The role of LY49 NK cell subsets in the regulation of murine cytomegalovirus infections

Student Author(s)

Chin Hun Tay

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pathology

Publication Date


Document Type



Immunology and Infectious Disease | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The distributions and functions of NK cell subsets, as defined by the expression of Ly49 NK cell receptors, were examined in murine CMV (MCMV)-infected mice. MCMV induced a reduction in NK1.1+ cell number in the spleen and an increase in the peritoneal exudate cells. Within the splenic NK1.1+ population, proportional increases in Ly49A+ and Ly49G2+ cells but decreases in Ly49C+ and Ly49D+ cells were observed 3 days post-MCMV infection, but within the peritoneal NK1.1+ cell populations there were proportional decreases in Ly49A+ cells and increases in Ly49C+, Ly49D+, and Ly49G2+ cells. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus did not elicit a comparable NK cell subset distribution. Lymphokine-activated killer cells were sorted into different Ly49 NK cell subsets and adoptively transferred into C57BL/6 suckling mice. Regulation of MCMV synthesis in these suckling mice was shown to be an IFN-gamma-dependent, perforin- and Cmv-1-independent process, and each NK cell subset mediated anti-viral activity. In adult C57BL/6 mice, the control of MCMV in the spleen is mediated by a perforin-dependent mechanism, regulated in part by the Cmv-1 gene, which maps closely to the Ly49 family. In vivo depletions of either one or two of the Ly49 subsets in adult mice did not affect the ability of the residual NK cells to regulate MCMV synthesis. These data provide evidence of NK cell subset distribution and function in MCMV infection, but no individual subset was required for the Cmv-1-like regulation of MCMV synthesis.


J Immunol. 1999 Jan 15;162(2):718-26.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID