Supplementary Material for: Soluble NKG2D Ligands Are Potential Biomarkers and Sentinels of Immune-Mediated Bone Marrow Injury in Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes

Immune-mediated processes are considered important in the pathogenesis of bone marrow failure syndromes (BFS). We previously reported that natural killer group 2D (NKG2D) ligands were expressed on pathological blood cells of patients with BFS and that NKG2D immunity may be involved in bone marrow failure. In addition to membranous NKG2D ligands on the cell surface, soluble NKG2D ligands can exist in plasma. We therefore examined the relationship between soluble NKG2D ligands and blood cell counts in 86 patients with BFS, including aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome with single lineage dysplasia, and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. Approximately half of the BFS patients were positive for soluble NKG2D ligands in the plasma by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and soluble NKG2D ligand-positive BFS patients exhibited severe cytopenia regardless of membranous NKG2D ligand expression. In vitroanalyses demonstrated that soluble ULBP1, an NKG2D ligand, down-regulated NKG2D receptors on CD2-positive cells in peripheral blood. Moreover, soluble ULBP1 attenuated the cytotoxic effects of peripheral blood mononuclear cells on K562, which express membranous ULBP1. Our results suggest that soluble NKG2D ligands can be easy-to-measure biomarkers for the prediction of activity of immune-meditated bone marrow injury in BFS and that soluble NKG2D ligands suppress redundant immune-mediated bone marrow injury.