Recently, we and others have discovered a family of receptors, called immunoglobulin (Ig)-like transcripts (ILTs), leukocyte Ig-like receptors (LIRs), or monocyte/macrophage Ig-like receptors (MIRs). ILT/LIR/MIRs are genetically, structurally and functionally related to a group of NK cell receptors for HLA class I molecules called killer cell Ig-like receptors (KIRs). Distinct ILT/LIR/MIR isotypes are differentially expressed on myeloid and lymphoid cell subsets and some of them recognize HLA class I. Whereas some isotypes inhibit others induce cell activation. Here we review what is known about their structure, distribution, biochemical and functional characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2000


  • Cell surface molecules
  • Dendritic cells
  • Human
  • Immunoglobulin superfamily
  • MHC
  • Macrophages
  • Monocytes
  • Natural killer cells


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