2A–F). PD-1 has been implicated in the negative regulation of T lymphocyte function during chronic viral infections Luminespib cost 17. Therefore, we next analyzed whether PD-1 expression was detectable on NK cells from Tx patients. Our results demonstrate a significant up-regulation of PD-1 expression on all NK cells from patients with PTLD (36±24%), as compared with those from asymptomatic pediatric Tx patients (UVL: 16±3%; LVL: 15±5%) or HC (14±6%) resembling “exhausted” T-cell phenotypes (Fig. 3A). PD-1 up-regulation
was also detected on CD56brightCD16± and CD56dimCD16+ NK-cell subsets from PTLD patients (Fig. 3B and C) as well as on the unusual CD56dimCD16− and CD56−CD16+ subsets (data not shown). In addition, a trend of PD-1 up-regulation on NK cells was noted in chronic HVL carriers (22±13%) (Fig. 3A and B). We next analyzed the ability of CD56brightCD16± NK cells to respond by IFN-γ production and of CD56dimCD16+ NK cells to up-regulate CD107a (as a measurement
of active granule (perforin) exocytosis and NK cytotoxic potential) 18 to non-specific stimulation (pro-inflammatory Type-1 promoting cytokines), or to EBV-antigen-specific stimulation with autologous lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL). In particular, hrIL-12p70+hrIL-18 stimulation triggered strong IFN-γ responses from CD56brightCD16± NK cells from asymptomatic Tx patients (UVL: 30±14%, LVL: 33±16%; HVL: 25±15%) and HC (32±10%) (Fig. 4A). EBV-antigen-specific stimulation with LCL triggered lower levels of IFN-γ STI571 release as compared with the non-specific stimulation, but still most effective with CD56brightCD16± NK cells
Carbohydrate from HC (6±4%) and LVL (6±3%) patients (Fig. 4B). Surprisingly, although NK cells from UVL patients showed IFN-γ responses to hrIL-12p70+hrIL-18 stimulation comparable to those from HC or to asymptomatic patients that carry an EBV load (LVL and HVL) (Fig. 4A), they displayed lower IFN-γ (UVL: 3±3%) responses following EBV-antigen-specific LCL (Fig. 4B). In contrast, PTLD patients showed impaired IFN-γ production by CD56brightCD16± cells to non-specific (13±12%) as compared with UVL, LVL and HC or to EBV-specific stimulation (2±3%) as compared with LVL and HC (Fig. 4A and B) suggesting their profound functional alteration. Furthermore, while the CD107a response was not significantly modulated by hrIL-12p70+hrIL-18 cytokine treatment (Fig. 4C), it was significantly boosted by EBV-LCL stimulation resulting in CD107a+ CD56dimCD16+ NK cells from HC (4±2%) and LVL (3±3%) patients (Fig. 4D). Similar to the IFN-γ response, the CD107a response to EBV-LCL stimulation was decreased in UVL patients (1±2%) as compared with that of HC and LVL carriers (Fig. 4D). Conversely, both PTLD (1±1%) and HVL (1±1%) patients presented with significantly decreased CD107a+ CD56dimCD16+ NK cells in response to LCL trigger (Fig. 4D).