- Establishment and application of a highly sensitive coupled luminescent method (CLM) to study natural killer cell cytolytic activity (2008)
- Natural killer (NK) cells are white blood lymphocytes of the innate immune system that have diverse biological functions, including recognition and destruction of certain microbial infections and neoplasms . NK cells comprise ~ 10% of all circulating lymphocytes and are also found in peripheral tissues including the liver, peritoneal cavity and placenta. Resting NK cells circulate in the blood, but, following activation by cytokines, they are capable of extravasation and infiltration into most tissues that contain pathogen-infected or malignant cells [2-5]. NK cells discriminate between normal and abnormal cells (infected or transformed) through engagement and dynamic integration of multiple signaling pathways, which are initiated by germline-encoded receptors [6-8]. Healthy cells are protected from NK cell-mediated lysis by expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I ligands for NK cell inhibitory receptors [6, 9]. The MHC is a group of highly polymorphic glycoproteins that are expressed by every nucleated cell of vertebrates, and that are encoded by the MHC gene cluster. The human MHC molecules are termed human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-A, B and C molecules. Every NK cell expresses at least one inhibitory receptor that recognizes a self-MHC class I molecule. So, normal cells that express MHC class I molecules are protected from self-NK cells, but transformed or infected cells that have down-regulated MHC class I expression are attacked by NK cells . There are 2 distinct subsets of human NK cells identified mainly by cell surface density of CD56. The majority (approximately 90%) of human NK cells are CD56dimCD16bright and express high levels of FcγRIII (CD16), whereas a minority (approximately 10%) are CD56brightCD16dim/- . Resting CD56dim NK cells are more cytotoxic against NK-sensitive targets than CD56bright NK cells . However, after activation with interleukin (IL)-2 or IL-12, CD56bright cells exhibit similar or enhanced cytotoxicity against NK targets compared to CD56dim cells [12-14]. The functions of NK cells are regulated by a balance of signals (Fig. 1.1). These are transmitted by inhibitory receptors, which bind MHC class I molecules, and activating receptors, which bind ligands on tumors and virus-infected cells . These receptors are completely encoded in the genome, rather than being generated by somatic recombinations, like T- and B-cell receptors.
- Inhibition of apoptosis prevents West Nile virus induced cell death (2007)
- Background: West Nile virus (WNV) infection can cause severe meningitis and encephalitis in humans. Apoptosis was recently shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of WNV encephalitis. Here, we used WNV-infected glioma cells to study WNV-replication and WNV-induced apoptosis in human brain-derived cells. Results: T98G cells are highly permissive for lytic WNV-infection as demonstrated by the production of infectious virus titre and the development of a characteristic cytopathic effect. WNV replication decreased cell viability and induced apoptosis as indicated by the activation of the effector caspase-3, the initiator caspases-8 and -9, poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) cleavage and the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria. Truncation of BID indicated cross-talk between the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways. Inhibition of the caspases-8 or -9 inhibited PARP cleavage, demonstrating that both caspases are involved in WNV-induced apoptosis. Pancaspase inhibition prevented WNV-induced apoptosis without affecting virus replication. Conclusions: We found that WNV infection induces cell death in the brain-derived tumour cell line T98G by apoptosis under involvement of constituents of the extrinsic as well as the intrinsic apoptotic pathways. Our results illuminate the molecular mechanism of WNV-induced neural cell death.