Lysis of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)-infected fibroblasts by autologous natural killer (NK) cells was examined in vitro. For NK cell clones, receptor expression was determined at the level of mRNA and cell-surface protein and compared to the lysis of HCMV AD169 strain-infected fibroblasts in which HLA class I was >70% downregulated. The clones ranged broadly in their ability to lyse AD169-infected fibroblasts, correlating neither with the expression of inhibitory KIR, leukocyte inhibitory receptor-1, or CD94:NKG2A receptors nor with the number of different inhibitory KIR expressed per clone. Some lines of polyclonal NK cells preferentially lysed AD169-infected cells and similarly lysed fibroblasts infected with mutant virus RV798, which lacks the genes for downregulating HLA class I. These results demonstrate that NK cell lysis of HCMV-infected autologous fibroblasts is more complex than a simple missing-self mechanism involving downregulation of HLA class I and failure to engage inhibitory self-specific KIR.