MHC class I D(k) expression in hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells confers natural killer cell resistance to murine cytomegalovirus.
ABSTRACT: NK cell-mediated murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) resistance (Cmv(r)) is under H-2(k) control in MA/My mice, but the underlying gene(s) is unclear. Prior genetic analysis mapped Cmv(r) to the MHC class I (MHC-I) D(k) gene interval. Because NK cell receptors are licensed by and responsive to MHC class I molecules, D(k) itself is a candidate gene. A 10-kb genomic D(k) fragment was subcloned and microinjected into MCMV-susceptible (Cmv(s)) (MA/My.L-H2(b) x C57L)F(1) or (B6 x DBA/2)F(2) embryos. Transgenic founders, which are competent for D(k) expression and germline transgene transmission, were identified and further backcrossed to MA/My.L-H2(b) or C57L mice. Remarkably, D(k) expression delivered NK-mediated resistance in either genetic background. Further, NK cells with cognate inhibitory Ly49G receptors for self-MHC-I D(k) were licensed and critical in protection against MCMV infection. In radiation bone marrow chimeras, NK resistance was significantly diminished when MHC-I D(k) expression was restricted to only hematopoietic or nonhematopoietic cells. Thus, MHC-I D(k) is the H-2(k)-linked Cmv(r) locus; these findings suggest a role for NK cell interaction with D(k)-bearing hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells to shape NK-mediated virus immunity.
Project description:MHC class I D(k) and Ly49G2 (G2) inhibitory receptor-expressing NK cells are essential to murine CMV (MCMV) resistance in MA/My mice. Without D(k), G2(+) NK cells in C57L mice fail to protect against MCMV infection. As a cognate ligand of G2, D(k) licenses G2(+) NK cells for effector activity. These data suggested that D(k)-licensed G2(+) NK cells might recognize and control MCMV infection. However, a role for licensed NK cells in viral immunity is uncertain. We combined classical genetics with flow cytometry to visualize the host response to MCMV. Immune cells collected from individuals of a diverse cohort of MA/My × C57L offspring segregating D(k) were examined before infection and postinfection, including Ly49(+) NK subsets, receptor expression features, and other phenotypic traits. To identify critical NK cell features, automated analysis of 110 traits was performed in R using the Pearson correlation, followed with a Bonferroni correction for multiple tests. Hierarchical clustering of trait associations and principal component analyses were used to discern shared immune response and genetic relationships. The results demonstrate that G2 expression on naive blood NK cells was predictive of MCMV resistance. However, rapid G2(+) NK cell expansion following viral exposure occurred selectively in D(k) offspring; this response was more highly correlated with MCMV control than all other immune cell features. We infer that D(k)-licensed G2(+) NK cells efficiently detected missing-self MHC cues on viral targets, which elicited cellular expansion and target cell killing. Therefore, MHC polymorphism regulates licensing and detection of viral targets by distinct subsets of NK cells required in innate viral control.
Project description:Essential NK cell-mediated murine CMV (MCMV) resistance is under histocompatibility-2(k) (H-2(k)) control in MA/My mice. We generated a panel of intra-H2(k) recombinant strains from congenic C57L.M-H2(k/b) (MCMV resistant) mice for precise genetic mapping of the critical interval. Recombination breakpoint sites were precisely mapped and MCMV resistance/susceptibility traits were determined for each of the new lines to identify the MHC locus. Strains C57L.M-H2(k)(R7) (MCMV resistant) and C57L.M-H2(k)(R2) (MCMV susceptible) are especially informative; we found that allelic variation in a 0.3-megabase interval in the class I D locus confers substantial difference in MCMV control phenotypes. When NK cell subsets responding to MCMV were examined, we found that Ly49G2(+) NK cells rapidly expand and selectively acquire an enhanced capacity for cytolytic functions only in C57L.M-H2(k)(R7). We further show that depletion of Ly49G2(+) NK cells before infection abrogated MCMV resistance in C57L.M-H2(k)(R7). We conclude that the MHC class I D locus prompts expansion and activation of Ly49G2(+) NK cells that are needed in H-2(k) MCMV resistance.
Project description:Ly49G2 (G2+) NK cells mediate murine (M)CMV resistance in MHC D(k) -expressing mice. Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) studies revealed that G2+ NK cell-mediated MCMV resistance requires D(k) in both hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells. As a Ly49G2 ligand, D(k) in both cell lineages may contribute to lysis of virus-infected cells. Alternatively, cellular differences in self-MHC D(k) may have affected NK-cell education, and consequently NK cell-mediated viral clearance. We investigated the D(k) -licensing effect on BM-derived NK cells in BMT recipients by analyzing cytokines, cytotoxicity and MCMV resistance. In BMT recipients with lineage-restricted D(k) , G2+ NK-cell reactivity and cytotoxicity was diminished in comparison to BMT recipients with self-MHC in all cells. Reduced G2+ NK-mediated MCMV resistance in BMT recipients with lineage-restricted self-MHC indicates that licensing of G2+ NK cells is related to NK-cell reactivity and viral control. Titrating donor BM with self-MHC-bearing hematopoietic cells, as well as adoptive transfer of mature G2+ NK cells into BMT recipients with self-MHC in non-hematopoietic cells only, enhanced NK-cell licensing and rescued MCMV resistance. This disparate self-MHC NK-cell education model would suggest that inadequately licensed NK cells corresponded to inefficient viral sensing and clearance.
Project description:MHC class I (MHC I) is essential to NK- and T-cell effector and surveillance functions. However, it is unknown whether MHC I polymorphism influences adaptive immunity through NK cells. Previously, we found that MHC I D(k), a cognate ligand for the Ly49G2 inhibitory receptor, was essential to NK control of murine (M)CMV infection. Here we assessed the significance of NK inhibitory receptor recognition of MCMV on CD8 T cells in genetically defined MHC I D(k) disparate mice. We observed that D(k)-licensed Ly49G2? NK cells stabilized and then enhanced conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) recovery after infection. Furthermore, licensed NK support of cDC recovery was essential to enhance the tempo, magnitude, and effector activity of virus-specific CD8 T cells. Minimal cDC and CD8 T-cell number differences after low-dose MCMV in D(k) disparate animals further implied that licensed NK recognition of MCMV imparted qualitative cDC changes to enhance CD8 T-cell priming.
Project description:The cytomegalovirus resistance locus Cmv3 has been linked to an epistatic interaction between two loci: a Natural Killer (NK) cell receptor gene and the major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) locus. To demonstrate the interaction between Cmv3 and H2(k), we generated double congenic mice between MA/My and BALB.K mice and an F(2) cross between FVB/N (H-2(q)) and BALB.K (H2(k)) mice, two strains susceptible to mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV). Only mice expressing H2(k) in conjunction with Cmv3(MA/My) or Cmv3(FVB) were resistant to MCMV infection. Subsequently, an F(3) cross was carried out between transgenic FVB/H2-D(k) and MHC-I deficient mice in which only the progeny expressing Cmv3(FVB) and a single H2-D(k) class-I molecule completely controlled MCMV viral loads. This phenotype was shown to be NK cell-dependent and associated with subsequent NK cell proliferation. Finally, we demonstrated that a number of H2(q) alleles influence the expression level of H2(q) molecules, but not intrinsic functional properties of NK cells; viral loads, however, were quantitatively proportional to the number of H2(q) alleles. Our results support a model in which H-2(q) molecules convey Ly49-dependent inhibitory signals that interfere with the action of H2-D(k) on NK cell activation against MCMV infection. Thus, the integration of activating and inhibitory signals emanating from various MHC-I/NK cell receptor interactions regulates NK cell-mediated control of viral load.
Project description:The MHC class I D(k) molecule supplies vital host resistance during murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection. Natural killer (NK) cells expressing the Ly49G2 inhibitory receptor, which specifically binds D(k), are required to control viral spread. The extent of D(k)-dependent host resistance, however, differs significantly amongst related strains of mice, C57L and MA/My. As a result, we predicted that relatively small-effect modifier genetic loci might together shape immune cell features, NK cell reactivity, and the host immune response to MCMV. A robust D(k)-dependent genetic effect, however, has so far hindered attempts to identify additional host resistance factors. Thus, we applied genomic mapping strategies and multicolor flow cytometric analysis of immune cells in naive and virus-infected hosts to identify genetic modifiers of the host immune response to MCMV. We discovered and validated many quantitative trait loci (QTL); these were mapped to at least 19 positions on 16 chromosomes. Intriguingly, one newly discovered non-MHC locus (Cmv5) controlled splenic NK cell accrual, secondary lymphoid organ structure, and lymphoid follicle development during MCMV infection. We infer that Cmv5 aids host resistance to MCMV infection by expanding NK cells needed to preserve and protect essential tissue structural elements, to enhance lymphoid remodeling and to increase viral clearance in spleen.
Project description:CMVs efficiently target MHC I molecules to avoid recognition by cytotoxic T cells. However, the lack of MHC I on the cell surface renders the infected cell susceptible to NK cell killing upon missing self recognition. To counter this, mouse CMV (MCMV) rescues some MHC I molecules to engage inhibitory Ly49 receptors. Here we identify a new viral protein, MATp1, that is essential for MHC I surface rescue. Rescued altered-self MHC I molecules show increased affinity to inhibitory Ly49 receptors, resulting in inhibition of NK cells despite substantially reduced MHC I surface levels. This enables the virus to evade recognition by licensed NK cells. During evolution, this novel viral immune evasion mechanism could have prompted the development of activating NK cell receptors that are specific for MATp1-modified altered-self MHC I molecules. Our study solves a long-standing conundrum of how MCMV avoids recognition by NK cells, unravels a fundamental new viral immune evasion mechanism, and demonstrates how this forced the evolution of virus-specific activating MHC I-restricted Ly49 receptors.
Project description:NK cells represent a critical first-line of immune defense against a bevy of viral pathogens, and infection can provoke them to mediate supportive and suppressive effects on virus-specific adaptive immunity. In mice expressing MHC class I Dk (Dk), a major murine CMV (MCMV) resistance factor and self-ligand of the inhibitory Ly49G2 (G2) receptor, licensed G2+ NK cells provide essential host resistance against MCMV infection. Additionally G2+ NK cell responses to MCMV increase the rate and extent of dendritic cell (DC) recovery, as well as early priming of CD8+ T cell effectors in response to MCMV. However, relatively little is known about the NK cell effect on costimulatory ligand patterns displayed by DCs or on ensuing effector and memory T cell responses. In this study, we found that CD27-dependent CD8+ T cell priming and differentiation are shaped by the efficiency of NK responses to virus infection. Surprisingly, differences in specific NK responses to MCMV in Dk-disparate mice failed to distinguish early DC costimulatory patterns. Nonetheless, although CD27 deficiency did not impede licensed NK-mediated resistance, CD70 and CD27 were required to efficiently prime and regulate effector CD8+ T cell differentiation in response to MCMV, which eventually resulted in biased memory T cell precursor formation in Dk mice. In contrast, CD8+ T cells accrued more slowly in non-Dk mice and eventually differentiated into terminal effector cells regardless of CD27 stimulation. Disparity in this requirement for CD27 signaling indicates that specific virus control mediated by NK cells can shape DC costimulatory signals needed to prime CD8+ T cells and eventual T cell fate decisions.
Project description:Natural killer (NK) cells express inhibitory receptors with varied binding affinities to specific major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) haplotypes. NK cells can be classified as licensed or unlicensed based on their ability or inability to bind MHC-I, respectively. The role of donor vs host MHC on their development after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is not known. Following reciprocal MHC-disparate allogeneic transplants and during de novo NK-cell recovery, depletion of the licensed and not unlicensed population of NK cells as determined by the licensing patterns of donor MHC-I haplotypes, resulted in significantly increased susceptibility to murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection. A corresponding expansion of the licensed Ly49H(+) NK cells occurred with greater interferon ? production by these cells than unlicensed NK cells in the context of donor MHC-I. Thus, NK licensing behavior to MCMV corresponds to the donor, and not recipient, MHC haplotype after allo-HSCT in mice.
Project description:Natural killer (NK) cells show differential functionality based on their capability of binding to self-MHC consistent with licensing. Here we show in vivo confirmation of the physiologic effects of licensing with differential effects of NK subsets on anti-murine cytomegalovirus (anti-MCMV) responses after syngeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) or regulatory T-cell (Treg) depletion. After HSCT, depletion of licensed NK cells led to far greater viral loads in target organs early after infection compared with nondepleted and unlicensed depleted mice. There was a preferential expansion of licensed, C-type lectin-like activating receptor Ly49H+ NK cells with increased IFN? production after infection in nondepleted mice post-HSCT and after Treg depletion. Adoptive transfer of licensed NK subsets into immunodeficient hosts provided significantly greater MCMV resistance compared with transfer of total NK populations or unlicensed subsets. In non-HSCT mice, only concurrent depletion of Tregs or TGF-? neutralization resulted in detection of NK licensing effects. This suggests that licensed NK cells are the initial and rapidly responding population of NK cells to MCMV infection, but are highly regulated by Tregs and TGF-?.