MHC Class I Expression by Donor Hematopoietic Stem Cells Is Required to Prevent NK Cell Attack in Allogeneic, but Not Syngeneic Recipient Mice

Hirata, Yuichi; Li, Hao Wei; Takahashi, Kazuko; Ishii, Hiroshi; Sykes, Megan; Fujisaki, Joji

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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Microbiology and Immunology
Published Here
January 5, 2016