The importance of cell adhesion molecules such as ICAM-1 is emphasized in cell-to-cell interactions that are critical in the generation of effective immune reactions. In this study, the involvement of ICAM-1 in natural killer (NK) cell activities was characterized in IL-12-activated human NK cells. To address the question of whether ligation of ICAM-1 molecules can modulate NK cell cytolytic activities, a 4-h 51Cr-release assay was performed after pretreatment of NK cells with R6.5 mAb (anti-human ICAM-1 mAb). Ligation of membrane ICAM-1 molecules significantly inhibited IL-12-enhanced NK cytotoxicity against K562, and the pretreatment of neutralizing soluble ICAM- 1 with R6.5 mAb blocked this inhibitory effect. The involvement of Ca2+- dependent granular exocytosis was evaluated. BLT esterase assay demonstrated that the ligation of ICAM-1 molecules inhibited granular exocytosis of NK cells. Additionally, the ICAM-1-mediated inhibition of Ca2+ flux in NK cells was detected using Fluo-3AM, while the pretreatment of NK cells with R6.5 mAb did not affect conjugate formation between NK and K562 cells. Collectively, these results suggest that the signals transduced from ICAM-1 molecules might be sufficient to induce inhibitory effects on NK cells. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
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