Author(s): Bielekova B, Catalfamo M, ReichertScrivner S, Packer A, Cerna M,
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Abstract Administration of daclizumab, a humanized mAb directed against the IL-2Ralpha chain, strongly reduces brain inflammation in multiple sclerosis patients. Here we show that daclizumab treatment leads to only a mild functional blockade of CD4(+) T cells, the major candidate in multiple sclerosis pathogenesis. Instead, daclizumab therapy was associated with a gradual decline in circulating CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells and significant expansion of CD56(bright) natural killer (NK) cells in vivo, and this effect correlated highly with the treatment response. In vitro studies showed that NK cells inhibited T cell survival in activated peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures by a contact-dependent mechanism. Positive correlations between expansion of CD56(bright) NK cells and contraction of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell numbers in individual patients in vivo provides supporting evidence for NK cell-mediated negative immunoregulation of activated T cells during daclizumab therapy. Our data support the existence of an immunoregulatory pathway wherein activated CD56(bright) NK cells inhibit T cell survival. This immunoregulation has potential importance for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and transplant rejection and toward modification of tumor immunity.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology