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Immune modulation of natural killer cell cytotoxicity against herpes infected target cells in pregnancy



Immune modulation of natural killer cell cytotoxicity against herpes infected target cells in pregnancy



American Journal of Reproductive Immunology 24(4): 95-98



Natural killer cell cytotoxicity (NKC) is a nonspecific, primary immunodefense system active against a variety of pathogens, including herpes simplex virus (HSV). Evidence suggests that during pregnancy, NKC is attenuated. The regulatory mechanisms for this immune attenuation have yet to be defined. We examined two cytokines (interleukin-2 [IL-2] and alpha interferon [IFN] for their ability to alter NKC responsiveness during pregnancy, utilizing an HSV-infected target cell model. Peripheral mononuclear effector cells were isolated from 19 pregnant and 19 nonpregnant subjects by Ficoll-Paque separation. These cells were incubated with IFN, IL-2, or media alone, and analyzed for %NKC by an 18 h chromium release assay. The percentage of NKC was lower using the effector cells from the pregnant subjects as compared to nonpregnant controls. Incubation with either IFN or IL-2 resulted in a significant augmentation of NKC in both the pregnant and nonpregnant derived cells. There were no differences in IL-2 dose requirements or levels of cytotoxicity achieved (43.1 .+-. 6.8% vs. 44.4 .+-. 6.8%, respectively) between pregnant and nonpregnant derived cells. The IFN-mediated augmentation of NKC was somewhat blunted in pregnancy both in terms of absolute levels of cytotoxicity achieved (26.1 .+-. 3.9% vs. 37.2 .+-. 4.9%, respectively) and dose response curves generated. These results demonstrate that NKC against HSV infected cells is attenuated during pregnancy and can be immunoregulated with the use of either IFN and IL-2. The restoration of NKC responsiveness with IFN, however, remains incomplete during pregnancy, suggesting that this cytokine's mechanism of action differs from that of IL-2.

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Accession: 007425361

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 2085395

DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.1990.tb01045.x


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