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

Changes in distribution and numbers of CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes in lymphoid tissues and intestinal mucosa in the early phase of experimentally induced early onset mucosal disease in cattle.

Mucosal disease (MD), one sequelae of bovine virus diarrhoea virus (BVDV) infection, causes severe lesions in lymphoid tissues and mucosal surfaces. Lesions are associated with the presence of cytopathogenic (cp) BVDV and initially characterized by apoptotic cell death. The objective of this investigation was to determine if this cell death is mediated only by the cp BVDV, which is known to induce apoptosis in cell culture or if immune-mediated host reactions might also contribute. Early onset MD was experimentally induced in calves by inoculation of persistently viremic calves with a closely related cp BVDV. Calves were euthanized in the early phase of infection between days 5 and 13 post-inoculation and tissues from tonsils, lymph nodes, Peyer's patches, jejunum and colon were collected. Presence of cp BVDV antigen was correlated with distribution of lymphocyte subpopulations in consecutive cryostat sections. In the lymphoid tissues, cp BVDV antigen was predominantly found in the lymphoid follicles. The increase of infected cells with time post-inoculation was paralleled by a decrease of B-lymphocytes and an increase of CD4+ T-lymphocytes. An increased number of CD8+ T-lymphocytes was seen in progressed lesions only. In the intestinal mucosa, initially multifocal, later diffuse infection with cp BVDV was accompanied by a multifocal or diffuse increase of CD4+ T-lymphocytes, respectively. Numbers of IgA+ plasma cells and CD8+ T-lymphocytes were decreased. The common change observed in lymphoid tissues and mucosa was the increase of CD4+ T-lymphocytes in sites with lesions. This might indicate a cell-mediated immune response to the cp BVDV. Besides their helper function to other cells of the immune system, activated CD4+ T-lymphocytes might also exert cytotoxic activity, induce apoptosis in target cells via Fas/Fas ligand binding and thus contribute to the severity of tissue lesions in MD.[1]


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