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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.

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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:

Received 27 September, 2013

Revised 19 May, 2014

Accepted 17 May, 2014

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© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.