4 Scopus citations


A recently described mouse homolog of the human roseoloviruses, murine roseolovirus (MRV), causes loss of peripheral and thymic CD4+ cells during neonatal infection of BALB/c mice. Despite significant disruptions to the normal adaptive immune response, infected BALB/c mice reproducibly recover from infection, consistent with prior studies on a related virus, mouse thymic virus. In this article, we show that, in contrast to published studies on mouse thymic virus, MRV appears to robustly infect neonatal C57BL/6 (B6) mice, causing severe depletion of thymocytes and peripheral T cells. Moreover, B6 mice recovered from infection. We investigated the mechanism of thymocyte and T cell loss, determining that the major thymocyte subsets were infected with MRV; however, CD4+ and CD4+CD82 T cells showed increased apoptosis during infection. We found that CD8+ T cells populated MRVinfected thymi. These CD8+ T cells expressed markers of activation, had restricted TCR repertoire, and accumulated intracellular effector proteins, consistent with a cytotoxic lymphocyte phenotype and suggesting their involvement in viral clearance. Indeed, absence of CD8+ T cells prevented recovery from MRV infection and led to lethality in infected animals, whereas B cell-deficient mice showed CD4+ T cell loss but recovered from infection without lethality. Thus, these results demonstrate that CD8+ T cells are required for protective immunity against a naturally occurring murine pathogen that infects the thymus and establish a novel infection model for MRV in B6 mice, providing the foundation for detailed future studies on MRV with the availability of innumerable mutant mice on the B6 background.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3212-3221
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


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