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© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. Background. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of respiratory tract infection in vulnerable populations. Natural killer (NK) cells and dendritic cells (DC) are important for the effector functions of both cell types following infection. Methods. Wild-type and NKG2D-deficient mice were infected with RSV. Lung pathology was assessed by histology. Dendritic cell function and phenotype were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and flow cytometry. The expression of NKG2D ligands on lung and lymph node DCs was measured by immunostaining and flow cytometry. Adoptive transfer experiments were performed to assess the importance of NKG2D-dependent DC function in RSV infection. Results. NKG2D-deficient mice exhibited greater lung pathology, marked by the accumulation of DCs following RSV infection. Dendritic cells isolated from NKG2D-deficient mice had impaired responses toward Toll-like receptor ligands. Dendritic cells expressed NKG2D ligands on their surface, which was further increased in NKG2D-deficient mice and during RSV infection. Adoptive transfer of DCs isolated from wild-type mice into the airways of NKG2D-deficient mice ameliorated the enhanced inflammation in NKG2D-deficient mice after RSV infection. Conclusion. NKG2D-dependent interactions with DCs control the phenotype and function of DCs and play a critical role in pulmonary host defenses against RSV infection.

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Journal of Infectious Diseases

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