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Braz J Infect Dis. 2015 Jul-Aug;19(4):417-25. doi: 10.1016/j.bjid.2015.05.006. Epub 2015 Jun 25.

Natural killer cells in hepatitis B virus infection.

Author information

1
Department of Hepatopathy, Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China.
2
Department of Gynecology, Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China.
3
Department of Hepatopathy, Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China. Electronic address: gaoyueqiu@hotmail.com.

Abstract

Natural killer cells are a unique type of lymphocytes with cytotoxic capacity, and play important roles against tumors and infections. Recently, natural killer cells have been increasingly valued in their effects in hepatitis B virus infection. Since hepatitis B virus is not cytopathic, the subsequent antiviral immune responses of the host are responsible for sustaining the liver injury, which may result in cirrhosis and even hepatocellular carcinoma. Many studies have confirmed that natural killer cells participate in anti-hepatitis B virus responses both in the early phase after infection and in the chronic phase via cytolysis, degranulation, and cytokine secretion. However, natural killer cells play dichotomic roles: they exert antiviral and immunoregulatory functions whilst contribute to the pathogenesis of liver injury. Here, we review the roles of natural killer cells in hepatitis B virus infection, introducing novel therapeutic strategies for controlling hepatitis B virus infection via the modulation of natural killer cells.

KEYWORDS:

HBV; NK cells; Review

PMID:
26119852
DOI:
10.1016/j.bjid.2015.05.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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