Coronavirus Induced Encephalomyelitis: An Immunodominant CD4+ - T Cell Site on the Nucleocapsid Protein Contributes to Protection
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In this communication we present clear evidence, that the N-protein of MHV-JHM contains immunodominant CD4+T-cell sites. These sites were recognized by the immune system of virus infected Lewis rats. In previous investigations we have shown, that CD4+T-cell lines with specificity for defined viral proteins can be selected from diseased Lewis rats and mediate protection, if transferred to otherwise lethally infected animals1. To define regions of the N-protein, which are immunodominant for the T-cell response, we employed bacterially expressed N-protein and truncated subfragments of N as an antigen. We demonstrate, that T-cells from MHV-JHM infected, diseased Lewis rats recognized with high prevalence the carboxyterminal subfragment C4-N (95 aa) and to some extent the adjacent C3-N protein. The same results were obtained with T-cells derived from rats immunized with bacterially expressed N-protein or from animals vaccinated by a stable N-protein expressing vaccinia recombinant. Finally, transfer of CD4+ line T-cells to MHV-JHM infected rats specific for C4-N mediated protection against acute disease.
KeywordsNucleocapsid Protein Virus Elimination Splenocyte Culture Coronavirus Infection Virus Specific Immune Response
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