SEP 28, 2016 9:00 AM PDT

Signatures of protective NK cell responses


Event Date & Time

DATE:  September 28, 2016
TIME:   9:00am Pacific time, 12:00pm Eastern time


NK cells play critical roles in immune defense and reproduction but remain the most poorly understood major lymphocyte population. NK (natural killer) cells contribute to control of chronic HIV infection, yet their role in protection from infection and potential for eradication strategies is less clear. NK cell activation is controlled by a variety of combinatorially expressed activating and inhibitory receptors, making NK cell diversity and function closely linked.

Using mass cytometry, Catherine Blish and colleagues at Stanford recently defined the human NK cell repertoire as remarkably diverse, with an estimated 6,000 to 30,000 phenotypic populations within an individual and >100,000 phenotypes in a small population. Blish will present this data, including additional studies revealing that immune experience diversifies and specializes the NK cell repertoire, and that high NK diversity is associated with increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition in a Kenyan cohort. Overall, these studies suggest that NK diversity may decrease the flexibility of the antiviral response, and that human NK diversity is a previously undefined metric of immune history and function that may be clinically useful in predicting the outcomes of viral exposure.

Michelle Poulin from Fluidigm will also present a brief overview of mass cytometry, describing the basic principles and workflow of the technology, including recent advancements. Mass cytometry uniquely enables high-dimensional single-cell proteomic analysis for system‑level discovery and comprehensive functional profiling applications. The large 40‑plus‑marker proteomic panels routinely analyzed using mass cytometry provide simultaneous measurement of the breadth of cell types and the depth of their functions in a single tube.

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