1887

Abstract

NK-cells have traditionally been viewed as innate effector lymphocytes that serve as a first line of defence against a range of viruses and tumours. More recently, the importance of NK-cell immunoregulatory functions has been highlighted. NK-cells can inhibit antiviral T-cell responses, and also play an important role in controlling harmful T-cell activity in autoimmunity and transplantation settings. Moreover, immunopathological effects of NK-cells during infection have been reported. Nevertheless, the phenotype and function of NK-cells in the thymus during influenza virus infection is not understood. In the present study, we demonstrated that influenza A virus (IAV) infection in mice led to severe thymic atrophy caused by increased thymic T-cell apoptosis and suppressed proliferation.  We found that NK-cells played a critical role in this phenotype. IFN-γ production by NK-cells was a contributing factor for thymic atrophy during IAV infection. Taken together, our data indicate that NK-cells are involved in the thymic atrophy associated with IAV infection.

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2015-11-01
2020-01-23
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