Mutter, Wolfgang; Reddehase, Matthias J.; Busch, Friedrich W.; Bühring, Hans-Jörg; Koszinowski, Ulrich H.
Failure in generating hemopoietic stem cells is the primary cause of death from cytomegalovirus disease in the immunocompromised host.
In: The journal of experimental medicine, Vol. 167: pp. 1645-1658
We have shown in a murine model system for cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease in the immunocompromised host that CMV infection interferes with the earliest detectable step in hemopoiesis, the generation of the stem cell CFU-S-I, and thereby prevents the autoreconstitution of bone marrow after sublethal irradiation. The antihemopoietic effect could not be ascribed to a direct infection of stem cells. The failure in hemopoiesis was prevented by adoptive transfer of antiviral CD8+ T lymphocytes and could be overcome by syngeneic bone marrow transplantation. CD8+ T lymphocytes and bone marrow cells both mediated survival, although only CD8+ T lymphocytes were able to limit virus multiplication in host tissues. We concluded that not the cytopathic effect of virus replication in host tissues, but the failure in hemopoiesis, is the primary cause of death in murine CMV disease.