Cattle killer immunoglobulin-like receptor expression on leukocyte subsets suggests functional divergence compared to humans

Cattle, sheep, and goats are the only species outside primates known to have an expanded and diversified family of killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR). Primate KIR are expressed on the surface of NK and T cells and bind MHC-I to control activation. However, the surface expression, ligands and function of bovid KIR remain unknown. Cattle botaKIR2DL1 is the only functional KIR of the same DL-lineage as the expanded KIR in primates and we examined if leukocyte expression patterns were consistent with human. We raised a specific mouse anti-botaKIR2DL1 monoclonal antibody and assessed its utility in flow cytometry, ELISA, and western blot. Unlike primates, cattle DL-lineage KIR (botaKIR2DL1) is present on B cells and monocytes in addition to T cells and low-level expression on NK cells. Expression decreases after in vitro PBMC stimulation with IL-2. This suggests that botaKIR2DL1 has different functions, and potentially ligands, compared to primate KIR.

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