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John E. Bigger, Minoru Tanigawa, Charles A. Thomas, Sally S. Atherton; Protection against Murine Cytomegalovirus Retinitis by Adoptive Transfer of Virus-Specific CD8+ T Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(11):2608-2613.
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purpose. Human cytomegalovirus retinitis, the most common ophthalmic infection
of AIDS patients, has been modeled in BALB/c mice infected with murine
cytomegalovirus by the supraciliary route. A series of depletion and
adoptive transfer studies was performed to determine whether adoptive
transfer of T cells protects mice from retinitis caused by murine
cytomegalovirus infection after supraciliary inoculation and to
determine which subset of T cells is responsible for protection.
methods. BALB/c mice were thymectomized and T cell–depleted by injection of
monoclonal antibodies to CD4, CD8, or both. Murine cytomegalovirus
(9 × 102 plaque forming units [pfu]) was injected
into the supraciliary space. Experimental animals received murine
cytomegalovirus-specific T cells or subsets of T cells 2 hours before
virus injection, whereas control animals received herpes simplex virus
type 1–specific T cells by tail vein injection. Eight days after virus
injection, retinal pathology was scored by histopathologic examination
of hematoxylin and eosin–stained ocular sections.
results. CD8+ T cell depletion was sufficient for development of
retinitis after supraciliary injection of murine cytomegalovirus.
Adoptive transfer of murine cytomegalovirus-specific T cells, but not
herpes simplex virus type 1–specific T cells, provided protection from
retinitis. Additionally, separation of the murine
cytomegalovirus-specific T cells into CD8+ and
CD4+ subsets before adoptive transfer showed that the
CD8+ fraction of the adoptive T cells was responsible for
conclusions. These results suggest that adoptive transfer of
cytomegalovirus-specific T cells or T cell subsets might be used to
treat or prevent cytomegalovirus retinitis in immunosuppressed human
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