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Patterson CE , Lawrence DM , Echols LA , Rall GF
Immune-mediated protection from measles virus-induced central nervous system disease is noncytolytic and gamma interferon dependent
J Virol. 2002 May;76(9) :4497-506
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Neurons of the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) are an essential and largely nonrenewable cell population. Thus, virus infections that result in neuronal depletion, either by virus-mediated cell death or by induction of the cytolytic immune response, could cause permanent neurological impairment of the host. In a transgenic mouse model of measles virus (MV) infection of neurons, we have previously shown that the host T-cell response was required for resolution of infection in susceptible adult mice. In this report, we show that this protective response did not result in neuronal death, even during the peak of T-cell infiltration into the brain parenchyma. When susceptible mice were intercrossed with specific immune knockout mice, a critical role for gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) was identified in protection against MV infection and CNS disease. Moreover, the addition of previously activated splenocytes or recombinant murine IFN-gamma to MV-infected primary neurons resulted in the inhibition of viral replication in the absence of neuronal death. Together, these data support the hypothesis that the host immune response can promote viral clearance without concomitant neuronal loss, a process that appears to be mediated by cytokines.
0022-538x Journal Article