rIL-4 differentially regulates rIL-2-induced murine NK and LAK killing in CD8+ and CD8- precursor cell subsets

International Immunology
M W Merrow, B T Huber


Interleukin 4 (IL-4) and IL-2 have complementary or synergistic roles in many aspects of lymphocyte development. IL-2 supports the induction of cytolytic activity in cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL), natural killer (NK), and lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells. IL-4 has also been shown to support CTL and LAK in primary murine spleen cell culture. This report demonstrates that IL-4 selectively down-regulates IL-2 inducible murine CD8- precursors of NK cells. For maximal regulatory effect it is necessary to add IL-4 to cultures before 40 h. Enrichment for NK1.1+ cells failed to recover precursor cells which are down-regulated in overnight cultures or can be cultivated in vitro to yield NK cytolytic activity. Furthermore, phenotypic analysis of effector cells demonstrated a marked inhibition of development of NK1.1+ cells in cultures containing IL-4 plus IL-2 versus IL-2 alone. Thus, it appears that IL-4 down-regulates the precursors of murine NK cells by inhibiting proliferation and/or development. In addition, we show that IL-2-induced murine LAK activity mediated by CD8- precursor cells is unaffected by IL-4, while CD8(+)-derived LAK cells are up-regulated by co-culture with IL-4 and IL-2. Analysis of these data relative to rep...Continue Reading


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