The herpes simplex virus (HSV) infected cell protein (ICP)47 blocks CD8+ T cell recognition of infected cells by inhibiting the transporter associated with antigen presentation (TAP). In vivo, HSV-1 replicates in two distinct tissues: in epithelial mucosa or epidermis, where the virus enters sensory neurons; and in the peripheral and central nervous system, where acute and subsequently latent infections occur. Here, we show that an HSV-1 ICP47- mutant is less neurovirulent than wild-type HSV-1 in mice, but replicates normally in epithelial tissues. The reduced neurovirulence of the ICP47- mutant was due to a protective CD8+ T cell response. When compared with wild-type virus, the ICP47- mutant expressed reduced neurovirulence in immunologically normal mice, and T cell-deficient nude mice after reconstitution with CD8+ T cells. However, the ICP47- mutant exhibited normal neurovirulence in mice that were acutely depleted of CD8+ T cells, and in nude mice that were not reconstituted, or were reconstituted with CD4+ T cells. In contrast, CD8+ T cell depletion did not increase the neurovirulence of an unrelated, attenuated HSV-1 glycoprotein (g)E- mutant. ICP47 is the first vital protein shown to influence neurovirulence by inhibiting CD8+ T cell protection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy