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Med Microbiol Immunol. 2012 Nov;201(4):487-95. doi: 10.1007/s00430-012-0263-0. Epub 2012 Sep 11.

Innate immunity regulates adaptive immune response: lessons learned from studying the interplay between NK and CD8+ T cells during MCMV infection.

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  • 1Department of Histology and Embryology, University of Rijeka, B. Branchetta 20, 51 000 Rijeka, Croatia.


Natural killer (NK) cells play a crucial role in early immune response against cytomegalovirus infection. A large and mounting body of data indicate that these cells are involved in the regulation of the adaptive immune response as well. By using mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) as a model, several groups provided novel insights into the role of NK cells in the development and kinetics of antiviral CD8(+) T cell response. Depending on infection conditions, virus strain and the genetic background of mice used, NK cells are either positive or negative regulators of the CD8(+) T cell response. At present, there is no unique explanation for the observed differences between various experimental systems used. In this review we discuss the mechanisms involved in the interplay between NK and CD8(+) T cells in the early control of MCMV infection.

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