University Of Tasmania

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Different roles for CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes and macrophage subsets in the control of a generalized virus infection

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 21:04 authored by Gunasegaran KarupiahGunasegaran Karupiah, Buller, RML, Van Rooijen, N, Duarte, CL, Chen, J
The importance of T-lymphocyte subsets in the control of poxvirus infections is controversial. To determine the relative contribution of lymphocyte subsets important for recovery from infection with ectromelia virus (EV), a natural murine poxvirus pathogen, C57BL/6 (B6) mice lacking functional CD8+ T cells because of disruption of the beta2-microglobulin gene or lacking functional CD4+ T cells because of disruption of the I-(A)beta gene, acutely depleted of CD8+ or CD4+ T cells with monoclonal antibody, or depleted of macrophage subsets by the macrophage suicide technique were used. Recovery from infection was strictly dependent on the effector functions of CD8+ T cells, in the absence of which 100% mortality resulted. This lymphocyte population had demonstrable antiviral activity early in the infection process even before class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-restricted CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) activity was detectable. CD4+ T cells were found to be necessary for the generation of an optimal virus-specific, class I MHC-restricted CD8+ CTL response and contributed to virus clearance not involving cytolytic mechanisms. In both models of CD4+ T-cell deficiency, virus clearance was incomplete and persisted at low levels in most organs and at very high levels in the skin, but the animals did not die. The elimination of macrophage subpopulations impeded virus clearance, impaired the generation of class I MHC-restricted antiviral CTL response, and resulted in 100% mortality. These findings establish an absolute requirement for CD8+ and CD4+ T lymphocytes and macrophage subsets in the elimination of a natural murine poxvirus infection and support the idea that macrophages may be essential accessory cells for the generation of class I MHC-restricted antiviral CTL responses.


Publication title

Journal of Virology










Tasmanian School of Medicine


Amer Soc Microbiology

Place of publication

1752 N St Nw, Washington, USA, Dc, 20036-2904

Rights statement

Copyright 1996, American Society for Microbiology

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Prevention of human diseases and conditions; Treatment of human diseases and conditions