Natural Killer Cells Role in Immune Exhaustion

Materi, Josh
Natural killer (NK) cells role in the innate and adaptive immune responses are crucial for the elimination of invading pathogens. Past research has shown that NK cells control the innate stages of Toxoplasma gondii infection. Evidence of NK cells role in the adaptive immune response has shown that that NK cells facilitate chronic T. gondii infection by eliciting cytotoxicity towards T-cells. Our goal is to further investigate the mechanism by which NK cells promote T. gondii infection. We demonstrated that T. gondii infected, NK cell knockout mice were able to sustain a greater T-cell population compared to T. gondii infected mice that maintained their NK cell activity. Future direction will be to investigate the molecular pathway between NK cells and T-cells during the adaptive states of the immune response.
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