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J Immunol. 1995 Jun 1;154(11):6013-21.

Recruitment and proliferation of CD8+ T cells in respiratory virus infections.

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Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.


The dramatic increase in the cellularity of the mediastinal lymph nodes (MLN) of mice infected intranasally (i.n.) with influenza viruses is a consequence of both recruitment and proliferation. As many as 20% of the CD8+ subset in the MLN can be shown to be in S or G2 + M phase at 6 days after i.n. challenge with the HKx31 influenza A virus, the percentage of of cycling cells being approximately five times greater for the activated/memory substantial evidence of apoptosis was found for CD8+ T cells recovered from the MLN and lung, particularly at 5 and 7 days after infection. Less than 1/100 of the proliferating T cells could be shown, by limiting dilution analysis (LDA), to be influenza virus-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte precursors (CTLp). A single, low dose (20 mg/kg) of the DNA-targeted drug cyclophosphamide (Cy) caused a massive decrease in frequency for the responding CD8+ CTLp, though the mice survived infection with the HKx31 virus and there was no long-term exhaustion of the CTLp pool in the MLN, spleen, or lung. The Cy treatment was also followed by a smaller reduction in the prevalence of memory CTLp (specific for Sendai virus) that were present concurrently in the regional lymph node, indicating that a measure of bystander activation is occurring. The experiments show that respiratory virus infections have no negative impact on established T cell memory, and that there is no phase of transient exhaustion in the acute virus-specific CTLp response in this localized infection.

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