Coxsackievirus B3 inhibits antigen presentation in vivo, exerting a profound and selective effect on the MHC class I pathway

PLoS Pathog. 2009 Oct;5(10):e1000618. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000618. Epub 2009 Oct 16.


Many viruses encode proteins whose major function is to evade or disable the host T cell response. Nevertheless, most viruses are readily detected by host T cells, and induce relatively strong T cell responses. Herein, we employ transgenic CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells as sensors to evaluate in vitro and in vivo antigen presentation by coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), and we show that this virus almost completely inhibits antigen presentation via the MHC class I pathway, thereby evading CD8(+) T cell immunity. In contrast, the presentation of CVB3-encoded MHC class II epitopes is relatively unencumbered, and CVB3 induces in vivo CD4(+) T cell responses that are, by several criteria, phenotypically normal. The cells display an effector phenotype and mature into multi-functional CVB3-specific memory CD4(+) T cells that expand dramatically following challenge infection and rapidly differentiate into secondary effector cells capable of secreting multiple cytokines. Our findings have implications for the efficiency of antigen cross-presentation during coxsackievirus infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coxsackievirus Infections / immunology
  • Enterovirus B, Human / immunology
  • Enterovirus B, Human / physiology*
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • HeLa Cells
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory / drug effects
  • Immunologic Memory / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / immunology


  • Epitopes
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell