To investigate age-dependent differences in hantavirus-specific CD8 + T-cell responses, mice were inoculated with 0.1 50% newborn mouse lethal dose of Hantaan virus (HTNV) at 0, 3, 7, 14, or 35 days after birth. HTNV-specific CD8 + T cells producing gamma interferon (IFN-γ) were measured on day 30 after HTNV inoculation. Although no IFN-γ-producing HTNV-specific CD8 + T cells were detected in most of the mice inoculated with HTNV on day 0 after birth, most mice inoculated at 3, 7, 14, or 35 days had HTNV-specific CD8 + T cells. The production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) by IFN-γ-producing CD8 + T cells and the cytotoxic activity against HTNV-infected target cells were similar in immature and adult mice. However, the number of IFN-γ-producing HTNV-specific CD8 + T cells was significantly less in mice inoculated with HTNV at 3 days than in older mice. In addition, a strong correlation between HTNV persistence and a lack of HTNV-specific CD8 + T cells was observed. These results suggest that mice over 7 days old have the ability to induce functional HTNV-specific CD8 + T-cell responses that are indistinguishable from the responses of adult mice, and that HTNV-specific CD8 + T cells are important for clearance of HTNV.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 2004
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