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J Virol. 1998 Feb;72(2):943-9.

Kinetic analysis of the specific host response to a murine gammaherpesvirus.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.


Respiratory infection of BALB/c mice with the murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) induces the clonal expansion of virus-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) precursors (CTLp) in the regional, mediastinal lymph nodes (MLN). Some of these CTLps differentiate to become fully functional CTL effectors, which can be detected in both the lymphoid tissue and in the site of pathology in the lung. Though the lymph nodes and spleen harbor substantial populations of latently infected B cells for life, the level of virus-specific CTL activity decreases rapidly in all sites. The CD8+ CTLp numbers fall to background levels in the MLN within several months of the termination of the productive phase of MHV-68 infection in the respiratory epithelium but are maintained at relatively low frequency in the spleen. The continued presence of a gamma interferon-producing, MHV-68-specific CD4+ set can also be demonstrated in cultured spleen cells. The virus-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) response is slow to develop, with serum neutralizing antibody and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay titers continuing to rise for several months. The level of total serum IgG increases dramatically within 2 weeks of infection, probably as a consequence of polyclonal B-cell activation, and remains high. The immune response profile is clearly influenced by the persistence of this DNA virus.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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