CD27(+)CD56Bright natural killer cells may be involved in spontaneous clearance of acute hepatitis C in HIV-positive patients

Eisenhardt, Marianne; Glässner, Andreas; Wolter, Franziska; Krämer, Benjamin; Kokordelis, Pavlos; Nischalke, Hans-Dieter; Boesecke, Christoph; Rockstroh, Jürgen K.; Spengler, Ulrich; Nattermann, Jacob

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000355
Basic Science: Concise Communications

Objective: The objective of this study was to analyse the potential role of CD27 in natural killer (NK) cell-mediated control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in HIV-positive patients.

Design: Frequency of CD27-expressing CD56Bright NK cells was analysed in HIV mono-infected individuals and HIV-positive patients with acute or chronic hepatitis C. Anti-HCV activity of CD27(+) and CD27(−) NK cells was compared.

Methods: NK cell mediated inhibition of HCV replication was analysed using the HUH7 HCV Replicon model. NK cell phenotype and interferon (IFN) secretion was studied by flowcytometry.

Results: High frequency of CD27(+)CD56Bright NK cells is associated with spontaneous clearance of acute hepatitis C in HIV-positive patients. Accordingly, we found CD27(+)CD56Bright NK cells to display strong anti-HCV activity.

Conclusion: Our results underline the important role of NK cells in modulating outcome of HCV infection.

Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Bonn, German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Bonn, Germany.

Correspondence to Jacob Nattermann, MD, Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany. Tel: +49 0 228 287 51416; fax: +49 0 228 287 51419; e-mail: jacob.nattermann@ukb.uni-bonn.de

Received 27 September, 2013

Revised 19 May, 2014

Accepted 17 May, 2014

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