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Cell Immunol. 1998 Oct 10;189(1):67-73.

The impact of variation in the number of CD8(+) T-cell precursors on the outcome of virus infection.

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Department of Pathology, University of Zurich, Zurich, CH-8091, Switzerland. STEPHANEHL@AOL.COM


We investigated the role of varying the initial number of naive antiviral CTL precursors on the dynamics of LCMV-DOCILE infection. C57BL/6 mice, exhibiting LCMV-specific CTLp frequencies of about 50, are protected against virus persistence over a range of infectious doses up to 10(4) pfu. With 10-fold higher doses, a 100-fold increase in CTLp is required to restore virus control. With doses above 10(6) pfu, elevation of the initial CTLp number leads only to lethal immunopathology. Similarly, a 1000-fold increase in the number of initial naïve CTLp enhances the overall kinetics of virus elimination, but cannot limit early virus spread within the first 48 h after low-dose infection (500 pfu). Increases in initial naïve virus-specific CTLp numbers are of limited benefit in antiviral control. In addition to the number of virus-specific T cells, the time period needed to reach cytolytic effector function is a limiting parameter.

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