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

Protective role of gamma interferon during the recall response to influenza virus.

During secondary immune responses to influenza virus, virus-specific T memory cells are a major source of gamma interferon ( IFN-gamma). We assessed the contribution of IFN-gamma to heterologous protection against the A/WSN/33 (H1N1) virus of wild-type and IFN-gamma-/- mice previously immunized with the A/HK/68 (H3N2) virus. The IFN-gamma-/- mice displayed significantly reduced survival rates subsequent to a challenge with various doses of the A/WSN/33 virus. This was associated with an impaired ability of the IFN-gamma-/- mice to completely clear the pulmonary virus by day 7 after the challenge, although significant reduction of the virus titers was noted. However, the IFN-gamma-/- mice developed type A influenza virus cross-reactive cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) similar to the wild-type mice, as demonstrated by both cytotoxicity and a limiting-dilution assay for the estimation of CTL precursor frequency. The pulmonary recruitment of T cells in IFN-gamma-/- mice was not dramatically affected, and the percentage of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells was similar to that of wild-type mice. The T cells from IFN-gamma-/- mice did not display a significant switch toward a Th2 profile. Furthermore, the IFN-gamma-/- mice retained the ability to mount significant titers of WSN and HK virus-specific hemagglutination-inhibiting antibodies. Together, these results are consistent with a protective role of IFN-gamma during the heterologous response against influenza virus independently of the generation and local recruitment of cross-reactive CTLs.[1]


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