NK and NKT cell depletion alters the outcome of experimental pneumococcal pneumonia: Relationship with regulation of interferon- γ production
Giamarellos-Bourboulis, Evangelos J.
Opal, Steven M.
SourceJournal of Immunology Research
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Background. Natural killer (NK) and natural killer T (NKT) cells contribute to the innate host defense but their role in bacterial sepsis remains controversial. Methods. C57BL/6 mice were infected intratracheally with 5 × 105 cfu of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Animals were divided into sham group (Sham); pretreated with isotype control antibody (CON) group; pretreated with anti-asialo GM1 antibody (NKd) group; and pretreated with anti-CD1d monoclonal antibody (NKTd) group before bacterial challenge. Serum and tissue samples were analyzed for bacterial load, cytokine levels, splenocyte apoptosis rates, and cell characteristics by flow cytometry. Splenocyte miRNA expression was also analyzed and survival was assessed. Results. NK cell depletion prolonged survival. Upon inhibition of NKT cell activation, spleen NK (CD3-/NK1.1+) cells increased compared to all other groups. Inhibition of NKT cell activation led to higher bacterial loads and increased levels of serum and splenocyte IFN-γ. Splenocyte miRNA analysis showed that miR-200c and miR-29a were downregulated, while miR-125a-5p was upregulated, in anti-CD1d treated animals. These changes were moderate after NK cell depletion. Conclusions. NK cells appear to contribute to mortality in pneumococcal pneumonia. Inhibition of NKT cell activation resulted in an increase in spleen NK (CD3-/NK1.1+) cells and a higher IFN-γ production, while altering splenocyte miRNA expression. © 2015 Eirini Christaki et al.