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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 19;109(25):9983-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1202143109. Epub 2012 Jun 4.

Perforin-dependent CD4+ T-cell cytotoxicity contributes to control a murine poxvirus infection.

Author information

  • 1Immune Cell Development and Host Defense Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.

Abstract

CD4(+) T cells are generally regarded as helpers and regulators of the immune response. Although cytolytic CD4(+) T cells have been described, whether those generated during the course of a viral infection play a role in virus control remains unknown. Here we show that during acute infection with ectromelia virus, the mouse homolog of the human virus of smallpox, large numbers of CD4(+) T cells in the draining lymph node and liver of resistant mice have a cytotoxic phenotype. We also show that these cells kill targets in vivo in a perforin-dependent manner and that mice with specific deficiency of perforin in CD4(+) T cells have impaired virus control. Thus, perforin-dependent CD4(+) T-cell killing of infected cells is an important mechanism of antiviral defense.

PMID:
22665800
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3382508
Free PMC Article

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