Abrogation of anti-Pichinde virus cytotoxic T cell memory by cyclophosphamide and restoration by coinfection or interleukin 2.
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Previously, we demonstrated that memory cell-mediated immune responses can be generated in Pichinde virus (PV)-primed mice after secondary challenge in vivo with homologous virus. Further, treatment of mice with cyclophosphamide (CY) before primary infection with PV abrogated the generation of H-2-restricted, virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), and rechallenge of these mice was followed by neither a primary nor a secondary CTL response. Here, we demonstrate that this CY-induced block in memory anti-PV CTL generation was not due to establishment of a persistent infection. Interestingly, this CY-induced block in memory anti-PV CTL generation was overcome by secondarily coinfecting mice with PV and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) or PV and Tacaribe virus. Secondary infection with LCMV or Tacaribe virus alone did not elicit anti-PV CTL. Coinfection resulted in the generation of a PV-specific memory CTL response as judged by maximal activity on day 4 after rechallenge. Co-infection with PV and vesicular stomatitis virus, an unrelated rhabdovirus, did not efficiently restore memory anti-PV CTL responses. Memory anti-PV CTL responses were also restored when interleukin 2 (IL 2)-containing supernatants were injected i.p. after rechallenge of CY-treated mice with PV. To demonstrate that IL 2 was the responsible lymphokine in these preparations, highly purified IL 2 was added to in vitro cultures of spleen cells from CY-treated PV-primed mice. In the presence of PV-infected syngeneic macrophages, addition of purified IL 2 resulted in a dose-dependent restoration of H-2-restricted anti-PV CTL activity. The CTL precursor (CTLp) frequency of CY-treated PV-primed mice was markedly decreased from that of normal PV-primed mice. Thus, the long-lasting block in the ability to generate a PV-specific memory CTL response after CY treatment appears to be due to both a lack of helper T cell activity and a significant reduction of CTLp. However, this block may be overcome by coinfecting with viruses that cross-react at the helper T cell level or by exogenous treatment with highly purified IL 2.
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