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Blood. 2011 Jun 16;117(24):6571-81. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-01-329417. Epub 2011 Apr 25.

NKG2D receptor regulates human effector T-cell cytokine production.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Dartmouth Medical School, 6W Borwell Bldg, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.


Although innate immune signals shape the activation of naive T cells, it is unclear how innate signals influence effector T-cell function. This study determined the effects of stimulating the NKG2D receptor in conjunction with the TCR on human effector CD8(+) T cells. Stimulation of CD8(+) T cells through CD3 and NKG2D simultaneously or through a chimeric NKG2D receptor, which consists of NKG2D fused to the intracellular region of CD3ζ, activated β-catenin and increased expression of β-catenin-induced genes, whereas T cells stimulated through the TCR or a combination of the TCR and CD28 did not. Activation by TCR and NKG2D prevented expression and production of anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10, IL-9, IL-13, and VEGF-α in a β-catenin- and PPARγ- dependent manner. NKG2D stimulation also modulated the cytokine secretion of T cells activated simultaneously through CD3 and CD28. These data indicate that activating CD8(+) T cells through the NKG2D receptor along with the TCR modulates signal transduction and the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Thus, human effector T cells alter their function depending on which innate receptors are engaged in conjunction with the TCR complex.

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