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In Vivo Expression of Natural Killer Cell Inhibitory Receptors by Human Melanoma–Specific Cytolytic T Lymphocytes

Journal of Experimental Medicine
The Rockefeller University Press
Publication Date
  • Original Article


Natural killer (NK) receptor signaling can lead to reduced cytotoxicity by NK cells and cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in vitro. Whether T cells are inhibited in vivo remains unknown, since peptide antigen–specific CD8+ T cells have so far not been found to express NK receptors in vivo. Here we demonstrate that melanoma patients may bear tumor-specific CTLs expressing NK receptors. The lysis of melanoma cells by patient-derived CTLs was inhibited by the NK receptor CD94/NKG2A. Thus, tumor-specific CTL activity may be decreased through NK receptor triggering in vivo.

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