Horowitz A, Behrens RH, Okell L, Fooks AR, Riley EM
NK cells as effectors of acquired immune responses: effector CD4(+) T cell-dependent activation of NK cells following vaccination.
J Immunol. 2010 Sep 1;185(5):2808-18
Authors: Horowitz A, Behrens RH, Okell L, Fooks AR, Riley EM
We characterized vaccine-induced cellular responses to rabies virus in naive adult volunteers. Contrary to current paradigms, we observed potent and prolonged in vitro NK cell cytokine production and degranulation responses after restimulation of PBMCs with inactivated rabies virus in vaccinated, but not in unvaccinated, individuals. This "recall" NK cell response was absolutely dependent on Ag-specific IL-2 from CD45RO(+) CD4(+) T cells as well as IL-12 and IL-18 from accessory cells. Importantly, NK cells represented over 70% of all IFN-gamma-secreting and degranulating cells in the first 12-18 h after virus rechallenge indicating they may be required for rapid control of infection after vaccination. Activation of NK cells may be a critical function of IL-2-secreting effector memory T cells. Although IL-2-dependent postvaccination NK cell activation has been reported previously, this is the first time the magnitude of this effect and its contribution to the overall vaccine-induced response has been appreciated and the mechanisms of NK activation postvaccination have been elucidated. Our data will allow standard protocols for evaluating vaccine-induced immunity to be adapted to assess NK cell effector responses.
PMID: 20679529 [PubMed - in process]