Homeostasis of the antibody response: immunoregulation by NK cells

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Science  11 Nov 1983:
Vol. 222, Issue 4624, pp. 581-585
DOI: 10.1126/science.6685343


When injected into mice, the synthetic double-stranded polynucleotide poly(inosinic) X poly(cytidylic) acid induces high natural killer (NK) cell activity within 4 to 12 hours. Induction of NK activity in mice immunized 2 or 3 days previously, or the addition of NK cells to cultures immunized in vitro 2 or 3 days previously, promotes early termination of the ongoing primary immunoglobulin M antibody response. A target for NK cells is a population of accessory cells that has interacted with antigen and is necessary for sustaining the antibody response. The inference is strong that NK cells induced normally by immunization also terminate the usual antibody response in vivo by elimination of antigen-exposed accessory cells.