Journal of neuroimmunology 2016 08 12304() 51-55 pii 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2016.08.012
The main feature of Human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-1) -associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) pathogenesis is a virus-induced hyperactive immune response that produces chronic inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS), but the mechanism by which HTLV-1 deregulates the immune response is unknown. We recently reported a high frequency of HTLV-1-infected CCR4(+) cells, including regulatory T cells. We showed that HTLV-1 induces a Th1-like state in these CCR4(+) cells via T-bet expression. We have also found that CXCL10 plays an important role in a positive feedback loop that maintains inflammation in the CNS. Astrocytes, which were found to be the main producers of CXCL10 in the CNS, are another key player in the loop. In short, we postulate that infected CCR4(+) Th1-like T cells produce interferon-γ, which stimulates astrocytes to produce CXCL10. We now have a much better understanding of the molecular mechanisms at play in HAM/TSP pathogenesis.