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Int Immunol. 2000 Dec;12(12):1669-75.

Requirement for IFN-gamma in IL-12 production induced by collaboration between v(alpha)14(+) NKT cells and antigen-presenting cells.

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Division of Oncogenesis, Department of Oncology, Biomedical Research Center, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Two cytokines IL-4 and IL-12 are known to determine the balance between T(h)1 and T(h)2 development. In addition to IL-4 production of V(alpha)14(+) NKT cells, they have recently been demonstrated to have the capacity to stimulate IL-12 production by antigen-presenting cells (APC). This study demonstrates that IFN-gamma is absolutely required for the NKT cell-stimulated IL-12 production. Culture of B cell-depleted spleen cells from C57BL/6 mice with alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GalCer) capable of selectively stimulating V(alpha)14/J(alpha)281(+) NKT cells resulted in the production of IL-12 together with IL-4. Whereas IL-4 production occurred in culture of IFN-gamma(-/-) C57BL/6 splenocytes, the same culture failed to generate IL-12 production. While IL-12 production induced during culture of V(alpha)14(+) NKT cells and APC depended on the interaction between CD40 ligand on NKT cells and CD40 on APC, the expression levels of these key molecules were comparable in cells from wild-type and IFN-gamma(-/-) mice. Addition of rIFN-gamma to alpha-GalCer stimulated IFN-gamma(-/-) splenocyte culture, and administration of rIFN-gamma to alpha-GalCer-injected IFN-gamma(-/-) mice resulted in the restoration of IL-12 production in vitro and in vivo. These results illustrate a mandatory role for IFN-gamma in V(alpha)14(+) NKT cell-stimulated IL-12 production by APC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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