Clinical studies have suggested the importance of the NK cell response against dengue virus (DenV), an arboviral infection that afflicts >50 million individuals each year. However, a comprehensive understanding of the NK cell response against dengueinfected cells is lacking. To characterize cell-contact mechanisms and soluble factors that contribute to the antidengue response, primary human NK cells were cocultured with autologous DenV-infected monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC). NK cells responded by cytokine production and the lysis of target cells. Notably, in the absence of significant monokine production by DenV-infected DC, it was the combination of type I IFNs and TNF-α produced by DenV-infected DC that was important for stimulating the IFN-γ and cytotoxic responses of NK cells. Cell-bound factors enhanced NK cell IFN-γ production. In particular, reduced HLA class I expression was observed on DenV-infected DC, and IFN-γ production was enhanced in licensed/educated NK cell subsets. NK-DC cell contact was also identified as a requirement for a cytotoxic response, and there was evidence for both perforin/granzyme as well as Fas/Fas ligand-dependent pathways of killing by NK cells. In summary, our results have uncovered a previously unappreciated role for the combined effect of type I IFNs, TNF-α, and cell surface receptor-ligand interactions in triggering the antidengue response of primary human NK cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy