Natural killer (NK)-dendritic cell interactions generate MHC class II-dressed NK cells that regulate CD4 + T cells

Masafumi Nakayama, Kazuyoshi Takeda, Mitsuko Kawano, Toshiyuki Takai, Naoto Ishii, Kouetsu Ogasawara

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72 Citations (Scopus)


Natural killer (NK) cells contribute to not only innate but also to adaptive immunity by interacting with dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells. All activated human NK cells express HLA-DR and can initiate MHCII-dependent CD4 + T-cell proliferation; however, the expression of MHCII by mouse NK cells and its functional significance are controversial. In this study, we show that NK-DC interactions result in the emergence of MHCII-positive NK cells. Upon in vitro or in vivo activation, mouse conventional NK cells did not induce MHCII transcripts, but rapidly acquired MHCII protein from DCs. MHCII H2-Ab1-deficient NK cells turned I-A b-positive when adoptively transferred into wild-type mice or when cultured with WT splenic DCs. NK acquisition of MHCII was mediated by intercellular membrane transfer called "trogocytosis," but not upon DAP10/12- and MHCI-binding NK cell receptor signaling. MHCII-dressed NK cells concurrently acquired costimulatory molecules such as CD80 and CD86 from DCs; however, their expression did not reach functional levels. Therefore, MHCII-dressed NK cells inhibited DC-induced CD4 + T-cell responses rather than activated CD4 + T cells by competitive antigen presentation. In a mouse model for delayedtype hypersensitivity, adoptive transfer of MHCII-dressed NK cells attenuated footpad swelling. These results suggest that MHCII-dressed NK cells generated through NK-DC interactions regulate T cell-mediated immune responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18360-18365
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov 8

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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