CD25 (IL-2R) expression correlates with the target cell induced cytotoxic activity and cytokine secretion in human natural killer cells.
AbstractCytotoxic activity is one of the major functions of Natural Killer (NK) cells and is a critical effector mechanism of innate immune responses against infected or cancer cells. A variety of assays have been developed to determine NK cell cytotoxic activity, however a receptor-based screening tool is still lacking. Here, we propose the CD25 receptor as a candidate for NK cell cytotoxicity marker. We have verified that there is a correlation between classic target cell induced cytotoxicity markers and the CD25 expression on NK cells. Non-adherent lymphocyte fractions pre-stimulated with Escherichia coli O55:B5 lipopolysaccharide were co-cultured with settled HeLa targets in a four hour long cytotoxic assay. The cytotoxic effect was evaluated by MTT reduction assay and quantification of soluble cytotoxicity markers (granzyme B, FasL, caspase-8, IFN-γ and IL-2) was done by ELISA. Lymphocytes were stained with anti-CD3-Cy-5, anti-CD56/CD16/Nkp46-FITC and anti-CD25-PE antibodies and analyzed by flow cytometry. We observed that the CD25 expression exclusively on the CD3(-)CD56(+)CD25(+) NK cells was positively correlated with their cytotoxic function evaluated by the MTT test (r = 0.68), the upregulation of granzyme B (r = 0.89), IL-2 (r = 0.78) and IFN-γ (r = 0.57), however, it was not positively correlated with FasL and caspase-8. We conclude that the CD25 expression might serve as an in vitro receptor-based screening tool for NK cell activity.
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