2010 Volume 72 Issue 10 Pages 1275-1282
Innate cells, such as natural killer (NK) cells and NKT cells, play essential roles as primary effector cells at the interface between the host and parasite until establishment of adaptive immunity. However, the roles of NK and NKT cells in defense against Neospora caninum have not been well clarified. NK and NKT cells were depleted by the treatment with an anti-CD122 (interleukin-2 receptor beta chain) monoclonal antibody (mAb, TM-β1) in vivo. The parasite burden in the brain of mice was promoted by the treatment with anti-CD122 mAb. However, there was no significant difference in the infection rates between controls and the mice treated with anti-asialoGM1 antibody to deplete NK cells. Activation of CD4+ T cells was suppressed in the mice treated with anti-CD122 mAb compared with controls and the mice treated with anti-asialoGM1 antibody. On the other hand, depletion of CD122+ cells or NK cells did not affect the number of activated CD8+ T cells, dendritic cells and B cells following N. caninum infection. These results indicate that CD122+ cells (probably NKT cells) play a crucial role in host defense by activating CD4+ T cells against N. caninum infection.