News from DCEXS-UPF
An international study led by the Infection Biology Group at the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) shows a communication axis that is part of a functional adaptation to chronic viral infections.
Scientists led by Andreas Meyerhans together with other researchers from Spain, Russia, Switzerland, and Japan have now studied acute and chronic virus infections from a Systems Biology approach. Their results appear in an article published in Genome Research.
According to Andreas Meyerhans, ICREA research professor at UPF “in this study, we demonstrate an early attenuation of inflammatory monocytic cells, which are a type of white blood cells, prior to T cell exhaustion”. This suggests that attenuation of these inflammatory monocytes helps to prevent the development of fibrosis -which develops as a consequence of inflammation- in the spleens of chronically infected animals.
The authors demonstrate the involvement of a communication axis (XCL1-XCR1) between T cells and cross-presenting dendritic cells, which present extracellular antigens to the T cells, in virus containment during chronic infection. Despite the various suppressive mechanisms induced during chronic infection, effector T cell exhaustion is only partial and some T cell functionality remains that restrains the expansion of the persisting virus. Researchers show here that this communication axis is critical to maintaining such effector T cell responses.
Jordi Argilaguet, Mireia Pedragosa, Anna Esteve-Codina, Graciela Riera, Eric Vidal, Cristina Peligero-Cruz, Valentina Casella, David Andreu, Tsuneyasu Kaisho, Gennady Bocharov, Burkhard Ludewig, Simon Heath, and Andreas Meyerhans. Systems analysis reveals complex biological processes during virus infection fate decisions. Genome Research, May 2019. DOI: 10.1101/gr.241372.118.