T-cell-mediated mechanisms involved in resolution of genital herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection of mice

Gregg N. Milligan, Kristen L. Dudley-McClain, Christal G. Young, Chin Fun Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Resolution of a HSV-2 infection of the female genital tract has been shown to be T-cell dependent. The T-cell populations and mechanisms involved in clearance of virus from the genital epithelium were examined in this study. T lymphocytes expressing either αβ or γδ T-cell receptors (TCR) have been detected in the vaginal epithelium of mice. The involvement of γδ T cells in HSV-2 clearance was tested by intravaginal (ivag) challenge of mice depleted of αβ T cells by administration of specific antibodies and of mice lacking γδ T cells due to specific deletion of the δ TCR gene. The results of these studies strongly suggest that γδ T cells are not required for or involved in clearance of HSV-2 from the genital epithelium. Mechanisms of virus clearance employed by αβ T cells were also examined. Although HSV-specific lytic activity could be demonstrated ex vivo in populations of vaginal exudate cells from HSV-infected mice, clearance of virus did not require either perforin- or Fas/Fas ligand (FasL)-dependent cytolytic pathways. In contrast, virus resolution was significantly impaired following neutralization of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), but not tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). Together, these results suggest that non-lytic mechanisms mediated by αβ T cells were responsible for resolution of a genital HSV-2 infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-127
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Female genital tract
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Interferon-gamma
  • αβ T cell
  • γδ T cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'T-cell-mediated mechanisms involved in resolution of genital herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection of mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this