Heterogeneity among viral antigen-specific CD4+ T cells and their de novo recruitment during persistent polyomavirus infection

Eugene Lin, Christopher C. Kemball, Annette Hadley, Jarad J. Wilson, Amelia R. Hofstetter, Christopher D. Pack, Aron E. Lukacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Virus-specific CD4+ T cells optimize antiviral responses by providing help for antiviral humoral responses and CD8+ T cell differentiation. Although CD4+ T cell responses to viral infections that undergo complete clearance have been studied extensively, less is known about virus-specific CD4+ T cell responses to viruses that persistently infect their hosts. Using a mouse polyomavirus (MPyV) infection model, we previously demonstrated that CD4+ T cells are essential for recruiting naive MPyV-specific CD8+ T cells in persistently infected mice. In this study, we defined two dominant MPyV-specific CD4+ T cell populations, one directed toward an epitope derived from the nonstructural large T Ag and the other from the major viral capsid protein of MPyV. These MPyV-specific CD4+ T cells vary in terms of their magnitude, functional profile, and phenotype during acute and persistent phases of infection. Using a minimally myeloablative-mixed bone marrow chimerism approach, we further show that naive virus-specific CD4+ T cells, like anti-MPyV CD8+ T cells, are primed de novo during persistent virus infection. In summary, these findings reveal quantitative and qualitative differences in the CD4+ T cell response to a persistent virus infection and demonstrate that naive antiviral CD4+ T cells are recruited during chronic polyomavirus infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1692-1700
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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