Reddehase, Matthias J.; Jonjic, Stipan; Weiland, Frank; Mutter, Wolfgang; Koszinowski, Ulrich H.
CD4-helper-independent antiviral function of CD8-positive memory T lymphocytes derived from latently infected donors.
In: Journal of Virology, Vol. 62: pp. 1061-1065
The ability of memory T lymphocytes derived from latently infected mice to control murine cytomegalovirus disease in the immunocompromised host was studied by adoptive transfer experiments. At a stage of pathogenesis when virus had already colonized target tissues, a therapeutic antiviral function could be ascribed to the CD8+ subset. This in vivo function was not restricted to sites in which intravenously infused lymphocytes usually are trapped or home in, such as the lungs or the spleen, respectively, but was also evident in the adrenal glands, a site to which antiviral effector cells have to specifically migrate. Specific infiltration of adrenal gland cortical tissue by donor-derived CD8+ memory T lymphocytes was demonstrated. CD4+ memory T lymphocytes had no antiviral effect by themselves and also were not required for the function of the CD8+ effector cells in this short-term immunotherapy model. These findings should help settle the debate about which subset of T lymphocytes comprises the effector cells that can directly control cytomegalovirus infection in the murine model system.