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J Virol. 1994 Jul;68(7):4700-4.

Enhanced establishment of a virus carrier state in adult CD4+ T-cell-deficient mice.

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Department of Pathology, University of Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


CD4+ T cells play an important role in regulating the immune response; their contribution to virus clearance is variable. Mice that lack CD4+ T cells (CD4-/- mice) and are therefore unable to produce neutralizing antibodies cleared viscero-lymphotropic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) strain WE when infected intravenously with a low dose (2 x 10(2) PFU) because of an effective CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) response. In contrast, infection with a high dose (2 x 10(6) PFU) of LCMV strain WE led to expansion of antiviral CTL, which disappeared in CD4-/- mice; in contrast, CD4+ T-cell-competent mice developed antiviral memory CTL. This exhaustion of specific CTL caused viral persistence in CD4-/- mice, whereas CD4+ T-cell-competent mice eliminated the virus. After infection of CD4-/- mice with the faster-replicating LCMV strain DOCILE, abrogation of CTL response and establishment of viral persistence developed after infection with a low dose (5 x 10(2) PFU), i.e., an about 100-fold lower dose than in CD(4+)-competent control mice. These results show that absence of T help enhances establishment of an LCMV carrier state in selected situations.

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