CD3+CD56+ natural killer T (NKT)-like cells have an immune function of T cells and NK cells, which play an important role in antitumor and antiviral immune responses. This study aims to establish a CD3+CD56+ NKT-like cell model by simulating the memory NK effect induced by cytokines IL-12, IL-15, and IL-18 (IL-12/15/18) and explore the formation mechanism. Our study found that the IL-12/15/18 preactivated CD3+CD56+ NKT-like cells exhibited enhanced IFN-γ production in response to restimulation with IL-12/15/18 for 6h on day 7. The intrinsic potential of these trained cells was significantly improved, showing an increase in IFN-γ, TNF-α, and cell proliferation potential. The IFN-γ release, granzyme B level, and proliferation ability significantly increased when stimulated by NK-cell-sensitive K562 tumor cells. Among these cytokines, the combination of IL-12/15/18 was particularly effective. After the preactivation of IL-12/15/18, some cell surface proteins related to function and differentiation, such as CD11b, CD62 L, NKp46, NKG2A, and CD127, showed an evident and consistent change trend. The CDK4/6 inhibitor can effectively weaken this effect, and the expression of cyclin D1, Rb protein phosphorylation, and E2F-1 decreased significantly. Our work revealed that cytokine IL-12/15/18 can induce CD3+CD56+ NKT-like cells to obtain enhanced training immunity, which was a memory-like phenomenon.
Copyright © 2022 Siyu Zhu et al.