Natural killer cell immunosuppressive function requires CXCR3-dependent redistribution within lymphoid tissues

NK cell suppression of T cells is a key determinant of viral pathogenesis and vaccine efficacy. This process involves perforin-dependent elimination of activated CD4+ T cells during the first 3 days of infection. Although this mechanism requires cell-cell contact, NK cells and T cells typically reside in different compartments of lymphoid tissues at steady state. Here, we showed that NK cell suppression of T cells is associated with transient accumulation of NK cells within T cell–rich sites of the spleen during lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection. The chemokine receptor CXCR3 was required for this relocation and suppression of antiviral T cells. Accordingly, NK cell migration was mediated by type I IFN–dependent promotion of CXCR3 ligand expression. In contrast, adenoviral vectors that weakly induced type I IFN and did not stimulate NK cell inhibition of T cells also did not promote measurable redistribution of NK cells to T cell zones. Exogenous IFN rescued NK cell migration during adenoviral vector immunization. Thus, type I IFN and CXCR3 were critical for properly positioning NK cells to constrain antiviral T cell responses. Development of strategies to curtail migration of NK cells between lymphoid compartments may enhance vaccine-elicited immune responses.
Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation - Category: Biomedical Science Authors: Source Type: research

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