Signaling pathways involved in the T-cell-mediated immunity against Epstein-Barr virus: Lessons from genetic diseases.

Latour S, Fischer A.

Source : Immunol. Rev.

2019 Sep 1

Pmid : 31402499

Abstract

Primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) provide researchers with unique models to understand in vivo immune responses in general and immunity to infections in particular. In humans, impaired immune control of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection is associated with the occurrence of several different immunopathologic conditions; these include non-malignant and malignant B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a severe inflammatory condition, and a chronic acute EBV infection of T cells. Studies of PIDs associated with a predisposition to develop severe, chronic EBV infections have led to the identification of key components of immunity to EBV - notably the central role of T-cell expansion and its regulation in the pathophysiology of EBV-associated diseases. On one hand, the defective expansion of EBV-specific CD8 T cells results from mutations in genes involved in T-cell activation (such as RASGRP1, MAGT1, and ITK), DNA metabolism (CTPS1) or co-stimulatory pathways (CD70, CD27, and TNFSFR9 (also known as CD137/4-1BB)) leads to impaired elimination of proliferating EBV-infected B cells and the occurrence of lymphoma. On the other hand, protracted T-cell expansion and activation after the defective killing of EBV-infected B cells is caused by genetic defects in the components of the lytic granule exocytosis pathway or in the small adapter protein SH2D1A (also known as SAP), a key activator of T- and NK cell-cytotoxicity. In this setting, the persistence of EBV-infected cells results in HLH, a condition characterized by unleashed T-cell and macrophage activation. Moreover, genetic defects causing selective vulnerability to EBV infection have highlighted the role of co-receptor molecules (CD27, CD137, and SLAM-R) selectively involved in immune responses against infected B cells via specific T-B cell interactions.

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