Comparison of activation versus induction of unresponsiveness of virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells upon acute versus persistent viral infection

Immunity. 1998 Oct;9(4):449-57. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80628-7.


The functional status of CD4+ T cells during establishment of persistent infection with the noncytopathic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus was assessed and compared to that of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells. Functionality of virus-specific CD4+ T cells was measured by proliferative responses, cytokine secretion, cognate help, and IFNgamma-mediated protection against challenge infection with recombinant vaccinia virus. Functional CD4+ T cells were induced early after infection and remained measurable up to 6 weeks but then were rendered unresponsive. In contrast, CD8+ T cells were functionally inactivated within 10-15 days. Importantly, functional inactivation of virus-specific CD4+ T cells during persistent viral infection seemed to be critical for the survival of the host.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / immunology*
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / virology
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / genetics
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / immunology*
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / isolation & purification
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Nude
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Vaccinia virus / genetics
  • Vaccinia virus / immunology
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / immunology


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Viral Proteins