Effect of recombinant cytokines on the expression of natural killer cell receptors from patients with TB or/and HIV infection.

Ramana Rao, P.V.; Rajasekaran, S.; Raja, A.

PLoS One; 2012; 7; e37448.

Abstract: Background: NK cells express several specialized receptors through which they recognize and discriminate virally-infected/tumor cells efficiently from healthy cells and kill them. This ability to lyse is regulated by an array of inhibitory or activating receptors. The present study investigated the frequency of various NK receptors expressed by NK cell subsets from HIV infected TB patients. The effect of IL-15+IL-12 stimulation on the expression of NK receptors was also studied.


Methodology/Principal Findings: The study included 15 individuals each from normal healthy subjects, pulmonary tuberculosis patients, HIV-infected individuals and patients with HIV and tuberculosis co-infection. The expression of NK cell receptors was analyzed on two NK cell subsets within the peripheral blood: CD16+CD3- and CD56+CD3- using flow cytometry. The expression of inhibitory receptors (CD158a, CD158b, KIRp70, CD85j and NKG2A) on NK subsets was increased in HIV, when compared to NHS. But the response in HIV-TB was not uniform. Stimulation with IL-15+IL-12 dropped ( p <0.05) the expression of CD85j and NKG2A in HIV. The basal expression of natural cytotoxicity receptors (NKp30 and NKp46) on NK cell subsets was lowered ( p <0.05) in HIV and HIV-TB as compared to NHS. However, the expression of NKp44 and NKG2D was elevated in HIV. Enhanced NKp46 and NKG2D expression was observed in HIV with IL-15+IL-12 stimulation. The coreceptor NKp80 was found to be expressed in higher numbers on NK subsets from HIV compared to NHS, which elevated with IL-15+IL-12 stimulation. The expression of NK receptors and response to stimulation was primarily on CD56+CD3- subset.


Conclusions/Significance: IL-15+IL-12 has an immunomodulatory effect on NK cell subsets from HIV-infected individuals viz down-regulation of iNKRs, elevation of activatory receptors NKp46 and NKG2D, and induction of coreceptor NKp80. IL-15+IL-12 is not likely to be of value when co-infected with TB probably due to the influence of tuberculosis.



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