Altered natural killer cells' response to herpes virus infection in multiple sclerosis involves KIR2DL2 expression.

The role of herpes viruses as potential triggers of multiple sclerosis (MS) is still debated. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from MS patients and controls were treated with CpG sequences and infected in vitro with HSV-1. Samples were analyzed for viral yield, TLR9 pathways, cytokine secretion, NK cell activation and killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) expression. CpG treatment promoted an unexpected sensitivity to herpes virus infection in a subset of MS patients: TLR9 pathways did not show defects while NK cells presented decreased degranulation and cytotoxicity and up-regulated the inhibitory KIR2DL2 receptor. CpG treatment of purified NK cells affected directly KIR2DL2 modulation and cell activation. These data suggest potential implications for viral pathogenesis of MS.
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