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Int J Cancer. 1983 Mar 15;31(3):309-14.

Natural killer cell activity during mouse hepatitis virus infection: response in the absence of interferon.


The ability of the JHM3 strain of mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) to induce natural killer (NK) cells was examined. Infection of C57BL/6 (B6) mice with this virus resulted in the augmentation of natural cytotoxicity against YAC-I target cells in the absence of a detectable interferon response. The cells responsible for this increased cytotoxicity were sensitive to complement-mediated lysis with an anti-Q-5 reagent but not with a Thy 1.2 antiserum, indicating that they possess an NK-like surface phenotype. Although variation in the NK response of individual B6 mice following JHM virus infection was found, even the animal with the most responsive NK cell population had no detectable interferon in the spleen. This finding contrasted with observations with an unrelated virus (lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus) and a serologically related strain of MHV. Infection with both of these viruses induced augmented NK cell activity and interferon responses. In addition, we found that neither the ability to mount an augmented NK cell response nor preferential lysis of virus-infected targets correlated with resistance or susceptibility to JHM virus infection.

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