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Cell Immunol. 1991 Mar;133(1):234-52.

CD4-positive T lymphocytes are required for the generation of the primary but not the secondary CD8-positive cytolytic T lymphocyte response to herpes simplex virus in C57BL/6 mice.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Louisiana State University Medical Center, School of Medicine, Shreveport 71130.


To understand the cellular basis for recovery from HSV infection, it is critical to identify functional interactions between HSV-specific T lymphocyte subpopulations involved in the generation of the optimal response. To this end, the requirement for CD4+ (L3T4+) T lymphocytes in the development of the primary and secondary CD8+ (Lyt-2+) cytolytic T lymphocyte (CTL) response following HSV infection in C57BL/6 mice was investigated. It was found that chronic depletion of CD4+ cells in vivo by treatment with the mAb GK1.5, which resulted in greater than 95% depletion of peripheral CD4+ T lymphocytes in treated animals, caused a profound decrease in the levels of cytolytic activity obtained during the primary response in the draining popliteal lymph nodes of mice responding to infection in the hind footpads. However, treatment did not affect the levels of in vivo secondary CTL activity in the popliteal lymph nodes, nor the in vitro secondary response in the spleen. The decreased CTL activity observed during the primary response was not due to an inability to prime HSV-specific CTL precursors (CTLp), as full cytolytic activity was obtained following culture of lymphocytes in the presence of exogenous IL-2 and antigen, and the response could be reconstituted by treatment with recombinant IL-2 in vivo. Analysis of the secondary CTL response in the spleen indicated that CD4+ cells were not required for either the generation or maintenance of this aspect of the response. However, blockade of IL-2 utilization by CTL using anti-IL-2R antibodies indicated that this lymphokine was absolutely essential for secondary CTL expansion in vitro. Finally, mice that had been infected 12 months previously exhibited a decreased ability to generate secondary HSV-specific CTL in vitro following CD4-depletion in vivo. Taken together, these results suggest two distinct stages of CTL development during the response: an early primary stage dependent upon the presence of CD4+ cells, and a later, CD4-independent stage operative during the secondary response, which decays with time postinfection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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