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Persisting infections are often associated with chronic T cell activation. For certain pathogens, this can lead to T cell exhaustion and survival of what is otherwise a cleared infection. In contrast, for herpesviruses, T cells never eliminate infection once it is established. Instead, effective immunity appears to maintain these pathogens in a state of latency. We used infection with HSV to examine whether effector-type T cells undergoing chronic stimulation retained functional and proliferative capacity during latency and subsequent reactivation. We found that latency-associated T cells exhibited a polyfunctional phenotype and could secrete a range of effector cytokines. These T cells were also capable of mounting a recall proliferative response on HSV reactivation and could do so repeatedly. Thus, for this latent infection, T cells subjected to chronic Ag stimulation and periodic reactivation retain the ability to respond to local virus challenge.

Original publication

DOI

10.4049/jimmunol.1102719

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Immunol

Publication Date

01/03/2012

Volume

188

Pages

2173 - 2178

Keywords

Adoptive Transfer, Animals, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Chronic Disease, Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte, Ganglia, Sensory, Granzymes, Herpes Simplex, Herpesvirus 1, Human, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Transgenic, Viral Envelope Proteins, Virus Activation, Virus Latency