Characterization of NKR+ T-cell subsets in human bone marrow: implications for immunosurveillance of neoplasia

J Dean, D McCarthy, D G Doherty, C O'Farrelly, L Golden-Mason, Mark Lawler

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9 Citations (Scopus)


In addition to hematopoietic progenitors, human bone marrow contains mature T/NK lymphocytes. Valpha24Vbeta11 NKT-cells, a subset of NK receptor+ (NKR+) T-cells in humans, are rare in bone marrow, suggesting the presence of other NKR+ T-cells which may contribute to tumor surveillance. NKR+/- T-cells were examined in blood (PB), and bone marrow from donors (DM) and patients with active hematopoietic malignancy (PM), or in remission (PR). T-cells in PR & PM were enriched for CD56+ and CD57+ subsets, compared to DM. All marrow NKR+/- T-cell subsets were more activated than PB. PM and, surprisingly, PR marrow contained more activated cells than DM. CD8+ cells were significantly increased in all patient marrows and there was evidence of the formation of an effector/memory pool in malignant marrow. These data suggest that NKR+ T-cell enrichment in human bone marrow that has been exposed to neoplastic transformation is compatible with a role in localized tumor surveillance/eradication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-51
Number of pages10
JournalClinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


  • Biological Markers
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Hematologic Neoplasms
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Immunologic Surveillance
  • Killer Cells, Natural
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets


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