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Cell Immunol. 1996 Oct 10;173(1):1-6.

Role of natural killer cells in the generation of influenza virus-specific cytotoxic T cells.

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Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA.


Recently we reported that natural killer (NK) cells are critical accessory cells required for the differentiation of alloantigen-stimulated CD8+ T cells into effector cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in vitro. In this study we provide evidence that NK cells are also required for the generation of influenza virus-specific CTL. Depletion of NK cells from responder human peripheral blood mononuclear cells or mouse splenocytes abolished the induction of influenza A virus-specific CTL under culture conditions. Treatment of C57BL/6 mice with the NK cell-depleting NK1.1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) before primary or secondary immunization with influenza A virus abrogated the capacity of CTL precursors to differentiate into influenza virus-specific CTL effectors in vivo. These results extend our previous findings and demonstrate that NK cells critically influence the induction of antigen-specific CTL, both in vitro and in vivo.

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