NK cell development in bone marrow and liver: Site matters

D. Gotthardt, M. Prchal-Murphy, C. Seillet, A. Glasner, O. Mandelboim, S. Carotta, V. Sexl*, E. M. Putz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The NKp46 protein is found on resting and activated natural killer (NK) cells and is involved in the recognition of malignant and infected cells. The expression of NKp46 is believed to precede that of DX5 in early NK cell development. We show that this is not the case in the bone marrow (BM). Here, NKp46 is predominantly expressed after DX5, whereas the liver harbors a subpopulation that expresses NKp46 but not DX5. NK cell precursors in the liver show much lower levels of Eomesodermin than NK cell precursors in the BM, although they express higher levels of granzymes and unlike the NK cell precursors in the BM are fully able to degranulate and produce interferon gamma (IFN-γ). The development of NK cells thus differs between the two organs. This needs to be considered when using NKp46 and DX5 as NK cell markers and when performing NK cell-specific gene deletion in Ncr1 transgenic mice.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)584-587
Number of pages4
JournalGenes and Immunity
Issue number8
StatePublished - 11 Dec 2014

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