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

Characterization of mouse hepatitis virus-specific cytotoxic T cells derived from the central nervous system of mice infected with the JHM strain.

The cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity of spleen cells from BALB/c (H-2d) mice immunized with the neurotropic JHM strain of mouse hepatitis virus (JHMV) was stimulated in vitro for 7 days. CTL were tested for recognition of target cells infected with either JHMV or vaccinia virus recombinants expressing the four virus structural proteins. Only target cells infected with either JHMV or the vaccinia virus recombinant expressing the JHMV nucleocapsid protein were recognized. Cytotoxic T cell lines were established by limiting dilution from the brains of mice undergoing acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis after infection with JHMV. Twenty of the 22 lines recognized JHMV-infected but not uninfected syngeneic target cells, indicating that they are specific for JHMV. All T-cell lines except one were CD8+. The specificity of the CTL lines was examined by using target cells infected with vaccinia virus recombinants expressing the JHMV nucleocapsid, spike, membrane, and hemagglutinin-esterase structural proteins. Seventeen lines recognized target cells expressing the nucleocapsid protein. Three of the JHMV-specific T-cell lines were unable to recognize target cells expressing any of the JHMV structural proteins, indicating that they are specific for an epitope of a nonstructural protein(s) of JHMV. These data indicate that the nucleocapsid protein induces an immunodominant CTL response. However, no CTL activity specific for the nucleocapsid protein could be detected in either the spleens or cervical lymph nodes of mice 4, 5, 6, or 7 days after intracranial infection, suggesting that the CTL response to JHMV infection within the central nervous system may be induced or expanded locally.[1]


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