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

Protection of mice from herpes simplex virus-induced retinitis by in vitro-activated immune cells.

A form of acute retinal necrosis occurred in the contralateral eyes of susceptible mice 1 week after each received a uniocular injection of live herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in the anterior chamber. Although these mice did not develop systemic delayed hypersensitivity to virus antigens, their sera contained virus-specific antibodies at the time contralateral retinitis occurred. These findings suggest that systemic immunity might not be able to protect against contralateral retinitis. To explore this possibility further, we examined lymph nodes and spleens of intraocularly infected mice to determine whether their lymphoid tissues contained primed HSV-1-specific cytotoxic T cells. Virus-specific cytotoxic T cells were readily identified in these mice. We wondered why successful immune priming did not confer protection against HSV-1 retinitis. We examined this issue by evaluating the capacity of in vitro-generated, HSV-1-specific effector T cells to prevent retinitis by infusing these cells by various routes and at various times into mice that received an intracameral injection of HSV-1. The results revealed that virus-specific effector cells could prevent contralateral retinitis if injected intravenously or into the anterior chamber of the contralateral eye at the same time that virus was injected into one eye. However, the effector cells failed to prevent retinitis if they were injected into the same eye that received HSV-1 or if their intravenous administration was delayed until 24 h after the HSV-1 injection into the eye. We concluded that immune T cells can protect against contralateral retinal necrosis caused by uniocular injection of HSV-1 into the anterior chamber but only if they are administered during the first 24 h after virus infection. We propose that a retinitis-inducing process is set in motion during this early time interval postinfection. Once the process has been initiated and established, it is no longer susceptible to immune intervention. It would appear that mice that are susceptible to contralateral retinitis fail to mobilize a protective response quickly enough to ward off the establishment of the retinitis-inducing process and its disastrous eventuality.[1]


  1. Protection of mice from herpes simplex virus-induced retinitis by in vitro-activated immune cells. Igietseme, J.U., Calzada, P.J., Gonzalez, A.R., Streilein, J.W., Atherton, S.S. J. Virol. (1989) [Pubmed]
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