Editor: Artur Ulmer
A role for natural killer cells in intestinal inflammation caused by infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium
Article first published online: 29 AUG 2007
FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology
Volume 51, Issue 2, pages 372–380, November 2007
How to Cite
Harrington, L., Srikanth, C. V., Antony, R., Shi, H. N. and Cherayil, B. J. (2007), A role for natural killer cells in intestinal inflammation caused by infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology, 51: 372–380. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.2007.00313.x
- Issue published online: 29 AUG 2007
- Article first published online: 29 AUG 2007
- Received 1 June 2007; revised 2 July 2007; accepted 10 July 2007.First published online October 2007.
- NK cells;
- intestinal inflammation
Acute gastroenteritis caused by Salmonella infection is a significant public health problem. Using a mouse model of this condition, the authors demonstrated previously that the cytokine gamma interferon (IFN-γ) is required for a normal intestinal inflammatory response to the pathogen. In the present study, these experiments are extended to show that natural killer (NK) cells constitute an early source of intestinal IFN-γ during Salmonella infection, and that these cells have a significant impact on intestinal inflammation. It was found that infection of mice with Salmonella increased both intestinal IFN-γ production and the numbers of NK cells in the intestine and mesenteric lymph nodes. NK cells, along with other types of lymphocytes, produced IFN-γ in response to the bacteria in vitro, while antibody-mediated depletion of NK cells in vivo resulted in a significant reduction in Salmonella-induced intestinal IFN-γ expression. In a mouse strain lacking NK cells and T and B lymphocytes, intestinal production of IFN-γ and Salmonella-induced intestinal inflammation were both significantly decreased compared with a strain deficient only in T and B cells. The authors' observations point to an important function for NK cells and NK-derived IFN-γ in regulating the intestinal inflammatory response to Salmonella.