Article

NK cells controlling virus-specific T cells: Rheostats for acute vs. persistent infections.

Department of Pathology and Program for Immunology and Virology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA. Electronic address: .
Virology (Impact Factor: 3.28). 01/2013; 435(1):37-45. DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2012.10.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Viral infections characteristically induce a cytokine-driven activated natural killer (NK) cell response that precedes an antigen-driven T cell response. These NK cells can restrain some but not all viral infections by attacking virus-infected cells and can thereby provide time for an effective T cell response to mobilize. Recent studies have revealed an additional immunoregulatory role for the NK cells, where they inhibit the size and functionality of the T cell response, regardless of whether the viruses are themselves sensitive to NK cells. This subsequent change in T cell dynamics can alter patterns of immunopathology and persistence and implicates NK cells as rheostat-like regulators of persistent infections.

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