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Cervical lymphoid tissue but not the central nervous system supports proliferation of virus-specific T lymphocytes during coronavirus-induced encephalitis in rats



Cervical lymphoid tissue but not the central nervous system supports proliferation of virus-specific T lymphocytes during coronavirus-induced encephalitis in rats



Journal of Neuroimmunology 53(1): 73-81



The CD4+ T lymphocyte response in the central nervous system (CNS) and cervical lymph nodes (CLNs) of rats with different susceptibility to coronavirus-induced encephalitis was investigated. The majority of CD4+ T lymphocytes entering the virus-infected CNS in the course of the infection are primed cells that neither proliferate ex vivo nor can be stimulated to proliferation by viral antigens or mitogen in vitro. In contrast, T lymphocytes taken from CLNs of the same animals revealed a strong proliferative response. Restimulation of CLN lymphocytes by viral antigens disclosed a striking difference between the disease-resistant rat strain Brown Norway (BN) and the susceptible Lewis (LEW) strain. Whereas BN lymphocytes responded as early as 5 days post infection, it took more than 11 days until a comparable proliferation was detectable in LEW lymphocytes. From these data we postulate that the majority of T lymphocytes entering the virus-infected brain after sensitisation and expansion in cervical lymph nodes is unresponsive to further proliferation signals and that the kinetics and magnitude of T lymphocyte stimulation in CLNs play an important role in the clinical course of the infection.

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Accession: 008280317

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7914212

DOI: 10.1016/0165-5728(94)90066-3


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