Specific and nonspecific NK cell activation during virus infection

Ayotunde O. Dokun, Sungjin Kim, Hamish R.C. Smith, Hyun Seok P. Kang, Dortha T. Chu, Wayne M. Yokoyama

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341 Scopus citations


The natural killer (NK) cell activation receptor Ly49H is required for resistance to murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV). We show here that NK cell proliferation and production of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) was not dependent on Ly49H expression during early MCMV infection. During a later phase of infection, however, Ly49H+ NK cells selectively proliferated and this expansion was blocked by anti-Ly49H administration. With vaccinia virus infection, neither the early nor late phase of NK cell proliferation was selective for Ly49H+ NK cells. These findings indicated that Ly49H+ NK cells were specifically activated by MCMV and that MCMV infection was characterized by nonspecific and specific phases of NK cell activation in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-956
Number of pages6
JournalNature immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 29 2001

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    Dokun, A. O., Kim, S., Smith, H. R. C., Kang, H. S. P., Chu, D. T., & Yokoyama, W. M. (2001). Specific and nonspecific NK cell activation during virus infection. Nature immunology, 2(10), 951-956. https://doi.org/10.1038/ni714