Persistence of virus-specific immune responses in the central nervous system of mice after West Nile virus infection.

Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, USA.
BMC Immunology (Impact Factor: 2.61). 01/2011; 12:6. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2172-12-6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT West Nile virus (WNV) persists in humans and several animal models. We previously demonstrated that WNV persists in the central nervous system (CNS) of mice for up to 6 months post-inoculation. We hypothesized that the CNS immune response is ineffective in clearing the virus.
Immunocompetent, adult mice were inoculated subcutaneously with WNV, and the CNS immune response was examined at 1, 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks post-inoculation (wpi). Characterization of lymphocyte phenotypes in the CNS revealed elevation of CD19+ B cells for 4 wpi, CD138 plasma cells at 12 wpi, and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells for at least 12 wpi. T cells recruited to the brain were activated, and regulatory T cells (Tregs) were present for at least 12 wpi. WNV-specific antibody secreting cells were detected in the brain from 2 to 16 wpi, and virus-specific CD8+ T cells directed against an immunodominant WNV epitope were detected in the brain from 1 to 16 wpi. Furthermore, these WNV-specific immune responses occurred in mice with and without acute clinical disease.
Virus-specific immune cells persist in the CNS of mice after WNV infection for up to 16 wpi.

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