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Viral Immunol. 2010 Jun;23(3):285-94. doi: 10.1089/vim.2009.0110.

Minimal effect of CD103 expression on the control of a chronic antiviral immune response.

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Diabetes Center, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Impaired antiviral CD8 and CD4 T-cell responses are often associated with chronic viral infections. Cell-intrinsic as well as cell-extrinsic mechanisms are thought to dampen such responses, for example programmed death 1 receptor (PD-1) expression on T cells, and interleukin (IL)-10 production primarily by dendritic cells (DCs), have been shown to support viral persistence by suppressing immune responses. Here we demonstrate that CD103, an alpha E integrin necessary for T-cell homing and retention in the gut and other epithelia expressed by the majority of naïve CD8(+), and CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells and some DC subsets, is unnecessary for controlling T-cell responses during chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus clone 13 (LCMV cl13) infection. T-cell analysis following viral infection showed that the primary as well as the memory CD8(+) and CD4(+) T-cell responses among CD103-sufficient and CD103-deficient mice were identical. In addition, no rescue of cytokine production by virus-specific T cells or alterations in viral titers in the absence of intrinsic CD103 expression was observed. Interestingly, CD103 levels on the effector CD8(+) T cells became reduced soon after virus infection, with a small proportion of cells co-expressing PD-1 and CD103. In contrast, although no substantial differences in the frequency and number of the CD4(+)CD25(+) cell population were seen, CD103 expression increased significantly over time in this population, correlating with viral persistence. Thus, a lack of CD103 expression does not affect functional impairment of effector T-cell responses during chronic viral infection.

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