Natural killer (NK) cells play an important role in the innate immune response. Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is a well-known interferon-gamma (IFN-γ inducing factor, which stimulates immune response in NK and T cells. Sphingosine kinase (SPHK) catalyzes the formation of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), which acts as a second messenger to function as an anti-apoptotic factor and proliferation stimulator of immune cells. In this study, to elucidate whether SPHK is involved in IL-18-induced IFN-γ production, we measured IL-18-induced IFN-γ production after pre-treatment with SPHK inhibitor (SKI) in NK-92MI cells. We found that IL-18-induced IFN-γ expression was blocked by SKI pre-treatment in both mRNA and protein levels. In addition, the increased IFN-γ production by stimulation with IL-18 is mediated through both SPHK and p38 MAPK. To determine the upstream signals of SKI and p38 MAPK in IL-18-induced IFN-γ production, phosphorylation levels of p38 MAPK was measured after SKI pre-treatment. As a result, inhibition of SPHK by SKI blocked phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, showing that SPHK activation by IL-18 is an upstream signal of p38 MAPK activation. Inhibition of SPHK by SKI also inhibited IL-18-induced IFN-γ production in human primary NK cells. In conclusion, SPHK activation is an essential factor for IL-18-induced IFN-γ production via p38 MAPK.
|Number of pages
|Biochemical and biophysical research communications
|Published - 2008 Sept 12
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a grant of the Korea Health 21 R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A050569) and the SRC program (Research Center for Women’s Diseases at Sookmyung Women’s University) of Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) and the Korea Research Foundation (KRF-2004-005-C00012).
- NK cell
- Sphingosine kinase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology