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J Immunol. 2002 Aug 1;169(3):1453-8.

Marginal zone macrophages and immune responses against viruses.

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  • 1Institute for Experimental Immunology, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland. oehen@cytos.com


The effective establishment of antiviral protection requires a coordinated interplay between the innate and adaptive immune system. Using osteopetrotic (op(-/-)) mice, this study investigated the influence of marginal zone macrophages in controlling and initiating a protective immune response against a cytopathic vs a non- or low-cytopathic virus. Despite the generation of potent adaptive immune responses, antiviral protection against cytopathic vesicular stomatitis virus critically depended on the presence of marginal zone macrophages. Infection with low doses (100 PFU) of non- or low-cytopathic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus was rarely cleared and usually resulted in a carrier state in the majority of mice. This shows that the early innate immune system provides an important preparatory phase to the adaptive immune system and is particularly important for antiviral protection.

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