Current Medical Science

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 648–655 | Cite as

γδ T Cells Contribute to the Outcome of Murine Fulminant Viral Hepatitis via Effector Cytokines TNF-α and IFN-γ

  • Di Wu
  • Wei-ming Yan
  • Hong-wu Wang
  • Da Huang
  • Xiao-ping Luo
  • Qin NingEmail author


The mechanisms involved in virus-induced severe hepatitis have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we investigated the role of gamma delta T cell receptors (γδ) T cells in the pathogenesis of fulminant viral hepatitis (FVH) induced by murine hepatitis virus strain 3 (MHV-3). The model of FVH was established by intraperitoneal injection of MHV-3 into Balb/cJ mice. The survival days of mice, and the serum levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were examined. The proportions of γδ T cells in blood, spleen and liver, and cytokines secreted by hepatic γδ T cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. The function of hepatic γδ T cells was examined by cytotoxicity assay. Balb/cJ mice died in 3 to 6 days post MHV-3 infection, with severe hepatic necrosis and significant augmentation of serum ALT and AST levels. The proportions of γδ T cells in blood, spleen and liver were significantly increased post MHV-3 infection, while those of the early activating molecule CD69-expressing γδ T cells and productions of cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) increased remarkably in the liver. These highly activated liver γδ T cells were cytotoxic to MHV-3-infected hepatocytes in vitro and this effect of liver γδ T cells against hepatocytes might involve the TNF-α and IFN-γ pathway. These results demonstrated that γδ T cells might contribute to the pathogenesis of MHV-3-induced FVH through the effector cytokines TNF-α and IFN-γ.

Key words

fulminant viral hepatitis murine hepatitis virus strain 3 gamma delta T cell receptors T cells tumor necrosis factor-α interferon-γ 


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Copyright information

© Huazhong University of Science and Technology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Di Wu
    • 1
  • Wei-ming Yan
    • 1
  • Hong-wu Wang
    • 1
  • Da Huang
    • 1
  • Xiao-ping Luo
    • 2
  • Qin Ning
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Infectious Disease, Institute of Infectious Disease, Tongji HospitalHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina

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