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Keywords:

  • CD56;
  • cytokine;
  • natural cytotoxicity receptor;
  • natural killer cell;
  • NKp46

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-β1 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 CD56dimNK 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-β1+ 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.