Interaction between conventional dendritic cells and natural killer cells is integral to the activation of effective antiviral immunity

Christopher E. Andoniou, Serani L.H. van Dommelen, Valentina Voigt, Daniel M. Andrews, Geraldine Brizard, Carine Asselin-Paturel, Thomas Delale, Katryn J. Stacey, Giorgio Trinchieri, Mariapia A. Degli-Esposti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

224 Citations (Scopus)


Dendritic cells (DCs) regulate various aspects of innate immunity, including natural killer (NK) cell function. Here we define the mechanisms involved in DC -NK cell interactions during viral infection. NK cells were efficiently activated by murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) -infected CD11b+ DCs. NK cell cytotoxicity required interferon-α and interactions between the NKG2D activating receptor and NKG2D ligand, whereas the production of interferon-γ by NK cells relied mainly on DC-derived interleukin 18. Although Toll-like receptor 9 contributes to antiviral immunity, we found that signaling pathways independent of Toll-like receptor 9 were important in generating immune responses to MCMV, including the production of interferon-α and the induction of NK cell cytotoxicity. Notably, adoptive transfer of MCMV-activated CD11b+ DCs resulted in improved control of MCMV infection, indicating that these cells participate in controlling viral replication in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1019
Number of pages9
JournalNature Immunology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes

Cite this