`NK cell–mediated regulation of antigen-specific T cells can contribute to and exacerbate chronic viral infection, but the protective mechanisms against NK cell–mediated attack on T cell immunity are poorly understood. Here, we show that progranulin (PGRN) can reduce NK cell cytotoxicity through reduction of NK cell expansion, granzyme B transcription, and NK cell–mediated lysis of target cells. Following infection with the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), PGRN levels increased — a phenomenon dependent on the presence of macrophages and type I IFN signaling. Absence of PGRN in mice (Grn–/–) resulted in enhanced NK cell activity, increased NK cell–mediated killing of antiviral T cells, reduced antiviral T cell immunity, and increased viral burden, culminating in increased liver immunopathology. Depletion of NK cells restored antiviral immunity and alleviated pathology during infection in Grn–/– mice. In turn, PGRN treatment improved antiviral T cell immunity. Taken together, we identified PGRN as a critical factor capable of reducing NK cell–mediated attack of antiviral T cells.


Anfei Huang, Prashant V. Shinde, Jun Huang, Tina Senff, Haifeng C. Xu, Cassandra Margotta, Dieter Häussinger, Thomas E. Willnow, Jinping Zhang, Aleksandra A. Pandyra, Jörg Timm, Sascha Weggen, Karl S. Lang, Philipp A. Lang


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