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J Virol. 2011 May;85(9):4184-97. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02290-10. Epub 2011 Feb 9.

The role of LAT in increased CD8+ T cell exhaustion in trigeminal ganglia of mice latently infected with herpes simplex virus 1.

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  • 1Center for Neurobiology and Vaccine Development, D2024, Cedars-Sinai Burns and Allen Research Institute, 8700 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.

Abstract

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection is a classic example of latent viral infection in humans and experimental animal models. The HSV-1 latency-associated transcript (LAT) plays a major role in the HSV-1 latency reactivation cycle and thus in recurrent disease. Whether the presence of LAT leads to generation of dysfunctional T cell responses in the trigeminal ganglia (TG) of latently infected mice is not known. To address this issue, we used LAT-positive [LAT(+)] and LAT-deficient [LAT(-)] viruses to evaluate the effect of LAT on CD8 T cell exhaustion in TG of latently infected mice. The amount of latency as determined by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) of viral DNA in total TG extracts was 3-fold higher with LAT(+) than with LAT(-) virus. LAT expression and increased latency correlated with increased mRNA levels of CD8, PD-1, and Tim-3. PD-1 is both a marker for exhaustion and a primary factor leading to exhaustion, and Tim-3 can also contribute to exhaustion. These results suggested that LAT(+) TG contain both more CD8(+) T cells and more CD8(+) T cells expressing the exhaustion markers PD-1 and Tim-3. This was confirmed by flow cytometry analyses of expression of CD3/CD8/PD-1/Tim-3, HSV-1, CD8(+) T cell pentamer (specific for a peptide derived from residues 498 to 505 of glycoprotein B [gB(498-505)]), interleukin-2 (IL-2), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). The functional significance of PD-1 and its ligands in HSV-1 latency was demonstrated by the significantly reduced amount of HSV-1 latency in PD-1- and PD-L1-deficient mice. Together, these results may suggest that both PD-1 and Tim-3 are mediators of CD8(+) T cell exhaustion and latency in HSV-1 infection.

PMID:
21307196
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3126262
Free PMC Article
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