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J Immunol. 2005 Aug 1;175(3):1636-42.

TLR7/8-mediated activation of human NK cells results in accessory cell-dependent IFN-gamma production.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Abstract

NK cells express receptors that allow them to recognize pathogens and activate effector functions such as cytotoxicity and cytokine production. Among these receptors are the recently identified TLRs that recognize conserved pathogen structures and initiate innate immune responses. We demonstrate that human NK cells express TLR3, TLR7, and TLR8 and that these receptors are functional. TLR3 is expressed at the cell surface where it functions as a receptor for polyinosinic acid:cytidylic acid (poly(I:C)) in a lysosomal-independent manner. TLR7/8 signaling is sensitive to chloroquine inhibition, indicating a requirement for lysosomal signaling as for other cell types. Both R848, an agonist of human TLR7 and TLR8, and poly(I:C) activate NK cell cytotoxicity against Daudi target cells. However, IFN-gamma production is differentially regulated by these TLR agonists. In contrast to poly(I:C), R848 stimulates significant IFN-gamma production by NK cells. This is accessory cell dependent and is inhibited by addition of a neutralizing anti-IL-12 Ab. Moreover, stimulation of purified monocyte populations with R848 results in IL-12 production, and reconstitution of purified NK cells with monocytes results in increased IFN-gamma production in response to R848. In addition, we demonstrate that while resting NK cells do not transduce signals directly in response to R848, they can be primed to do so by prior exposure to either IL-2 or IFN-alpha. Therefore, although NK cells can be directly activated by TLRs, accessory cells play an important and sometimes essential role in the activation of effector functions such as IFN-gamma production and cytotoxicity.

PMID:
16034103
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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