, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 671–683 | Cite as

Expression of NKp30, NKp46 and DNAM-1 activating receptors on resting and IL-2 activated NK cells from healthy donors according to CMV-serostatus and age

  • Carmen Campos
  • Nelson López
  • Alejandra Pera
  • Juan J. Gordillo
  • Fakhri Hassouneh
  • Raquel Tarazona
  • Rafael Solana
Research Article


Human natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphoid cells with capacity to kill tumor cells and virus-infected cells. According to the expression of CD56 and CD16 several NK cell subsets have been identified, a major CD56dimCD16+ subpopulation characterized by higher cytotoxic capacity, two CD56bright subsets (CD16−and CD16+) that represent different maturation stages and the fourth CD56−CD16+ subset that correspond to activated dysfunctional NK cells. Previous studies have shown quantitative changes in the frequency, phenotype and distribution of NK cell subsets depending on CMV-serostatus and age. We have analyzed the expression of NKp30, NKp46 and DNAM-1 NK activating receptors on resting and IL-2 activated NK cells from CMV-seronegative and seropositive healthy young donors and from CMV-seropositive elderly individuals. Our results showed that CMV-serostatus of healthy young donors is associated with phenotypic differences on both CD56bright and CD56dim NK cells with an increase of NKp46 and a decrease of NKp30 expression respectively. A reduced expression of DNAM-1 related to ageing and a lower NKp30 expression associated with CMV-seropositivity were observed. The expression of NKp46 and NKp30 was lower in CD57+ NK cells while the expression of DNAM-1 was increased. In vitro NK cell activation by IL-2 increased the expression of NKp46 and NKp30. In summary, both age and CMV-serostatus influence the expression of these cytotoxicity activating receptors that will have functional consequences. In elderly donors is difficult to isolate age from the effect of chronic CMV infection since in our study all elderly donors were CMV-seropositive. The possibility of modulating the expression of these activating receptors by cytokines such as IL-2 may open new opportunities for improving age-associated deterioration of NK cell function.


CMV Ageing NK cell subsets CD57 NKp30 NKp46 DNAM-1 



This work was supported by grants PS09/00723 and PI13/02691 (to R.S.) from Spanish Ministry of Health, SAF2009-09711 and SAF2013-46161-R (to RT) from the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain and grants from Junta de Andalucia (to R.S.) and to INPATT research group from Junta de Extremadura (GRU10104) and from University of Extremadura (to RT) co-financed by European Regional Development Fund (FEDER).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 390 kb)
10522_2015_9581_MOESM2_ESM.doc (36 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 36 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen Campos
    • 1
  • Nelson López
    • 1
  • Alejandra Pera
    • 1
  • Juan J. Gordillo
    • 2
  • Fakhri Hassouneh
    • 1
  • Raquel Tarazona
    • 2
  • Rafael Solana
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ImmunologyIMIBIC - Reina Sofia University Hospital, University of CordobaCórdobaSpain
  2. 2.Immunology UnitUniversity of ExtremaduraCaceresSpain

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