Varicella zoster virus productively infects human natural killer cells and manipulates phenotype
Healthy human donor PBMCs were mock or VZV infected with or without IL-2 (200 U/ml) for 2 days then analysed by flow cytometry. (A) Diagram describes gating strategy and tSNE analysis workflow for samples shown in (B & C). (B & C) tSNE plots show marker expression levels for single parameters on individual cells in the tSNE map for mock and VZV cultured NK cells after 2 days, either untreated (B) or in the presence of IL-2 (C). Arrowheads indicate the CD56bright NK cell subset, and the outlined population indicates the localisation of VZV+ NK cells. One representative experiment of three is shown. (D & E) Plots show CD57 expression between mock and VZV cultured NK cells (D) and between bystander and VZV+ NK cells (E), from one representative donor. Graphs show respective frequencies of CD57+ NK cells when untreated or with IL-2 (shaded) for four donors. Bars indicate mean. (F) Histograms show CD16 expression for mock, bystander and VZV+ NK cells from one representative donor. Graph shows frequency of CD16+ NK cells when untreated or with IL-2 (shaded) for six donors. Bars indicate mean. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001 (Friedman test with Dunn’s multiple comparisons test).