IFN-gamma-inducible protein 10 (IP-10, CXCL10), a chemokine secreted from cells stimulated with type I and II IFNs and LPS, is a chemoattractant for activated T cells. Expression of IP-10 is seen in many Th1-type inflammatory diseases, where it is thought to play an important role in recruiting activated T cells into sites of tissue inflammation. To determine the in vivo function of IP-10, we constructed an IP-10-deficient mouse (IP-10(-/-)) by targeted gene disruption. Immunological analysis revealed that IP-10(-/-) mice had impaired T cell responses. T cell proliferation to allogeneic and antigenic stimulation and IFN-gamma secretion in response to antigenic challenge were impaired in IP-10(-/-) mice. In addition, IP-10(-/-) mice exhibited an impaired contact hypersensitivity response, characterized by decreased ear swelling and reduced inflammatory cell infiltrates. T cells recovered from draining lymph nodes also had a decreased proliferative response to Ag restimulation. Furthermore, IP-10(-/-) mice infected with a neurotropic mouse hepatitis virus had an impaired ability to control viral replication in the brain. This was associated with decreased recruitment of CD4(+) and CD8(+) lymphocytes into the brain, reduced levels of IFN-gamma and the IFN-gamma-induced chemokines monokine induced by IFN-gamma (Mig, CXCL9) and IFN-inducible T cell alpha chemoattractant (I-TAC, CXCL11) in the brain, decreased numbers of virus-specific IFN-gamma-secreting CD8(+) cells in the spleen, and reduced levels of demyelination in the CNS. Taken together, our data suggest a role for IP-10 in both effector T cell generation and trafficking in vivo.