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Prior studies demonstrated that NK cells isolated from adult peripheral blood kill the HLA-A-, HLA-B-, and HLA-C-deficient B lymphoblastoid cell line 721.221, but many are unable to kill 721.221 cells transfected with HLA-G, a molecule expressed preferentially on fetal cytotrophoblasts. To determine the biologic relevance of this recognition, we established NK cell clones from the placenta and demonstrate that these NK cells also were unable to kill 721.221 cells expressing HLA-G. Recognition of HLA-G by NK cells was prevented in the presence of anti-CD94 mAb, implicating CD94/NKG2 as the predominant inhibitory NK cell receptor for HLA-G used by decidual NK cells. In contrast, mAbs against the killer cell inhibitory receptors recognizing HLA-Cw3-related, HLA-Cw4-related, or HLA-Bw4 ligands did not affect NK cell killing of the HLA-G transfectants.


Journal article


J immunol

Publication Date





1072 - 1075


Adult, Antigens, CD, Cell Line, Cytotoxicity, Immunologic, Decidua, Female, HLA Antigens, HLA-G Antigens, Histocompatibility Antigens Class I, Humans, Killer Cells, Natural, Lectins, C-Type, Membrane Glycoproteins, NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C, NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily D, Receptors, Immunologic, Receptors, Mitogen, Receptors, Natural Killer Cell