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Adler, Heiko; El-Gogo, Susanne; Guggemoos, Simone; Zimmermann, Wolfgang; Beauchemin, Nicole and Kammerer, Robert (2009): Perturbation of lytic and latent gammaherpesvirus infection in the absence of the inhibitory receptor CEACAM1.
In: PLOS ONE 5(7), e6317 [PDF, 608kB]


Control of gammaherpesvirus infections requires a complex, well orchestrated immune response regulated by positive and negative co-signaling molecules. While the impact of co-stimulatory molecules has been addressed in various studies, the role of co-inhibitory receptors has not been tested. The ITIM-bearing CEACAM1 is an inhibitory receptor expressed by a variety of immune cells, including B, T and NK cells. Using Ceacam1(-/-) mice, we analyzed the in vivo function of CEACAM1 during acute and latent murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) infection. During acute lytic replication, we observed lower virus titers in the lungs of Ceacam1(-/-) mice than in WT mice. In contrast, during latency amplification, Ceacam1(-/-) mice displayed increased splenomegaly and a higher latent viral load in the spleen. Analysis of the immune response revealed increased virus-specific antibody levels in Ceacam1(-/-) mice, while the magnitude of the T cell-mediated antiviral immune response was reduced. These findings suggest that inhibitory receptors can modulate the efficacy of immune responses against gammaherpesvirus infections.

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