Fractalkine (FK, also called neurotactin or CX3CL1) is a CX3C chemokine that can chemoattract T lymphocytes, monocytes, dendritic cells (DC) and natural killer (NK) cells. One of our previous studies demonstrated that FK in soluble form can chemoattract T cells and DC and membrane-bound FK can adhere T cells and DC. Vaccination with 3LL lung carcinoma cells gene-modified with FK (3LL-FK) induces potent antitumor CTL response. The aim of the present study is to investigate whether NK cells participate in FK-induced antitumor immunity. We found that NK activity was increased in mice inoculated with 3LL-FK and in vivo depletion of NK cells resulted in the decreased tumor growth inhibition of 3LL-FK, indicating that NK cells play an important role in the antitumor immunity induced by FK. Further studies showed 3LL-FK could chemoattract, adhere NK cells and attract more NK cells to infiltrate into tumor tissue. Incubation of NK cells with 3LL-FK could increase the cytotoxicity of NK cells against YAC-1 cells and even against NK-resistant parental 3LL cells. IL-12 production increased more significantly in the 3LL-FK tumor nodules. Taken together with CTL response induced by 3LL-FK, our data demonstrate that FK, expressed by gene-modified tumor cells, can induce potent antitumor effect through different mechanisms, one of which involves chemoattraction of NK cells into tumor sites and activation of NK cells.