Other Immune response, not acute viral infections, responsible for neurological damage (Feb 2024, mice) Bystander activated CD8+ T cells mediate neuropathology during viral infection via antigen-independent cytotoxicity

Michael Harrop

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https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-02-immune-response-acute-viral-infections.html
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-44667-0

For years, there has been a long-held belief that acute viral infections like Zika or COVID-19 are directly responsible for neurological damage, but researchers from McMaster University have now discovered that it's the immune system's response that is behind it.

Abstract​

Although many viral infections are linked to the development of neurological disorders, the mechanism governing virus-induced neuropathology remains poorly understood, particularly when the virus is not directly neuropathic. Using a mouse model of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection, we found that the severity of neurological disease did not correlate with brain ZIKV titers, but rather with infiltration of bystander activated NKG2D+CD8+ T cells. Antibody depletion of CD8 or blockade of NKG2D prevented ZIKV-associated paralysis, suggesting that CD8+ T cells induce neurological disease independent of TCR signaling. Furthermore, spleen and brain CD8+ T cells exhibited antigen-independent cytotoxicity that correlated with NKG2D expression. Finally, viral infection and inflammation in the brain was necessary but not sufficient to induce neurological damage. We demonstrate that CD8+ T cells mediate virus-induced neuropathology via antigen-independent, NKG2D-mediated cytotoxicity, which may serve as a therapeutic target for treatment of virus-induced neurological disease.
 
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