Discovery of a novel CD34(+) natural killer precursor population in human lymph nodes

Ohio State University researchers have discovered novel subset of human CD34 (+) hematopoietic precursor cells and generated a method of isolating them.

The Need

Natural killer (NK) cells are a type of lymphocyte that plays a role in the immune system. These cells can react against and destroy another cell without prior sensitization to it. The role of NK cells in tumor activity is known, but recent research has also linked them to other immune disease conditions. While these cells may be used as immunotherapeutic agents for diseases such as asthma, HIV-AIDS, and other autoimmune diseases, the site(s) of NK cell development, the specific human NK precursor cell, and the mechanism(s) involved in human NK cell development are largely unknown.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University have discovered a novel subset of human CD34(+) hematopoietic precursor cells (HPC) that reside in the parafollicular T-cell rich regions of lymph nodes (LN) and in adult human peripheral blood. These cells express the high affinity heterotrimeric interleukin receptor (IL-2R) and differentiate into functionally mature CD56bright NK cells. This novel NK precursor may be useful for adoptive therapy for immune compromised or cancer patients, as well as a component in cellular vaccination development.

Commercial Applications

  • Cancer cell-based therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Cancer vaccine development

Benefits/ Advantages

  • A method for isolating NK precursor cells that are CD34(+)
  • Potential combination therapy with low-dose IL-2 to increase effector NK cells

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