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J Virol. 2013 Jun;87(12):6851-65. doi: 10.1128/JVI.03305-12. Epub 2013 Apr 10.

CD27-CD70 costimulation controls T cell immunity during acute and persistent cytomegalovirus infection.

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Department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Cytomegaloviruses (CMVs) establish lifelong infections that are controlled in part by CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. To promote persistence, CMVs utilize multiple strategies to evade host immunity, including modulation of costimulatory molecules on infected antigen-presenting cells. In humans, CMV-specific memory T cells are characterized by the loss of CD27 expression, which suggests a critical role of the costimulatory receptor-ligand pair CD27-CD70 for the development of CMV-specific T cell immunity. In this study, the in vivo role of CD27-CD70 costimulation during mouse CMV infection was examined. During the acute phase of infection, the magnitudes of CMV-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses were decreased in mice with abrogated CD27-CD70 costimulation. Moreover, the accumulation of inflationary memory T cells during the persistent phase of infection and the ability to undergo secondary expansion required CD27-CD70 interactions. The downmodulation of CD27 expression, however, which occurs gradually and exclusively on inflationary memory T cells, is ligand independent. Furthermore, the IL-2 production in both noninflationary and inflationary CMV-specific T cells was dependent on CD27-CD70 costimulation. Collectively, these results highlight the importance of the CD27-CD70 costimulation pathway for the development of CMV-specific T cell immunity during acute and persistent infection.

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