Monday, July 27, 2015

Memory T cells can eliminate virus from the brain without tissue damage

Dealing with viral infection in the brain (CNS) is a big challenge to immune system. Unlike other tissues, even minor local inflammation in CNS could make the host unfit to survive. So what immune system can do?

Using neonatal brain infection model (carrier mice), the authors showed that adoptive transfer of donor memory T cells into carrier mice did not induce brain tissue damage.

The authors found that memory T cell immunotherapy of carrier mice was associated with limited inflammatory cytokine release and minimal brain tissue damage.

Examination of brain tissue in carrier mice showed that adoptive anti-viral T cell therapy induced brain-wide modification of virus-infected microglia population (CD11c up-regulation).  

Further experiments showed that memory T cells activated IFN-γ mediated STAT1 signaling in the brain.

Finally, the authors found that memory T cells cleared virus from infected microglia using non-cytopathic IFN-γ / STAT1 pathway.

In summary, these results suggest that immune system can employ tissue-specific defense mechanisms, as proposed by Matzinger and Kamala.

David Usharauli

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