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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Sep 15, 1991; 88(18): 8252–8256.

Virus-triggered acquired immunodeficiency by cytotoxic T-cell-dependent destruction of antigen-presenting cells and lymph follicle structure.


Virus-induced acquired immune suppression in mice infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus is shown here to be caused by the CD8+-T-cell-dependent elimination of macrophages/antigen-presenting cells. Surprisingly, this is associated with severe destruction of the follicular organization of lymphoid organs, indicating a crucial role for dendritic cells and marginal zone macrophages in maintaining follicular structure. Once established, this immunopathology cannot be readily reversed by the elimination of CD8+ effector cells. Such a T-cell-mediated pathogenesis may play a pivotal role in acquired virus-induced immunosuppression and may represent one strategy by which virus escapes immune surveillance and establishes persistent infections in initially immunocompetent hosts.

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