National Cancer Institute NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
View the PDF of this article at: https://www.the-jci.org/press/20261.pdf
T Cell Balancing Act in Hepatitus C Chronic Infection
One of the main puzzles of hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection relates to how HCV can establish a persistent infection in the presence of a large number of T cells that are specific to HCV antigens, and should therefore result in HCV clearance from the organism's system. Upon HCV infection, HCV-specific CD8+ T-cells are massively recruited to the liver, but these cells have been shown to be inefficient in their activity against HCV infected cells. Now, Vincenzo Barbaba and colleagues of Universita degli Studi di Roma present the first data concerning the underlying reason for the inefficient activity of these T cells. Analyzing chronic HCV patients, the researchers found that the number of CD8+ regulatory T-cells (CD8+ Treg) was likewise increased. These CD8+ Treg cells produced large amounts of interleukin-10 (IL-10). Application of inhibitors to IL-10 restored CD8+ T-cell activity. This work marks the pivotal role that these regulatory T-cells play in controlling hepatic CD8+ T cell action during HCV infection and that the concomitant appearance off these two cell types may be the main factor in the establishment of chronic infection.
TITLE: Hepatic expansion of a virus-specific regulatory CD8+ T cell population in chronic hepatitis C virus infection
Universita degli Studi di Roma, Rome, Italy.
Contact: Laurie Goodman
Journal of Clinical Investigation