Pathogenesis and host control of gammaherpesviruses: lessons from the mouse

Annu Rev Immunol. 2011:29:351-97. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-072710-081639.


Gammaherpesviruses are lymphotropic viruses that are associated with the development of lymphoproliferative diseases, lymphomas, as well as other nonlymphoid cancers. Most known gammaherpesviruses establish latency in B lymphocytes. Research on Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68/γHV68/MHV4) has revealed a complex relationship between virus latency and the stage of B cell differentiation. Available data support a model in which gammaherpesvirus infection drives B cell proliferation and differentiation. In general, the characterized gammaherpesviruses exhibit a very narrow host tropism, which has severely limited studies on the human gammaherpesviruses EBV and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. As such, there has been significant interest in developing animal models in which the pathogenesis of gammaherpesviruses can be characterized. MHV68 represents a unique model to define the effects of chronic viral infection on the antiviral immune response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gammaherpesvirinae / physiology*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / immunology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / virology
  • Host Specificity
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Tumor Virus Infections / immunology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology