Circulating immunoglobulin G can play a critical role in clearance of intestinal reovirus infection

Melissa L. Barkon, Barbara L. Haller, Herbert W. Virgin IV

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Reoviruses are encapsidated double-stranded RNA viruses that cause systemic disease in mice after peroral (p.o.) inoculation and primary replication in the intestine. In this study, we define component of the immune system involved in the clearing of reovirus from the proximal small intestine. The intestines of immunocompetent adult CB17, 129, and C57BL/6 mice were cleared of reovirus serotype 3 clone 9 (T3C9) within 7 days of p.o. inoculation. Antigen-specific lymphocytes were important for the clearance of intestinal infection, since severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice failed to clear T3C9 infection. To define specific immune components required for intestinal clearance, reovirus infection of mice with null mutations in the immunoglobulin M (IgM) transmembrane exon (MuMT; B cell and antibody deficient) or β2 microglobulin gene (β2-/-; CD8 deficient) was evaluated. β2-/- mice cleared reovirus infection with normal kinetics, while MuMT mice showed delayed clearance of T3C9 7 to 11 days after p.o. inoculation. Adoptive transfer of splenic lymphocytes from reovirus-immune CB17 mice inhibited growth of T3C9 in CB17 SCID mouse intestine 11 days after p.o. inoculation. The efficiency of viral clearance by adoptively transferred cells was significantly diminished by depletion of B cells prior to adoptive transfer. Results in SCID and MuMT mice demonstrate an important role for B cells or IgG in clearance of reovirus from the intestines. Polyclonal reovirus-immune rabbit serum, protein A-purified immune IgG, and murine monoclonal IgG2a antibody specific for reovirus outer capsid protein σ3 administered intraperitoneally all normalized clearance of reovirus from intestinal tissue in MuMT mice. This result demonstrates an IgA-independent role for IgG in the clearance of intestinal virus infection. Polyclonal reovirus-immune serum also significantly decreased reovirus titers in the intestines of SCID mice, demonstrating a T-cell-independent role for antibody in the clearance of intestinal reovirus infection. B cells and circulating IgG play an important role in the clearance of reovirus from intestines, suggesting that IgG may play a more prominent functional role at mucosal sites of primary viral replication than was previously supposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1116
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


Dive into the research topics of 'Circulating immunoglobulin G can play a critical role in clearance of intestinal reovirus infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this