CD94 defines phenotypically and functionally distinct mouse NK cell subsets

Jianhua Yu, Min Wei, Hsiaoyin Mao, Jianying Zhang, Tiffany Hughes, Takeki Mitsui, Il Kyoo Park, Christine Hwang, Shujun Liu, Guido Marcucci, Rossana Trotta, Don M. Benson, Michael A. Caligiuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Understanding of heterogeneous NK subsets is important for the study of NK cell biology and development, and for the application of NK cell-based therapies in the treatment of disease. Here we demonstrate that the surface expression of CD94 can distinctively divide mouse NK cells into two approximately even CD94low and CD94high subsets in all tested organs and tissues. The CD94high NK subset has significantly greater capacity to proliferate, produce IFN-γ, and lyse target cells than does the CD94 low subset. The CD94high subset has exclusive expression of NKG2A/C/E, higher expression of CD117 and CD69, and lower expression of Ly49D (activating) and Ly49G2 (inhibitory). In vivo, purified mouse CD94 low NK cells become CD94high NK cells, but not vice versa. Collectively, our data suggest that CD94 is an Ag that can be used to identify functionally distinct NK cell subsets in mice and could also be relevant to late-stage mouse NK cell development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4968-4974
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2009
Externally publishedYes


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