Role of natural killer cells in the generation of influenza virus-specific cytotoxic T cells

Cell Immunol. 1996 Oct 10;173(1):1-6. doi: 10.1006/cimm.1996.0245.


Recently we reported that natural killer (NK) cells are critical accessory cells required for the differentiation of alloantigen-stimulated CD8+ T cells into effector cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in vitro. In this study we provide evidence that NK cells are also required for the generation of influenza virus-specific CTL. Depletion of NK cells from responder human peripheral blood mononuclear cells or mouse splenocytes abolished the induction of influenza A virus-specific CTL under culture conditions. Treatment of C57BL/6 mice with the NK cell-depleting NK1.1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) before primary or secondary immunization with influenza A virus abrogated the capacity of CTL precursors to differentiate into influenza virus-specific CTL effectors in vivo. These results extend our previous findings and demonstrate that NK cells critically influence the induction of antigen-specific CTL, both in vitro and in vivo.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / immunology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured