NYMC Faculty Publications


Immunophenotypic, Cytotoxic, Proteomic and Genomic Characterization of Human Cord Blood vs. Peripheral Blood CD56Dim Nk Cells

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July 2019




Unrelated cord blood (CB) is an excellent alternative as an allogeneic donor source for stem cell transplantation. CB transplantation is associated with lower incidence of severe acute graft versus host disease (GVHD) and chronic GVHD but similar rates of malignant relapse compared with other unrelated donor cell transplants. NK cells are critical innate immune components and the comparison of CB vs. peripheral blood (PB) NK cells is relatively unknown. NK cell receptor expression, cell function, and maturation may play a role in the risk of relapse after CB transplant. We investigated CB vs. PB NK cell subset cytotoxicity, function, receptor expression, and genomic and proteomic signatures. The CB CD56(dim) compared with PB CD56(dim) demonstrated significantly increased expression of NKG2A and NKG2D, respectively. CB vs. PB CD56(dim) NK cells had significantly decreased in vitro cytotoxicity against a variety of non-Hodgkin lymphoma targets. Various proteins were significantly under- and over-expressed in CB vs. PB CD56(dim) NK cells. Microarray analyses and qRT-PCR in CB vs. PB CD56(dim) demonstrated significantly increased expression of genes in cell regulation and development of apoptosis, respectively. In summary, CB vs. PB CD56(dim) NK cells appear to be earlier in development, have decreased functional activity, and increased capacity for programmed cell death, suggesting that CB NK cells require functional and maturational stimulation to achieve similar functional levels as PB CD56(dim) NK cells.