An important role for natural killer (NK) cells in the regulation of T-cell responses is emerging, although the receptor pairs regulating the NK-T-cell interaction have still not been identified. We found that superantigen- stimulated T cells express Nectin-2 (CD112) and poliovirus receptor (PVR; CD155), the ligands of the activating NK receptor DNAX accessory molecule-1 (DNAM-1; CD226). Interestingly, only PVR was present at the T cell surface, particularly on cells in the S and G2/M phases of the cell cycle. The upregulation of PVR expression involves DNA-damage response (DDR)-dependent pathways, because we found that pharmacologic inhibition of ATM and ATR kinases reduced PVR expression and that PVR was almost exclusively induced on cells expressing the DDR marker γH2AX. Oxidative stress contributed to DDR activation, and our results showed impaired PVR levels in the presence of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), being monocytes the main ROS source needed for optimal PVR expression on activated T cells. Interestingly, in accordance with ligand expression, NK cells lysed allogeneic proliferating more efficiently than nonproliferating T lymphocytes, with a mechanism requiring the cooperation between DNAM-1 and NKG2D. These results could contribute to unraveling the role of NK cells in the down-regulation of T-cell responses in physiologic and pathologic processes such as autoimmunity or GVHD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology