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Johannes C. M. Milikan, Paul R. Kinchington, G. Seerp Baarsma, Robert W. A. M. Kuijpers, Albert D. M. E. Osterhaus, Georges M. G. M. Verjans; Identification of Viral Antigens Recognized by Ocular Infiltrating T Cells from Patients with Varicella Zoster Virus-Induced Uveitis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(8):3689-3697. doi: 10.1167/iovs.07-0020.
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purpose. Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is a common cause of infectious uveitis associated with an intraocular inflammatory response involving virus-specific T cells. In the current study, the functional characteristics and the antigen specificity of VZV-reactive T cells recovered from intraocular fluid (IOF) samples of five patients with VZV were determined.
methods. B-cell lines were infected with a comprehensive panel of recombinant vaccinia viruses expressing 11 individual VZV open reading frames (ORFs), or alternatively pulsed with the corresponding peptides to generate antigen-presenting cells (APCs). T-cell responsiveness of the IOF-derived VZV-specific T cells toward APCs was monitored by interferon (IFN)-γ enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot-forming assays on bulk T-cell cultures and subsequently T-cell clones (TCCs). The cytokine-secretion profile and cytotoxicity of the VZV-specific TCCs was determined by ELISA and flow cytometry, respectively.
results. T-cell reactivity to VZV proteins encoded by ORF4, -10, -14, -18, -29, -31, -61, -62, -63, -67, and -68 was demonstrated, but specificity varied individually. T-cell epitopes on ORF62 and -68 were delineated. The TCCs secreted IFNγ, but relatively low levels of interleukin-4 and -5, in response to VZV antigen-expressing APCs. The TCCs induced antigen-specific cytotoxic T-cell activity.
conclusions. The results suggest that the intraocular VZV-specific T-cell response in the patients with VZV analyzed is directed to a broad spectrum of VZV antigens, including the latency-associated VZV proteins from ORFs 4, 29, 63, and particularly ORF62. This local T-cell response was in part mediated by cytotoxic CD4+ T cells with a Th1/0-like effector memory phenotype.
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