Functional and phenotypical characteristics of hepatic NK-like T cells in NK1.1-positive and -negative mouse strains

Eur J Immunol. 1999 Jun;29(6):1871-8. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-4141(199906)29:06<1871::AID-IMMU1871>3.0.CO;2-D.


We previously reported and partially characterized a unique monoclonal antibody (mAb), U5A2-13, which recognizes a T cell subset similar to NK1.1+ T cells, not only in NK1.1-positive mouse strains but also in NK1.1-negative strains. In NK1.1-positive C57BL/6 mice, U5A2-13+ TCRalphabeta+ cells produced abundant IL-4 as well as extremely high levels of IFN-gamma upon CD3 cross-linking, but this did not occur with U5A2-13- TCRalphabeta+ cells. In NK1.1-negative C3H/He mice, U5A2-13+ TCRalphabeta+ cells produced high levels of IL-4 and IFN-gamma upon CD3 cross-linking, but this was not observed with U5A2-13- TCRalphabeta+ cells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first direct evidence of the presence of NK-like T cells defined phenotypically by U5A2-13 mAb and functionally by IL-4/IFN-gamma production in NK1.1-negative mouse strains. We also demonstrated that U5A2-13- NK1.1+ T cells and U5A2-13+ NK1.1- T cells in C57BL/6 mice could produce both IL-4 and IFN-gamma. In addition, Vbeta8 or Vbeta7 usage by U5A2-13+ NK1.1- T cells was lower than that by U5A2-13+ NK1.1+ T cells, but remained higher than that by U5A2-13- NK1.1- T cells. Based on the present results, U5A2-13 mAb appears to be a valuable tool in the study of NK-like T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Liver / cytology*
  • Liver / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma