A contribution of mouse dendritic cell-derived IL-2 for NK cell activation

Francesca Granucci, Ivan Zanoni, Norman Pavelka, Serani L.H. Van Dommelen, Christopher E. Andoniou, Filippo Belardelli, Mariapia A. Degli Esposti, Paola Ricciardi-Castagnoli

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161 Citations (Scopus)


Dendritic cells (DCs) play a predominant role in activation of natural killer (NK) cells that exert their functions against pathogen-infected and tumor cells. Here, we used a murine model to investigate the molecular mechanisms responsible for this process. Two soluble molecules produced by bacterially activated myeloid DCs are required for optimal priming of NK cells. Type I interferons (IFNs) promote the cytotoxic functions of NK cells. IL-2 is necessary both in vitro and in vivo for the efficient production of IFNγ, which has an important antimetastatic and antibacterial function. These findings provide new information about the mechanisms that mediate DC-NK cell interactions and define a novel and fundamental role for IL-2 in innate immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2004


  • Dendritic cells
  • Innate immune response
  • Interferon γ
  • Interleukin 2
  • NK cells

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