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J Immunol. 2003 Sep 1;171(5):2524-31.

IFN-gamma-producing gamma delta T cells help control murine West Nile virus infection.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Rheumatology, Yale University School of Medicine, 300 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


West Nile (WN) virus causes fatal meningoencephalitis in laboratory mice, thereby partially mimicking human disease. Using this model, we have demonstrated that mice deficient in gammadelta T cells are more susceptible to WN virus infection. TCRdelta(-/-) mice have elevated viral loads and greater dissemination of the pathogen to the CNS. In wild-type mice, gammadelta T cells expanded significantly during WN virus infection, produced IFN-gamma in ex vivo assays, and enhanced perforin expression by splenic T cells. Adoptive transfer of gammadelta T cells to TCRdelta(-/-) mice reduced the susceptibility of these mice to WN virus, and this effect was primarily due to IFN-gamma-producing gammadelta T cells. These data demonstrate a distinct role for gammadelta T cells in the control of and prevention of mortality from murine WN virus infection.

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