Lysophosphatidic acid induces human natural killer cell chemotaxis and intracellular calcium mobilization

Eur J Immunol. 2003 Aug;33(8):2083-9. doi: 10.1002/eji.200323711.


We have investigated the effects of the bioactive lipid lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) on several functions of activated human natural killer (NK) cells. Flow cytometric and immunoblot analyses show that these cells express LPA(1, )LPA(2) and LPA(3). LPA but not its precursor phosphatidic acid (PA) induces the chemotaxis of NK cells, an activity that is inhibited by prior treatment of the cells with pertussis toxin (PTX). In addition, LPA induces the mobilization of intracellular calcium, an effect that is markedly inhibited by PTX, but is not inhibited by the addition of EGTA. PA also induces calcium flux in NK cells, but with much lower efficacy than LPA. Cross-desensitization experiments demonstrate that LPA and PA utilize different receptors. Moreover, LPA or PA but not sphingosine 1-phosphate, enhances IFN-gamma secretion by activated NK cells. Our results may shed some light on the findings that activated NK cells are found at the sites of tumor growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Signaling / drug effects*
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Killer Cells, Natural / drug effects*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / physiology
  • Lysophospholipids / metabolism
  • Lysophospholipids / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled*
  • Receptors, Lysophosphatidic Acid


  • Lysophospholipids
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Lysophosphatidic Acid
  • Interferon-gamma