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Selective rejection of H–2-deficient lymphoma variants suggests alternative immune defence strategy

Nature volume 319, pages 675678 (20 February 1986) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Metazoan organisms may discriminate between self and non-self not only by the presence of foreign antigens but also by the absence of normal self markers1. Mammalian adaptive immune responses use the first strategy, with the additional requirement that foreign antigens are recognized in the context of self-major histocompatibility complex (MHC) products at the cell surface2. Aberrant cells which fail to express MHC products adequately can therefore avoid detection2–4. A more primitive but complementary defence system, eliminating such cells on the basis of absent self-markers, is suggested by a re-interpretation5,6 of phenomena associated with metastasis and natural resistance. We now show that murine lymphoma cells selected for loss of H–2 expression are less malignant after low-dose inoculation in syngeneic hosts than are wild-type cells, and that the rejection of such cells is non-adaptive. On the basis of our data, we suggest that natural killer cells are effector cells in a defence system geared to detect the deleted or reduced expression of self-MHC.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Tumor Biology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

    • Klas Kärre
    • , Hans Gustaf Ljunggren
    •  & Gerald Piontek
  2. Department of Immunology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

    • Rolf Kiessling

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https://doi.org/10.1038/319675a0

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