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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

CD8(+) T lymphocytes mediate Borna disease virus-induced immunopathology independently of perforin.

Perforin-mediated lysis of target cells is the major antiviral effector mechanism of CD8(+) T lymphocytes. We have analyzed the role of perforin in a mouse model for CD8(+) T-cell-mediated central nervous system (CNS) immunopathology induced by Borna disease virus. When a defective perforin gene was introduced into the genetic background of the Borna disease-susceptible mouse strain MRL, the resulting perforin-deficient mice developed strong neurological disease in response to infection indistinguishable from that of their perforin-expressing littermates. The onset of disease was slightly delayed. Brains of diseased perforin-deficient mice showed similar amounts and a similar distribution of CD8(+) T cells as wild-type animals. Perforin deficiency had no impact on the kinetics of viral spread through the CNS. Unlike brain lymphocytes from diseased wild-type mice, lymphocytes from perforin-deficient MRL mice showed no in vitro cytolytic activity towards target cells expressing the nucleoprotein of Borna disease virus. Taken together, these results demonstrate that CD8(+) T cells mediate Borna disease independent of perforin. They further suggest that the pathogenic potential of CNS-infiltrating CD8(+) T cells does not primarily reside in their lytic activity but rather in other functions.[1]


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