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J Virol. 2010 May;84(10):4878-88. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00051-10. Epub 2010 Mar 3.

Monocytes regulate T cell migration through the glia limitans during acute viral encephalitis.

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Department of Neuroscience NC30, Lerner Research Institute, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland OH 44195, USA.


Leukocyte access into the central nervous system (CNS) parenchyma is tightly regulated by the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Leukocyte migration through the endothelial cell wall into the perivascular space is well characterized; however, mechanisms regulating their penetration through the glia limitans into the parenchyma are less well studied, and the role of monocytes relative to neutrophils is poorly defined. Acute viral encephalitis was thus induced in CCL2-deficient (CCL2(-/-)) mice to specifically abrogate monocyte recruitment. Impaired monocyte recruitment prolonged T cell retention in the perivascular space, although no difference in overall CNS accumulation of CD4 or CD8 T cells was detected by flow cytometry. Delayed penetration to the CNS parenchyma was not associated with reduced or altered expression of either matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) or the T cell chemoattractants CXCL10 and CCL5. Nevertheless, decreased parenchymal leukocyte infiltration delayed T cell-mediated control of virus replication as well as clinical disease. These data are the first to demonstrate that the rapid monocyte recruitment into the CNS during viral encephalitis is dispensable for T cell migration across the blood vessel endothelium. However, monocytes facilitate penetration through the glia limitans. Thus, the rapid monocyte response to viral encephalitis constitutes an indirect antiviral pathway by aiding access of effector T cells to the site of viral infection.

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