An essential role for type 1 interferon-gamma in terminating persistent viral infection

Virology. 1995 Sep 10;212(1):244-50. doi: 10.1006/viro.1995.1477.


The mechanism(s) by which infectious material is cleared by the host is an area of intensive study. This is especially so with the realization that persistent viral infection is a cause of chronic disease in humans and presents a major health problem. We have used the murine model of infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus to evaluate immune clearance. Mice with a targeted disruption of the IFN-gamma gene mount effective cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses after an acute viral challenge and clear virus. CD4+ T cells are not required but CD8+ T cells are mandatory. In contrast, CTL from mice with targeted disruption of the IFN-gamma gene are unable to clear virus from persistently infected mice. In addition to the requirement for IFN-gamma, CD4+ T cells are essential for maintaining a CD8(+)-mediated cure of persistent viral infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / microbiology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Interferon-gamma / physiology*
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / immunology*
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Knockout
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • RNA, Viral
  • Interferon-gamma