Mechanism of Human Natural Killer Cell Activation by Haemophilus ducreyi

Wei Li; Janowicz, Diane M.; Fortney, Kate R.; Katz, Barry P.; Spinola, Stanley M.
August 2009
Journal of Infectious Diseases;8/15/2009, Vol. 200 Issue 4, p590
Academic Journal
The role of natural killer (NK) cells in the host response to Haemophilus ducreyi infection is unclear. In pustules obtained from infected human volunteers, there was an enrichment of CD56bright NK cells bearing the activation markers CD69 and HLA-DR, compared with peripheral blood. To study the mechanism by which H. ducreyi activated NK cells, we used peripheral blood mononuclear cells from uninfected volunteers. H. ducreyi activated NK cells only in the presence of antigen-presenting cells. H. ducreyi-infected monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages activated NK cells in a contact- and interleukin-18 (IL-18)-dependent manner, whereas monocyte-derived dendritic cells induced NK activation through soluble IL-12. More lesional NK cells than peripheral blood NK cells produced IFN-g in response to IL-12 and IL-18. We conclude that NK cells are recruited to experimental lesions and likely are activated by infected macrophages and dendritic cells. IFN-g produced by lesional NK cells may facilitate phagocytosis of H. ducreyi.


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