Natural killer-cell-mediated and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity in leprosy
Chiplunkar, S.V.; Deshmukh, M.V.; Samson, P.D.; Butlin, R.; Bhatki, W.S.; Chulawalla, R.G.; Deo, M.G.; Gangal, S.G.
International Journal of Leprosy and other Mycobacterial Diseases Official Organ of the International Leprosy Association 58(2): 334-341
We have assessed the natural killer (NK) cell-mediated cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) in the peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) from untreated lepromatous leprosy (LL) patients, LL patients on multidrug therapy (MDT) with favorable responses (MDT-R), LL patients clinically classified as nonresponders to MDT (MDT-NR), treated tuberculoid leprosy (TT) patients, and healthy donors. NK cytotoxicity was modulated by treating the PBL with recombinant interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) and recombinant interleukin-2 (IL-2). The mean percent NK cytotoxicity of untreated LL patients (15 +/- 3), treated MDT-R patients (20 +/- 4), and treated MDT-NR patients (12 +/- 4) was significantly lower than that of TT patients (39 +/- 6) and healthy donors (37 +/- 5). Treatment of effectors with IL-2 or IFN-alpha enhanced NK cytotoxicity in 5 of 6 untreated LL patients, 6 of 6 treated MDT-R LL patients, 4 of 5 and 3 of 5 treated MDT-NR LL patients, respectively, and 5 of 8 and 3 of 8 treated TT patients, respectively. Although PBL from TT patients showed initial NK activity comparable to that of healthy donors, fewer TT patients showed modulation of NK activity by IL-2, and IFN-alpha to a lesser extent. The ADCC activity was lower in untreated LL patients compared to treated patients, while TT patients had normal ADCC activity. The results indicate that although LL patients show lowered spontaneous cytotoxicity, it can be modulated favorably by lymphokines.