Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Immunol. 1999 Feb 1;162(3):1662-8.

IL-18 up-regulates perforin-mediated NK activity without increasing perforin messenger RNA expression by binding to constitutively expressed IL-18 receptor.

Author information

Third Department of Internal Medicine, Laboratory of Host Defenses Institute for Advanced Medical Sciences, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan.


IL-18 is a powerful inducer of IFN-gamma production, particularly in collaboration with IL-12. IL-18, like IL-12, also augments NK activity. Here we investigated the molecular mechanism underlying the up-regulation of killing activity of NK cells by IL-18. IL-18, like IL-12, dose dependently enhanced NK activity of splenocytes. This action was further enhanced by costimulation with IL-12. Treatment with anti-IL-2R Ab did not affect IL-18- and/or IL-12-augmented NK activity, and splenocytes from IFN-gamma-deficient mice showed enhanced NK activity following stimulation with IL-12 and/or IL-18. Splenocytes from the mice deficient in both IL-12 and IL-18 normally responded to IL-18 and/or IL-12 with facilitated NK activity, suggesting that functional NK cells develop in the absence of IL-12 and IL-18. IL-18R, as well as IL-12R mRNA, was constitutively expressed in splenocytes from SCID mice, which lack T cells and B cells but have intact NK cells, and in those from IL-12 and IL-18 double knockout mice. NK cells isolated from SCID splenocytes expressed IL-18R on their surface. IL-18, in contrast to IL-12, did not enhance mRNA expression of perforin, a key molecule for exocytosis-mediated cytotoxicity. However, pretreatment with concanamycin A completely inhibited this IL-18- and/or IL-12-augmented NK activity. Furthermore, IL-18, like IL-12, failed to enhance NK activity of splenocytes from perforin-deficient mice. These data suggested that NK cells develop and express IL-12R and IL-18R in the absence of IL-12 or IL-18, and that both IL-18 and IL-12 directly and independently augment perforin-mediated cytotoxic activity of NK cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center