NKT cells derive from the thymus and home to the liver. Liver NKT cells can be divided in two groups: 'classical' and 'non-classical'. The first is CD1d-restricted, the second is CD1d-unrestriced. NKT cells (classical and non-classical) co-express T-cell receptor (TCR) and NK-cell marker (NK1.1), display cytotoxicity and produce IFN-γ under IL-12 stimulation affecting, thereby, Th1 response and innate immunity. NK1.1+TCRα/ β+ cells belong to both groups. NK1.1+TCRγ/ δ+ cells belong to the second group. Anyway, both NKT cell subtypes, via IFN-γ production, protect against viruses and bacteria from early in life. Immune variations as well as zinc rhythmicity during the circadian cycle confer the immune plasticity, which is essential for successful ageing. Liver NK1.1+TCRγ/δ+ cells, rather than TCRα/β+, from young and very old mice display 'in vitro' (under IL-12 stimulation) nocturnal peaks in cytotoxicity and IFN-γ production. The acrophase of liver NK1. 1+TCRγ/δ+ cells is present in young and very old mice, not in old. The interplay among zinc-bound metallothionein (MT)/IL-6/gp130/poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) may be involved in conferring plasticity to liver NK1.1+TCRγ/δ+ cells. IL-6, via sub-unit receptor gp130, induces MTmRNA. At night, gene expressions of MT, IL-6, gp130 are lower in very old mice than old and young MT-I transgenic mice (MT-I*). In very old mice, this phenomenon allows limited sequester of intracellular zinc from MT leading to good free zinc ion bioavailability for immune efficiency and zinc-dependent PARP-1 activity. Indeed (1) in vitro, high IL-6 provokes strong accumulation of MT, impaired cytotoxicity and low zinc ion bioavailability in liver NK1.1 +TCRγ/δ+ cells exclusively from old and MT-I* mice. (2) The ratio total/endogen PARP-1 activity is higher in very old than in old and MT-I* mice, suggesting a higher capacity of PARP-1 in base excision DNA-repair in very old age thanks to low zinc-bound MT. Cytotoxicity and IFN-γ production from liver NK1.1 +TCRγ/δ+ cells are thus preserved leading to successful ageing. In conclusion, MT/IL-6/gp130/PARP-1 interplay may confer plasticity to liver CD1d-unrestricted NK1.1+TCRγ/ δ+ cells, where MT, IL-6, gp130 are the main upstream protagonists, and PARP-1 is the main downstream protagonist in immunosenescence.
- Liver NKT cells
- Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1
- Successful ageing
- T-cell receptors
ASJC Scopus subject areas