Skip to main content

Diversity of the natural killer cell repertoire based on MHC class I recognition in macaques

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 — Poster Session IV

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center




  • SM Maloveste
  • D Chen
  • E Gostick
  • DA Price
  • BAP Lafont


Slower HIV disease progression has been associated with specific combinations of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genotypes, suggesting that natural killer (NK) cells contribute to the control of HIV replication. In non-human primate models of HIV infection, the role of NK cells is unclear due to lack of information on KIR – MHC interactions. Polymorphic KIR molecules are expressed at the surface of NK cells in a variegated manner, constituting a repertoire of cells with diverse specificity for MHC class I molecules. Here, we characterized the NK cell repertoire in macaques using a large panel of MHC class I - peptide tetramers. We identified 8 types of receptors differing in their MHC binding properties. Individual macaques expressed between 2 and 5 distinct receptors, the prevalence of each ranging between 23 and 90%. The frequency of each receptor differed between animals, representing on average 8 to 24% of all macaque NK cells. The 8 receptors covered the majority of the NK cell repertoire in some animals. Partial coverage in others indicated the presence of additional receptors with distinct MHC specificities. This is the first description of the NK cell repertoire in non-human primates.

back to top