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J Exp Med. 1997 Dec 15;186(12):2063-8.

Resistance to and recovery from lethal influenza virus infection in B lymphocyte-deficient mice.

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1
Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA. mbgraham@uic.edu

Abstract

In the adaptive immune response to most viruses, both the cellular and humoral arms of the immune system play complementary roles in eliminating virus and virus-infected cells and in promoting recovery. To evaluate the relative contribution of CD4+ and CD8+ effector T lymphocytes in virus clearance and recovery, we have examined the host response to lethal type A influenza virus infection in B lymphocyte-deficient mice with a targeted disruption in the immunoglobulin mu heavy chain. Our results indicate that naive B cell-deficient mice have a 50- 100-fold greater susceptibility to lethal type A influenza virus infection than do wild type mice. However, after priming with sublethal doses of influenza, immune B cell-deficient animals show an enhanced resistance to lethal virus infection. This finding indicates that an antibody-independent immune-mediated antiviral mechanism accounts for the increased resistance to lethal virus challenge. To assess the contribution of influenza-specific CD4+ and CD8+ effector T cells in this process, defined clonal populations of influenza-specific CD4+ and CD8+ effector T cells were adoptively transferred into lethally infected B cell-deficient mice. Cloned CD8+ effectors efficiently promoted recovery from lethal infection, whereas cloned CD4+ T cells conferred only partial protection. These results suggest that memory T lymphocytes can act independently of a humoral immune response in order to confer resistance to influenza infection in immune individuals. The potential implications of these results for vaccination against human influenza infection are discussed.

PMID:
9396777
PMCID:
PMC2199163
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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