Protection of mice from a lethal coronavirus infection in the central nervous system by adoptive transfer of virus-specific T cell clones

J Neuroimmunol. 1991 Apr;32(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/0165-5728(91)90065-f.


The protective effect of a mouse hepatitis virus type-4 (MHV-4)-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T cell clone and a CD4+ helper T cell clone was examined by the adoptive transfer into brains of mice lethally infected with MHV-4. Mice survived acute encephalitis if more than 5 x 10(5) cells of either type of the virus-specific T cell clones had been transferred into H-2-matched recipients by 1 day post-infection. Although the adoptive transfer of both types of the T cell clones suppressed viral growth and viral antigen-positive cells in the brains, a significant inhibition of virus replication by the cytotoxic T cell clone was detected prior to that induced by the helper T cell clone. Histologically, cell destruction was prominent in the brains of mice which received the cytotoxic T cell clone. These results demonstrate that both the CD8+ cytotoxic T cell and the CD4+ helper T cell can protect mice from a lethal MHV-4 infection in the central nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Brain / immunology
  • Brain / microbiology
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Diseases / immunology*
  • Brain Diseases / microbiology
  • Clone Cells
  • Epitopes
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Animal / immunology*
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Animal / microbiology
  • Immunization, Passive*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Murine hepatitis virus / immunology*
  • Murine hepatitis virus / isolation & purification
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / transplantation*


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Epitopes