Cutting edge: Priming of NK cells by IL-18

Julie Chaix, Marlowe S. Tessmer, Kasper Hoebe, Nicolas Fuséri, Bernhard Ryffel, Marc Dalod, Lena Alexopoulou, Bruce Beutler, Laurent Brossay, Eric Vivier, Thierry Walzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

240 Scopus citations


Recent evidence suggests that NK cells require priming to display full effector activity. In this study, we demonstrate that IL-18 contributed to this phenomenon. IL-18 signaling-deficient NK cells were found to be unable to secrete IFN-γ in response to ex vivo stimulation with IL-12. This was not due to a costimulatory role of IL-18, because blocking IL-18 signaling during the ex vivo stimulation with IL-12 did not alter IFN-γ production by wild-type NK cells. Rather, we demonstrate that IL-18 primes NK cells in vivo to produce IFN-γ upon subsequent stimulation with IL-12. Importantly, IL-12-induced IFN-γ transcription by NK cells was comparable in IL-18 signaling-deficient and -sufficient NK cells. This suggests that priming by IL-18 leads to an improved translation of IFN-γ mRNA. These results reveal a novel type of cooperation between IL-12 and IL-18 that requires the sequential action of these cytokines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1627-1631
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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