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      Jinx, an MCMV susceptibility phenotype caused by disruption of Unc13d: a mouse model of type 3 familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis

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          Abstract

          Mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) susceptibility often results from defects of natural killer (NK) cell function. Here we describe Jinx, an N-ethyl- N-nitrosourea–induced MCMV susceptibility mutation that permits unchecked proliferation of the virus, causing death. In Jinx homozygotes, activated NK cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) fail to degranulate, although they retain the ability to produce cytokines, and cytokine levels are markedly elevated in the blood of infected mutant mice. Jinx was mapped to mouse chromosome 11 on a total of 246 meioses and confined to a 4.60–million basepair critical region encompassing 122 annotated genes. The phenotype was ascribed to the creation of a novel donor splice site in Unc13d, the mouse orthologue of human MUNC13-4, in which mutations cause type 3 familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FHL3), a fatal disease marked by massive hepatosplenomegaly, anemia, and thrombocytopenia. Jinx mice do not spontaneously develop clinical features of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), but do so when infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, exhibiting hyperactivation of CTLs and antigen-presenting cells, and inadequate restriction of viral proliferation. In contrast, neither Listeria monocytogenes nor MCMV induces the syndrome. In mice, the HLH phenotype is conditional, which suggests the existence of a specific infectious trigger of FHL3 in humans.

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          Most cited references 53

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          HLH-2004: Diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

          In HLH-94, the first prospective international treatment study for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), diagnosis was based on five criteria (fever, splenomegaly, bicytopenia, hypertriglyceridemia and/or hypofibrinogenemia, and hemophagocytosis). In HLH-2004 three additional criteria are introduced; low/absent NK-cell-activity, hyperferritinemia, and high-soluble interleukin-2-receptor levels. Altogether five of these eight criteria must be fulfilled, unless family history or molecular diagnosis is consistent with HLH. HLH-2004 chemo-immunotherapy includes etoposide, dexamethasone, cyclosporine A upfront and, in selected patients, intrathecal therapy with methotrexate and corticosteroids. Subsequent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is recommended for patients with familial disease or molecular diagnosis, and patients with severe and persistent, or reactivated, disease. In order to hopefully further improve diagnosis, therapy and biological understanding, participation in HLH studies is encouraged.
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            CD107a as a functional marker for the identification of natural killer cell activity.

            Natural killer (NK) cells are a subset of lymphocytes that play a central role in the innate immune response to tumors and infections. An important limitation in the field of NK research is attributable to the deficit of assays available for the detection of the functional activity of NK cells. Recently, lysosomal-associated membrane protein-1 (LAMP-1 or CD107a) has been described as a marker of CD8+ T-cell degranulation following stimulation. Here we describe CD107a as a marker of NK cell functional activity using multi-parameter flow cytometry. CD107a is significantly upregulated on the surface of NK cells following stimulation with MHC devoid targets. Additionally, CD107a expression correlates with both cytokine secretion and NK cell-mediated lysis of target cells. However, as well as being coordinately expressed on nearly all cytokine secreting cells, CD107a was also expressed on a large subset of NK cells that did not secrete cytokine following stimulation. These data suggest that employing CD107a as a marker of NK cell functional activity may allow for the identification of a large fraction of activated NK cells that may degranulate in the absence of cytokine secretion. Cumulatively, the data presented here demonstrate that CD107a is a sensitive marker of NK cell activity.
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              Direct recognition of cytomegalovirus by activating and inhibitory NK cell receptors.

              Natural killer (NK) cells express inhibitory receptors for major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I antigens, preventing attack against healthy cells. Mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) encodes an MHC-like protein (m157) that binds to an inhibitory NK cell receptor in certain MCMV-susceptible mice. In MCMV-resistant mice, this viral protein engages a related activating receptor (Ly49H) and confers host protection. These activating and inhibitory receptors are highly homologous, suggesting the possibility that one evolved from the other in response to selective pressure imposed by the pathogen.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Exp Med
                The Journal of Experimental Medicine
                The Rockefeller University Press
                0022-1007
                1540-9538
                16 April 2007
                : 204
                : 4
                : 853-863
                Affiliations
                [1 ]The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), La Jolla, CA 92037
                [2 ]Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML), Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille 13288, France
                [3 ]Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), U631, Marseille 13288, France
                [4 ]Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), UMR6102, Marseille 13288, France
                [5 ]Phenomix Corporation, San Diego, CA 92121
                [6 ]La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, CA 92037
                Author notes

                CORRESPONDENCE Bruce Beutler: bruce@ 123456scripps.edu

                Article
                20062447
                10.1084/jem.20062447
                2118559
                17420270
                Copyright © 2007, The Rockefeller University Press
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