Most proteins encoded by members of the Ly-49 gene family are class I- recognizing receptors on murine natural killer (NK) cells. Class I recognition by Ly-49 receptors usually results in inhibition of NK cell lysis of target cells. However, NK cells function not only in a lytic capacity, but also can mediate cytokine production. In this report we have demonstrated the ability of Ly-49A and Ly-49G2 to inhibit production of cytokines by NK cells by showing that specific antibodies against these gent products stimulate cytokine production. Murine NK cells were cultured in the presence of P815 (H2-D(d)), and supernatants were analyzed for the production of interferon-γ (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). NK cell populations were sorted for Ly-49A+ or Ly-49G+ subsets, and these subsets were analyzed for their ability to alter cytokine induction by target cell interaction. In the presence of target cells expressing the appropriate class I molecules, Ly-49A and G2 were found to inhibit cytokine induction by NK cells. Examination of mRNA for IFN-γ and GM-CSF indicated that Ly- 49 receptors increased mRNA levels of NK cells. These results demonstrate that class I binding of these NK receptors can inhibit production of important physiological cytokines, in addition to the regulation of cytotoxic activity.
- Flow cytometry analysis
- Granulocyte-macrophage colony- stimulating factor
- Natural killer
- Tumor necrosis factor α