Send to

Choose Destination
Microbes Infect. 2008 Mar;10(3):224-32. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2007.11.008. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

Role of interleukin-12 in determining differential kinetics of invariant natural killer T cells in response to differential burden of Listeria monocytogenes.

Author information

Laboratory of Immunology, Department of Laboratory Sciences, Gunma University School of Health Sciences, 3-39-22 Showa-machi, Maebashi, Gunma 371-8511, Japan.


Invariant (i) natural killer (NK) T cells are unique T lymphocytes expressing NKR-P1B/C (NK1.1), which recognize glycolipids, notably alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GalCer) presented by CD1d. The characteristic phenotype of these iNKT cells undergoes dramatic changes following Listeria monocytogenes infection, and interleukin (IL)-12 is involved in these alterations. Here we show that liver iNKT cells in mice are differentially influenced by the load of infection. Liver alpha-GalCer/CD1d tetramer-reactive (alpha-GalCer/CD1d(+)) T cells expressing NK1.1 became undetectable by day 2 following L. monocytogenes infection and concomitantly cells lacking NK1.1 increased regardless of the severity of infection. Whereas alpha-GalCer/CD1d(+)NK1.1(+) T cells remained virtually undetectable on day 4 following low-dose infection, considerable numbers of these cells were detected in high-dose-infected mice. Whereas numbers of IL-12 producers in the liver on day 4 post infection were comparable in low- and high-dose-infected mice without in vitro restimulation with heat-killed Listeria, those were more prominent in low-dose-infected mice than in high-dose-infected mice after restimulation despite the fact that higher numbers of macrophages and granulocytes infiltrated the liver in high-dose-infected mice than in low-dose-infected mice. Our results indicate that NK1.1 surface expression on iNKT cells is differentially modulated by the burden of infection, and suggest that a high bacterial load probably causes loss of IL-12 production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center