Sandeep K. Tripathy, MD, PhD

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

Natural killer (NK) cells play a critical role in host immune responses against viruses and cancer. Numerous mechanisms control NK cell function, including activation receptor mediated NK cell tolerance. Continuous engagement of activating receptors on human and mouse NK cells induces tolerance in NK cells and appears to alter how NK cells respond to tumor cells. A significant gap exists in our understanding of how continuous activating receptor engagement results in NK cell tolerance and the role this plays in the NK cell immune response. Using an NK cell specific mouse model, we are interested in studying the mechanism by which activation receptor mediated NK cell tolerance occurs. As activating receptors from both human and murine NK cells signal through similar pathways, information gained from our studies regarding the underlying mechanism(s) of how continuous engagement of activating receptors results in NK cell defects is applicable to human NK cells.