Send to

Choose Destination
Yakugaku Zasshi. 2011;131(11):1667-74.

[Activation of natural killer T cells by NK-4, a criptocyanine dye].

[Article in Japanese]

Author information

Biomedical Institute, Research Center, Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc., Okayama, Japan.


We previously reported that oral administration of NK-4, a criptocyanine dye, enhances interleukin (IL)-12-depend- ent interferon (IFN)-γ production by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated mouse splenocytes. These findings raised a possibility that NK-4 potentiated IFN-γ production by T cells, natural killer (NK) cells or natural killer T (NKT) cells in response to IL-12 produced by macrophage and dendritic cells. To explore this possibility, we first analyzed percentages of T, NK or NKT cells in splenocytes of mice that were administered NK-4 orally for three days. The percentage of NKT cells in splenocytes from NK-4-treated mice was significantly (p<0.05) increased compared to vehicle-treated mice. When splenocytes were stimulated with α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer), an NKT cell ligand, IFN-γ production by splenocytes from NK-4-treated mice tended to increase, while no difference in the IL-4 production and proliferation were observed between the vehicle- and NK-4-treated mice. When IFN-γ/IL-4 ratios were calculated in individual mice, the ratios were significantly (p<0.05) elevated in NK-4-treated mice. Furthermore, IL-12 production by α-GalCer-stimulated splenocytes from NK-4-treated mice was also significantly (p<0.05) increased. These results suggest that oral administration of NK-4 increases the population of type I NKT cells with potent IFN-γ-producing activities. Since IL-12 and IFN-γ have been shown to play important roles in anti-tumor immunity as well as in the defence against bacterial infection, our results further imply that NK-4 may provide a potential therapeutic tool in cancer immunotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for J-STAGE, Japan Science and Technology Information Aggregator, Electronic
Loading ...
Support Center