Chemokines were shown to govern the trafficking of immune cells and may also play important roles in the survival and activation of these cells. We report here that under physiological conditions, the bone marrow (BM), spleen, blood and liver of Ccr5, but not of Ccr1-deficient mice, contain reduced numbers of NK cells. NK cells in the BM of Ccr5-deficient mice proliferate to a lesser extent compared to WT mice. Furthermore, spleen NK cells derived from Ccr5-deficient mice that were transplanted into irradiated recipients failed to proliferate in the host. Ccr5, but not Ccr1-deficient NK cells, failed to migrate in vitro in response to RANTES and MIP-1β but not MIP-1β or SDF-1 and had reduced activation, lower expression levels of NK cell markers and a slightly reduced capacity to adhere to target cells and stimulate their killing. Using the polyI:C mouse model for NK trafficking, we found that in the absence of Ccr5, but not Ccr1, NK cells failed to accumulate in the liver. In contrast, using the influenza viral infection as a model to evaluate NK cell proliferation, we found that Ccr5-deficient NK cells in the BM had a higher proliferation rate than WT NK cells. These results suggest a role for Ccr5 in NK cell proliferation and circulation under physiological conditions and a complex role for Ccr5 in determining the fate of NK cells under pathological conditions.
- Natural killer cells