Effect of neuropeptide Y on natural killer activity of normal human lymphocytes

Madhavan P.N. Nair, Stanley A. Schwartz, Kunsheng Wu, Zlad Kronfol

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45 Citations (Scopus)


The in vitro effect of neuropeptide Y (NPY) on natural killer (NK) cell activities of normal lymphocytes was investigated. NPY at 10−9 to 10−12M concentrations produced significant suppression of NK activity against K 562 target cells. NPY at 10−9 to 10−12 M concentrations also produced significant inhibitory effects on NK activities of NK-enriched large granular lymphocytes against LAV-infected 8E5/LAV target cells. The suppression was dose dependent against both targets. NPY-induced suppression of NK activity of lymphocytes against K 562 target cells was specifically reversed by rabbit anti-NPY antisera at 1:800 and 1:1600 dilutions, showing the specificity of reactions. Pretreatment of target cells with NPY concentrations capable of inhibiting NK activity did not affect the sensitivity of K 562 target cells for lysis by effector cells. Inhibition of cytotoxicity was not due to direct toxicity of effector cells, because lymphocytes treated with NPY showed normal levels of 51Cr release and their viability was comparable to that of untreated control cells. These studies demonstrated that NPY, a product of sympathetic nervous system activation. may have a significant immunoregulatory effect on NK cell activities of normal lymphocytes that may be of clinical significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-78
Number of pages9
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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