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Human Herpesvirus 6B Induces Phenotypic Maturation Without IL-10 and IL-12p70 Production in Dendritic Cells

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Abstract Human herpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B) is the causative agent of the common childhood febrile illness, exanthema subitum. The virus is predominantly regarded as a T-cell tropic virus, although in reality it has the ability to infect a wide variety of cell types including monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells (DC). Although DC are important immune regulators, the modulating effects of HHV-6B on DC are controversial. Here, we examine the phenotypic and functional consequences of HHV-6B infection of DC. The addition of HHV-6B to immature DC led to expression of the nuclear viral p41 protein and cell surface expression of the viral glycoprotein gp60/110 consistent with HHV-6B infection. Nevertheless, HHV-6B did not induce noticeable cytopathogenic effects or cell death in infected DC. Importantly, HHV-6B infection induced a partial phenotypic maturation of immature DC as demonstrated by a substantial increase in the expression of HLA-DR, CD86 and CD40, whereas only a minor increase in CD80 and CD83 was observed. This phenotypic maturation was, however, not followed by functional maturation, because HHV-6B infection did not induce IL-10 and IL-12p70 production in immature DC. However, infected DC were still able to react to bacteria-derived stimuli such as lipopolysaccaharide by an even more pronounced production of IL-10 and IL-12p70 when compared to that of uninfected DC.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Immunology
Pages (from-to)431-9
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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