We investigated the immune events in the vagina of mice intravaginally infected with highly virulent herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) strain 186, and compared them with those induced by HSV type 1 strain KOS, a widely known laboratory strain. Although there was no significant difference between 186 and KOS in the viral replication in the initial stage of infection, inadequate and delayed clearance of virus from the vaginal mucosa was observed in 186-challenged mice. The induction of antigen-presenting cells (APC) such as dendritic cells (DC) and macrophages (Mφ) in the vagina was slow in 186-challenged mice, and the number of T cells in the vagina in 186-challenged mice was much lower than that in KOS-challenged mice. Furthermore, the level of IL-12 as well as that of IFN-γ was significantly lower in 186-challenged mice than in KOS-challenged mice, while the level of IL-4 in 186-challenged mice was higher than that in KOS-challenged mice. On the basis of these observations, we suggest that the weak activation of epithelial cells and the delayed induction of APC by 186-infection may be involved in the inadequate activation of T cells and the ineffective virus clearance from the vaginal mucosa.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 2000
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