• Adiponectin;
  • Adiponectin KO mice;
  • Adiponectin receptors 1 or 2;
  • Immunomodulation;
  • NK cells

Adiponectin (APN) has been shown to exert antiinflammatory effects in various disease models but little is known concerning its regulation of NK-cell function. Here, we show that the majority of human CD56dim NK cells express surface Adiponectin receptor (AdipoR) 1 and 2 while most CD56high NK cells are AdipoR-negative. Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligand-induced IFN-γ production was diminished by APN while it had no influence on NK-cell cytotoxicity. In contrast only a small subpopulation of murine NK cells expresses surface AdipoRs, but about 90% store them intracellularly. APN-deficient knockout (KO) mice had elevated frequencies of NK cells. However, cytotoxic degranulation of NK cells was decreased in APN knockout (APN-KO) animals. Accordingly, frequencies of CD11bhighCD27high and CD94high effector NK cells and expression of NKG2D were lower in APN-KO mice. Upon CVB3 infection NK-cell function was restored in APN-KO mice. Our data suggest that in addition to its antiinflammatory effects APN also influences the numerical and differentiation status of NK cells, which may further impact the outcome of immune-mediated diseases in APN-KO mice.