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J Immunol. 2007 Mar 1;178(5):2651-4.

Cutting Edge: Oseltamivir decreases T cell GM1 expression and inhibits clearance of respiratory syncytial virus: potential role of endogenous sialidase in antiviral immunity.

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Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.


The sialoglycosphingolipid GM1 is important for lipid rafts and immune cell signaling. T cell activation in vitro increases GM1 expression and increases endogenous sialidase activity. GM1 expression has been hypothesized to be regulated by endogenous sialidase. We tested this hypothesis in vivo using a mouse model of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. RSV infection increased endogenous sialidase activity in lung mononuclear cells. RSV infection increased lung CD8+ T cell surface GM1 expression. Activated CD8+ T cells in the lungs of RSV-infected mice were GM1(high). Treatment of RSV-infected mice with the sialidase/neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir decreased T cell surface GM1 levels. Oseltamivir treatment decreased RSV-induced weight loss and inhibited RSV clearance. Our data indicate a novel role for an endogenous sialidase in regulating T cell GM1 expression and antiviral immunity. Also, oseltamivir, an important anti-influenza drug, inhibits the clearance of a respiratory virus that lacks a neuraminidase gene, RSV.

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