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Sunao Sugita, Kenichi Makabe, Yuko Iwasaki, Shota Fujii, Masayo Takahashi; Natural Killer Cell Inhibition by HLA-E Molecules on Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell–Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(5):1719-1731. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.17-22703.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To determine whether human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell–derived retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells (iPS-RPE) can suppress natural killer (NK) cell activation.
iPS-RPE cells were cocultured with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) or purified NK cells from healthy donors after stimulation with cytokines. To confirm expression of NK cell–specific markers, flow cytometry and quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) were performed. NK cells (or PBMCs) cocultured with iPS-RPE cells were assessed for proliferation by Ki-67 expression with flow cytometry, and NK suppression by RPE cells was assessed for granzyme B production with ELISA. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) expression including HLA-E on iPS-RPE cells was evaluated with flow cytometry and qRT-PCR. The effect of HLA-E downregulation was also investigated using small interfering RNA (siRNA) systems. Following iPS-RPE cell transplantation in vivo, we evaluated NK cell invasion in the retina with immunohistochemistry.
Activated NK cells expressed NK-related markers such as CD16, CD56, and CD11b, and NK cells produced cytotoxic agents such as granzyme B, perforin, and TNF-α. Human iPS-RPE cells inhibited cell proliferation and production of these cytotoxic agents by activated NK cells in vitro. iPS-RPE cells constitutively expressed HLA-E and suppressed NK cell activation through an interaction between HLA-E and CD94/NKG2A. Moreover, immunohistochemical evaluation of monkey RPE transplantation into in vivo immune rejection models showed no NK cell invasion in the retina in allografts or xenografts except for one xenografted eye.
Cultured iPS cell–derived RPE cells greatly suppress NK cell activation. Thus, NK cells might be inactivated when exposed to this type of retinal cell.
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