F1000Res 2019 25;8. Epub 2019 Mar 25.
Department of Clinical and Experimental medicine, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, Sussex, BN1 9PX, UK.
Immunosenescence is thought to contribute to the increase of autoimmune diseases in older people. Immunosenescence is often associated with the presence of an expanded population of CD4 T cells lacking expression of CD28 (CD28 ). These highly cytotoxic CD4 T cells were isolated from disease-affected tissues in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, or other chronic inflammatory diseases and their numbers appeared to be linked to disease severity. However, we recently demonstrated that the common herpes virus, cytomegalovirus (CMV), not ageing, is the major driver of this subset of cytotoxic T cells. In this review, we discuss how CMV might potentiate and exacerbate autoimmune disease through the expansion of CD28 CD4 T cells.