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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 839684, 18 pages
Research Article

Chemokine Receptor Expression on Normal Blood CD56+ NK-Cells Elucidates Cell Partners That Comigrate during the Innate and Adaptive Immune Responses and Identifies a Transitional NK-Cell Population

1Laboratory of Cytometry, Service of Hematology, Hospital de Santo António (HSA), Centro Hospitalar do Porto (CHP), Rua D. Manuel II, 4050-345 Porto, Portugal
2Laboratory of Flow Cytometry, Centro de Investigación del Cancer (CIC), Campus Miguel de Unamuno, 37007 Salamanca, Spain

Received 24 December 2014; Revised 2 March 2015; Accepted 2 March 2015

Academic Editor: Manoj K. Mishra

Copyright © 2015 Margarida Lima et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Studies of chemokine receptors (CKR) in natural killer- (NK-) cells have already been published, but only a few gave detailed information on its differential expression on blood NK-cell subsets. We report on the expression of the inflammatory and homeostatic CKR on normal blood CD16+ and    NK-cells. Conventional and NK-cells present in the normal PB do express CKR for inflammatory cytokines, although with different patterns NK-cells are mainly CXCR1/CXCR2+ and CXCR3/CCR5−/+, whereas mostly NK-cells are CXCR1/CXCR2 and CXCR3/CCR5+. Both NK-cell subsets have variable CXCR4 expression and are CCR4 and CCR6. The CKR repertoire of the NK-cells approaches to that of neutrophils, whereas the CKR repertoire of the NK-cells mimics that of Th1+ T cells, suggesting that these cells are prepared to migrate into inflamed tissues at different phases of the immune response. In addition, we describe a subpopulation of NK-cells with intermediate levels of CD56 expression, which we named NK-cells. These NK-cells are CXCR3/CCR5+, they have intermediate levels of expression of CD16, CD62L, CD94, and CD122, and they are CD57 and CD158a. In view of their phenotypic features, we hypothesize that they correspond to a transitional stage, between the well-known and NK-cells populations.