Intraepitihlial lymphocytes (IEL) are a critical effector component of the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) and play an important role in mucosal immunity as well as in the maintenance of the epithelial cell integrity and barrier function. The objective of this study was to determine whether simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection of rhesus macaques would cause alterations in the immunophenotypic profiles of IEL and their- mitogen-specific cytokine-(gamma interferon [IFN-γ] and MIP-1β) responses (by flow cytometry) and virus-specific cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) activity (by the chromium release assay). Virally infected IEL were detected through the entire course of SIV infection by in situ hybridization. Severe depletion of CD4+ single-positive and CD4+CD8+ double-positive T cells occurred early in primary SIV infection, which was coincident with an increased prevalence of CD8+ T cells. This was in contrast to a gradual depletion of CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood. The CD8+ IEL were the primary producers of IFN- γ and MIP-1β and were found to retain their potential to produce both IFN- γ and MIP-1β through the entire course of SIV infection. SIV-specific CTL activity was detected in primary IEL at 1, 2, and 4 weeks post-SIV infection. These results demonstrated that IEL may be involved in generating antiviral immune responses early in SIV infection and in suppressing viral infection thereafter. Alterations in homeostasis in epithelia due to severe CD4+ T- cell depletion accompanied by changes in the cytokine and chemokine production by IEL may play a role in the enteropathogenesis of SIV infection.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Virology|
|State||Published - Aug 1998|
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