Activation of NK cell cytotoxicity by the natural compound 2,3-butanediol

Hsin-Chih Lai, Chih-Jung Chang, Chun Hung Yang, Ya Jing Hsu, Chang Chieh Chen, Chuan Sheng Lin, Yu-Huan Tsai, Tsung Teng Huang, David M. Ojcius, Ying Huang Tsai, Chia Chen Lu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

19 Scopus citations


The natural compound 2,3-BTD has diverse physiological effects in a range of organisms, including acting as a detoxifying product of liver alcohol metabolism in humans and ameliorating endotoxin-induced acute lung injury in rats. In this study, we reveal that 2,3-BTD enhances NK cell cytotoxic activity in human pNK cells and NK92 cells. Treatment of NK cells with 2,3-BTD increased perforin expression in a dose-dependent manner. This was accompanied by elevated JNK and ERK1/2 MAPK activities and enhanced expression of NKG2D/ NCRs, upstream signaling molecules of the MAPK pathways. The 2,3-BTD effect was inhibited by pretreatment with inhibitors of JNK (SP) or ERK1/2 (PD) or by depleting NKG2D/NCRs or JNK1 or ERK2 with siRNA. These results indicate that 2,3-BTD activates NK cell cytotoxicity by NKG2D/NCR pathways and represent the first report of the 2,3-BTD effect on activation of innate immunity cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-814
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 10 2012


  • NCR
  • NKG2D
  • Perforin
  • Resveratrol


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