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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


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Title: MHC class I target recognition, immunophenotypes and proteomic profiles of natural killer cells within the spleens of day-14 chick embryos

item Zhang, Lei
item Katselis, George
item Moore, Roger
item Lekpor, Kossi
item Goto, Ronald
item Hunt, Henry
item Lee, Terry
item Miller, Marcia

Submitted to: Developmental and Comparative Immunology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/11/2012
Publication Date: 3/20/2012
Citation: Zhang, L., Katselis, G.S., Moore, R.E., Lekpor, K., Goto, R.M., Hunt, H.D., Lee, T.D., Miller, M.M. 2012. MHC class I target recognition, immunophenotypes and proteomic profiles of natural killer cells within the spleens of day-14 chick embryos. Developmental and Comparative Immunology. 37(2012):446-456. Available:

Interpretive Summary: The innate immune system is important in protecting chickens from disease. The scientific understanding of the protective innate immune responses in chickens is not well understood. These studies identify populations of cells with innate protective capabilities. With this knowledge, we can monitor the development of, or lack of development of protective innate immune cells to pathogen infection and develop vaccines capable of boosting these cells in response to infection.

Technical Abstract: Chicken natural killer (NK) cells are not well defined, so little is known about the molecular interactions controlling their activity. At day 14 of embryonic development, chick spleens are a rich source of T-cellfree CD8aa+, CD3_ cells with natural killing activity. Cell-mediated cytotoxicity assays revealed complex NK cell discrimination of MHC class I, suggesting the presence of multiple NK cell receptors. Immunophenotyping of freshly isolated and recombinant chicken interleukin-2-stimulated d14E CD8aa+ CD3-splenocytes provided further evidence for population eterogeneity. Complex patterns of expression were found for CD8a, chB6 (Bu-1), CD1-1, CD56 (NCAM), KUL01, CD5, and CD44. Mass spectrometrybased proteomics revealed an array of NK cell proteins, including the NKR2B4 receptor. DAVID and KEGG analyses and additional immunophenotyping revealed NK cell activation pathways and evidence for monocytes within the splenocyte cultures. This study provides an underpinning for further investigation into the specificity and function of NK cells in birds.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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