It is becoming increasingly apparent that natural killer (NK) cells play a crucial role in innate defense mechanisms against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Furthermore, NK cell functions are dependent on adequate levels of glutathione. In this study, we examined whether the NK cell-mediated growth control of intracellular M. tuberculosis is dependent on adequate levels of glutathione. We investigated the effects of glutathione both alone and in combination with interleukin-2 (IL-2) or IL-12 or both in modulating NK cell functions, such as cytolytic activity, activating receptor expression, induction of apoptosis, and cytokine synthesis. Our results strongly indicate that glutathione in combination with IL-2+IL-12 augments NK cell functions, leading to control M. tuberculosis infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology