Inserm, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale
Faculté de pharmacie, Aix Marseille Université

Accueil » Publications » Communications internationales » Mouse CD146/MCAM is a marker of natural killer cell maturation

Mouse CD146/MCAM is a marker of natural killer cell maturation

Despoix N, Walzer T, Jouve N, Blot-Chabaud M, Bardin N, Paul P, Lyonnet L, Vivier E, Dignat-George F, Vély F. Eur J Immunol. 2008. Impact factor 5.1


CD146/melanoma cell adhesion molecule is an adhesion molecule expressed by endothelial cells and by a small fraction of activated T and B lymphocytes in humans. In order to analyze the pattern of CD146 expression in mouse leukocytes at steady-state conditions, we generated a set of novel rat anti-mouse CD146 monoclonal antibodies. CD146 expression was undetectable on monocytes, dendritic cells, T cells or B cells, but was expressed on about 30% of neutrophils and 60% of NK cells. Within murine lymphocytes, CD146 was defined as a novel NK-specific surface molecule. An increased percentage of CD146+ cells was found in the most mature CD27(-)CD11b+ NK cell subpopulation, which also displays higher expression of Ly49C/I, Ly49D and KLRG1 and lower expression of NKG2A/C/E molecules. CD146+ NK cells were found to be less cytotoxic and produce less IFN-gamma than CD146(-) NK cells upon stimulation with target cells or activating antibodies. These findings define CD146 as a marker of mouse NK cell maturation that may be used as an alternative to the combined use of CD27 and CD11b staining to detect final stages of NK cell maturation.