Invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT) constitute up to 50% of liver lymphocytes and contribute to immunosurveillance as well as pathogenesis of the liver. Systemic activation of iNKT cells induces acute immune-mediated liver injury. However, how tissue damage events regulate iNKT cell function and homeostasis remains unclear. We found that specifically tissue-resident iNKT cells in liver and spleen express the tissue-damage receptor P2RX7 and the P2RX7-activating ectoenzyme ARTC2. P2RX7 expression restricted formation of iNKT cells in the liver suggesting that liver iNKT cells are actively restrained under homeostatic conditions. Deliberate activation of P2RX7 in vivo by exogenous NAD resulted in a nearly complete iNKT cell ablation in liver and spleen in a P2RX7-dependent manner. Tissue damage generated by acetaminophen-induced liver injury reduced the number of iNKT cells in the liver. The tissue-damage-induced iNKT cell depletion was driven by P2RX7 and localized to the site of injury, as iNKT cells in the spleen remained intact. The depleted liver iNKT cells reconstituted only slowly compared to other lymphocytes such as regulatory T cells. These findings suggest that tissue-damage-mediated depletion of iNKT cells acts as a feedback mechanism to limit iNKT cell-induced pathology resulting in the establishment of a tolerogenic environment.
600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften::610 Medizin und Gesundheit::610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Murine iNKT cells are depleted by liver damage via activation of P2RX7
European Journal of Immunology
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin