NKG2D-RAE-1 receptor-ligand variation does not account for the NK cell defect in nonobese diabetic mice.
Maier LM., Howlett SK., Rainbow KM., Clark J., Howson JMM., Todd JA., Wicker LS.
NK cells from NOD mice induced with poly(I:C) in vivo exhibit low cytotoxicity against a range of target cells, but the genetic mechanisms controlling this defect are yet to be elucidated. Defects in the expression of NKG2D and its ligands, the RAE-1 molecules, have been hypothesized to contribute to the reduced NK function present in NOD mice. In this study, we show that segregation of the NK-mediated killing phenotype did not correlate with the NOD Raet1 haplotype and that the large alterations in NKG2D expression previously reported on NK cells expanded in vitro were not observed in primary, poly(I:C)-elicited NK cells in vivo. Additional studies indicate a complex genetic control of defective NOD NK cells including genes linked to the MHC and possibly those that are associated with an altered cytokine response to the TLR3-agonist poly(I:C).