Mucosal phenotype of antiviral cytotoxic T lymphocytes in the vaginal mucosa of SIV-infected rhesus macaques

M. B. McChesney, J. R. Collins, Chris J Miller

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CD8+ T lymphocytes are present in the vaginal epithelium and submucosa of women and female rhesus macaques. Antiviral cytotoxic T lymphocyte precursors were detected in the vaginal intraepithelial lymphocyte (IEL) population of SIV-infected monkeys. Monoclonal antibodies to adhesion molecules distinguish lymphocytes that recirculate through peripheral lymphoid tissues (e.g., L-selectin) from mucosal lymphocytes that traffic through peripheral blood to the gut (e.g., the integrins α4β7 and α(E)β7). Cytolytic CD8+ T cell lines from either peripheral blood or the vaginal epithelium of SIV-infected monkeys were stained with antibodies against these molecules. Three of three vaginal epithelial cell lines had the phenotype: α4β7 +/α(E)β7 +/L-selectin-. Two of three peripheral blood cell lines had this phenotype and the other was positive for all three molecules. These results suggest that cytolytic vaginal EELs have the same mucosal phenotype as has been described for human and murine gut IELs, and that their precursors are destined to traffic through peripheral blood and return to the vaginal mucosa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology

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