B lymphocytes engaged in humoral immunity play a critical role in combating pathogenic infections; however, the mechanisms of NK cells in regulating the responses of B cells remain largely unknown. In the present study, we established an Edwardsiella piscicida infection model in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) and found that the production of IgM was decreased. Meanwhile, through establishing the head kidney-derived lymphocyte infection model, we revealed that the impairment of IgMhi B cells was associated with bacterial infection–induced perforin production. Interestingly, we reveal that perforin production in NK cells is tightly regulated by an inhibitory novel immune-type receptor, NITR12. Moreover, we confirm that inhibiting NITR12 can result in elevated perforin production, engaging the impairment of IgMhi B cells. Taken together, these findings demonstrate an innovative strategy of NK cells in mediating B lymphocyte killing in turbot and suggest that relieving NK cells through NITR12 might be the target for the development of efficacious vaccines.

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