Natural killer (NK) cells are cytotoxic cells that are able to rapidly kill viruses, tumor cells, parasites, bacteria, and even cells considered "self". The activity of NK cells is controlled by a fine balance of inhibitory and activating signals mediated by a complex set of different receptors. However, the function of NK cells is not restricted only to the killing of target cells, NK cells also possess other properties such as the secretion of proangiogenic factors during pregnancy. Here, we demonstrate another unique NK-cell activity, namely the regulation of T-cell mediated allergic responses, which is dependent on the NK-cell specific receptor NKp46 (Ncr1 in mice). Using mice in which the Ncr1 gene has been replaced with a green fluorescent protein, we demonstrate reduced delayed-type hypersensitivity and airway hypersensitivity. Interestingly, we show that this reduction in airway hypersensitivity is due to differences in the stimulation of T cells resulting in an altered cytokine profile.
- Dendritic cells
- NK cells