Analysis of Herpes Simplex Virus-Specific T Cells in the Murine Female Genital Tract Following Genital Infection with Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2

Gregg N. Milligan, David I. Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

104 Scopus citations


A murine model of genital infection with a thymidine kinase-deficient (tk-) strain of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) was utilized to examine the development of the local T cell response in the genital mucosa and draining genital lymph nodes (gLN). HSV-specific cytokine-secreting T cells were detected in the gLN 4 days postintravaginal inoculation but not in the urogenital tract or spleen until 5 days postinoculation, suggesting the cellular immune response originates in the gLN. More CD4+ than CD8+ gLN T cells were detected by flow cytometric analysis following primary vaginal inoculation and the majority of HSV-specific gLN T cells detected by ELISPOT were CD4+ and Th1-like based on secretion of IFNγ and not IL-4 or IL-5. A similar population of HSV-specific memory T cells persisted in the genital tract 2 months following HSV-2 tk- genital inoculation. These data suggest that the urogenital cellular immune response elicited in mice following genital inoculation with HSV-2 tk- is predominantly CD4+ and Th1-like, resembling that observed in humans. The results of this study are important for the rational design of vaccines capable of inducing protective immunity in the genital tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number71506
Pages (from-to)481-489
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 1995
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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