Innate inflammatory events promoting antiviral defense in the liver against murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection have been characterized. However, the mechanisms that regulate the selective recruitment of inflammatory T lymphocytes to the liver during MCMV infection have not been defined. The studies presented here demonstrate the expression of monokine induced by gamma interferon (IFN-γ; Mig/CXCL9) and IFN-γ-inducible protein 10 (IP-10/CXCL10) in liver leukocytes and correlate their production with the infiltration of MCMV-specific CD8 T cells into the liver. Antibody-mediated neutralization of CXCL9 and CXCL10 and studies using mice deficient in CXCR3, the primary known receptor for these chemokines, revealed that CXCR3-dependent mechanisms promote the infiltration of virus-specific CD8 T cells into the liver during acute infection with MCMV. Furthermore, CXCR3 functions augmented the hepatic accumulation of CD8 T-cell IFN-γ responses to MCMV. Evaluation of protective functions demonstrated enhanced pathology that overlapped with transient increases in virus titers in CXCR3-deficient mice. However, ultimate viral clearance and survival were not compromised. Thus, CXCR3-mediated signals support the accumulation off MCMV-specific CD8 T cells that contribute to, but are not exclusively required for, protective responses in a virus-infected tissue site.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science