Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection of the murine cornea induces the rapid infiltration of neutrophils. We investigated whether these cells could influence virus replication. BALB/c mice treated with monoclonal antibody (MAb) RB6-8C5 experienced a profound depletion of neutrophils in the bloodstream, spleen, and cornea. In these animals, virus titers in the eye were significantly higher than those in the immunoglobulin G-treated controls at 3 days postinfection. By day 9, virus was no longer detectable in the controls, whereas titers of 103 to 106 PFU were still present in the neutrophil-depleted hosts. Furthermore, virus spread more readily to the skin and brains of MAb RB6-8C5-treated animals, rendering them significantly more susceptible to HSV-1-induced blepharitis and encephalitis. Only 25% of the treated animals survived, whereas all of the controls lived. Although MAb RB6-8C5 treatment did not alter the CD4+ T-cell, B-cell, natural killer cell, or macrophage populations, the CD8+ T-cell population was partially reduced. Therefore, the experiments were repeated in severe combined immunodeficiency mice, which lack CD8+ T cells. Again virus growth was found to be significantly elevated in the eyes, trigeminal ganglia, and brains of the MAb RB6-8C5-treated hosts. These results strongly indicate that in both immunocompetent and immunodeficient mice, neutrophils play a significant role in helping to control the replication and spread of HSV-1 after corneal infection.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Virology|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|
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