Jonjic, Stipan; Mutter, Wolfgang; Weiland, Frank; Reddehase, Matthias J.; Koszinowski, Ulrich H.
Site-restricted persistent cytomegalovirus infection after selective long-term depletion of CD4+ T lymphocytes.
In: The journal of experimental medicine, Vol. 169: S. 1199-1212
We have established a murine model system for exploring the ability of a CD4 subset-deficient host to cope with cytomegalovirus infection, and reported three findings. First, an antiviral response of the CD8 subset of T lymphocytes could be not only initiated but also maintained for a long period of time despite a continued absence of the CD4 subset, whereas the production of antiviral antibody proved strictly dependent upon help provided by the CD4 subset. Second, no function in the defense against infection could be ascribed as yet to CD4-CD8- T lymphocytes, which were seen to accumulate to a new subset as a result of depletion of the CD4 subset. This newly arising subset did not substitute for CD4+ T lymphocytes in providing help to B lymphocytes, and was also not effective in controlling the spread of virus in host tissues. As long as a function of these cells in the generation and maintenance of a CD8 subset-mediated response is not disproved, caution is indicated with concern to an autonomy of the CD8 subset. Third, even though with delay, the CD8+ effector cells raised in the CD4 subset- deficient host were able of clear vital tissues from productive infection and to restrict asymptomatic, persistent infection to acinar glandular epithelial cells in salivary gland tissue.