4 subpopulations based upon the degree of CD56 and NKp46 expressions. NKp46 expression was associated with higher frequency of cytokine-producing NK cells, including CD56(dim) NK cells. The percentage of TNF-α(+) and IL-10(+) NK cells per total CD56(+) /NKp46(+) NK cells in the uterine endometrium showed a significant correlation with those of the peripheral blood in all subpopulations, but that of IFN-γ(+) , IL-4(+,) and TGF-β(1) (+) NK cells showed partial correlation.

CONCLUSION: Expression of NKp46 is involved in cytokine production of CD56(+) NK cells in the peripheral blood and the uterine endometrium.

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