MHC Class I Expression by Donor Hematopoietic Stem Cells Is Required to Prevent NK Cell Attack in Allogeneic, but Not Syngeneic Recipient Mice
NK cells resist engraftment of syngeneic and allogeneic bone marrow (BM) cells lacking major histocompatibility (MHC) class I molecules, suggesting a critical role for donor MHC class I molecules in preventing NK cell attack against donor hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), and their derivatives. However, using high-resolution in vivo imaging, we demonstrated here that syngeneic MHC class I knockout (KO) donor HSPCs persist with the same survival frequencies as wild-type donor HSPCs. In contrast, syngeneic MHC class I KO differentiated hematopoietic cells and allogeneic MHC class I KO HSPCs were rejected in a manner that was significantly inhibited by NK cell depletion. In vivo time-lapse imaging demonstrated that mice receiving allogeneic MHC class I KO HSPCs showed a significant increase in NK cell motility and proliferation as well as frequencies of NK cell contact with and killing of HSPCs as compared to mice receiving wild-type HSPCs. The data indicate that donor MHC class I molecules are required to prevent NK cell-mediated rejection of syngeneic differentiated cells and allogeneic HSPCs, but not of syngeneic HSPCs.
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- PLOS ONE