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Virus-specific memory and effector T lymphocytes exhibit different cytokine responses to antigens during experimental murine respiratory syncytial virus infection

Virus-specific memory and effector T lymphocytes exhibit different cytokine responses to antigens during experimental murine respiratory syncytial virus infection

Journal of Virology 71(1): 678-685

ISSN/ISBN: 0022-538X

PMID: 8985399

Mice sensitized to the G (attachment) or F (fusion) glycoproteins of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) expressed different patterns of cytokine production and lung pathology when challenged by intranasal infection with RSV. Five days after challenge, mice sensitized to G glycoprotein produced high levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-5 in the lungs and spleens and developed extensive pulmonary eosinophilia, while mice sensitized to F glycoprotein produced IL-2 and developed a mononuclear cell infiltration. Memory lymphocytes isolated 2 weeks after intranasal challenge of mice primed to the G or F glycoprotein secreted only IL-2 and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) when stimulated with RSV. IL-4 and IL-5 production characteristic of Th2-type effectors in the lung was observed only after multiple rounds of in vitro stimulation of RSV G-specific memory T lymphocytes with antigen. Also IFN-gamma production appeared to play only a minor role in the expression of pulmonary pathology characteristic of Th1 or Th2 T-lymphocyte responses, because mice genetically deficient in IFN-gamma production by gene disruption displayed the same pattern of pulmonary inflammation to RSV infection after priming to RSV F or G as conventional mice. These results suggest that effector T lymphocytes exhibit a different pattern of cytokine production than memory T-lymphocyte precursors precommitted to a Th1 or Th2 pattern of differentiation. Furthermore, these observations raise the possibility that the cytokine response of human memory T lymphocytes after a single exposure to antigen in vitro may not accurately reflect the cytokine response of differentiated effector T lymphocytes at the site of infection in vivo.

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Accession: 009725593

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