CD8(+)NKR-P1A (+)T cells preferentially accumulate in human liver

Eur J Immunol. 1999 Aug;29(8):2406-13. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-4141(199908)29:08<2406::AID-IMMU2406>3.0.CO;2-F.


A unique subset of T cells that co-express NKR-P1, which is a lectin type of NK receptor and is thought to have a major role in triggering NK activity, has been identified. In mice, NK1.1 (mouse NKR-P1C)(+) T cells, called NKT cells, preferentially accumulate in the liver and bone marrow. They predominantly use invariant Valpha14 chain TCR and phenotypically are CD4(+)CD8(-) or CD4(-)CD8(-) T cells. In this study, we analyzed, phenotypically and functionally, the NKR-P1A (analogue of murine NKR-P1C)(+) T cells resident in the human liver. Here, we show that in complete contrast to the NKT cells in the mouse liver, the majority of NKR-P1A(+) T cells in the human liver are CD8(+) and their TCR repertoire is not skewed to Valpha24 TCR, the homologue of murine Valpha14 TCR. Almost all of the NKR-P1A(+) T cells in the human liver expressed CD69, suggesting that they were activated. Furthermore, the NKR-P1A(+) T cells in the human liver exhibited strong cytotoxicity against a variety of tumor cell lines including K562, Molt4 and some colonic adenocarcinoma cell lines.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / immunology
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Ly
  • Antigens, Surface / metabolism*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Killer Cells, Natural / cytology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Lectins, C-Type*
  • Liver / cytology*
  • Liver / immunology*
  • Mice
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily B
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antigens, Ly
  • Antigens, Surface
  • KLRB1 protein, human
  • Klrb1c protein, mouse
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily B
  • Receptors, Immunologic