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Heat shock proteins form part of a danger signal cascade in response to lipopolysaccharide and GroELAn increasing number of cell types, including peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), have been demonstrated to release heat shock proteins (Hsps). This paper investigates further the hypothesis that Hsps are danger signals. PBMCs and Jurkat cells released Hsp70 (0·22 and 0·7 ng/106 cells, respectively) into medium over 24 h at 37°C. Release of Hsp70 was stimulated 10-fold by GroEL (P < 0·001) and more than threefold by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (P < 0·001). Although Hsp60 could be detected in the medium of cells cultured at 37°C for 24 h, the low rates of release were due probably to cell damage. Significant release of Hsp60 was observed when Jurkat cells were exposed to GroEL (2·88 ng/106 cells) or LPS (1·40 ng/106 cells). The data are consistent with the hypothesis that Hsp70 and Hsp60 are part of a danger signalling cascade in response to bacterial infection.
Interaction of a dengue virus NS1-derived peptide with the inhibitory receptor KIR3DL1 on natural killer cellsKiller immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) interact with human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class I ligands and play a key role in the regulation and activation of NK cells. The functional importance of KIR-HLA interactions has been demonstrated for a number of chronic viral infections, but to date only a few studies have been performed in the context of acute self-limited viral infections. During our investigation of CD8(+) T cell responses to a conserved HLA-B57-restricted epitope derived from dengue virus (DENV) non-structural protein-1 (NS1), we observed substantial binding of the tetrameric complex to non-T/non-B lymphocytes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from a long-standing clinical cohort in Thailand. We confirmed binding of the NS1 tetramer to CD56(dim) NK cells, which are known to express KIRs. Using depletion studies and KIR-transfected cell lines, we demonstrated further that the NS1 tetramer bound the inhibitory receptor KIR3DL1. Phenotypical analysis of PBMC from HLA-B57(+) subjects with acute DENV infection revealed marked activation of NS1 tetramer-binding natural killer (NK) cells around the time of defervescence in subjects with severe dengue disease. Collectively, our findings indicate that subsets of NK cells are activated relatively late in the course of acute DENV illness and reveal a possible role for specific KIR-HLA interactions in the modulation of disease outcomes.