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eISSN: 1643-3750

Role of Natural Killer T (NKT) Cells in Type II Diabetes-Induced Vascular Injuries

Xiaohong Lv, Yun Gao, Tantan Dong, Libo Yang

(The First Department of Endocrinology, Tai’an Central Hospital, Tai’an, Shandong, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:8322-8332

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.912446

Published: 2018-11-19


BACKGROUND: This study investigated the distribution and features of natural killer T (NKT) cells in the peripheral blood of diabetic patients, and their regulatory roles on vascular endothelial cells.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Peripheral lymphocytes were isolated from diabetic patients. NKT cell distribution, proportion, and surface and intracellular markers were detected with flow cytometry. Peripheral blood-derived NKT cells were isolated and co-cultured with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Proliferation and migration of HUVECs were assessed with the CCK-8 assay and the Transwell chamber assay.
RESULTS: The ratios of CD3-CD56+ NK and CD3+CD56+ NKT cells in the peripheral blood of patients with type II diabetes were significantly elevated. The expression levels of NKp30, NKG2D, and NKp44 on the surface were increased in the CD3+CD56+ NKT cells, while the expression levels of NKG2A and 158b were significantly downregulated. The expression level of granzymes in the peripheral blood-derived NKT cells were not changed in patients with type II diabetes, but the expression levels of IFNg and IL-4 were significantly increased. However, after co-culture with NKT cells derived from the peripheral blood of diabetic patients, the proliferation and migration of HUVECs were significantly inhibited, and was restored by treatment with IL-4 antibody. In addition, the IL-4 stimulus inhibited the proliferation and migration of HUVECs.
ls were not changed in patients with type II diabetes, while the expression levels of IFNγ and IL-4 were significantly increased. However, after co-cultured with NKT cells derived from the peripheral blood of diabetic patients, the proliferation and migration of HUVECs were significantly inhibited, which could significantly restored by the treatment of IL-4 antibody. In addition, the IL-4 stimulus could down-regulate the proliferation and migration of HUVECs. 
CONCLUSIONS: Peripheral blood NKT cells are increased and activated in diabetes. NKT cells inhibit the proliferation and migration of HUVECs by secreting IL-4, thereby inducing vascular injuries.

Keywords: endothelial cells, Killer Cells, Natural, Umbilical Veins



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