Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Open reading frame 63 of varicella-zoster Virus (VZV) encodes an immediate early (IE) phosphoprotein (IE63) that is believed to be important for viral infectivity and establishing latency. Evidence suggests that VZV-specific T cells are crucial in the control of viral replication; however, data addressing the existence of IE63 protein-specific CD4+ T cells are limited. Using IFN-gamma immunosorbent assays, we identified high frequencies of responses to overlapping peptides spanning the IE63 protein both ex vivo and after in vitro restimulation in healthy VZV-seropositive individuals. We identified a commonly recognised epitope, restricted by HLA-DRB1*1501, which was naturally processed and presented by keratinocytes. We proceeded to investigate the frequency and phenotype of the epitope-specific CD4+ T cells using HLA class II tetrameric complexes. Epitope-specific CD4+ T cells were detectable ex vivo and showed a mixed central and effector-memory differentiation phenotype, with a significant proportion showing evidence of recent activation and rapid effector function. In summary these data implicate persistent low-level or recurrent VZV antigen exposure in healthy immune donors and are compatible with a role for IE63-specific CD4+ T cells in the control of viral reactivation.

Original publication

DOI

10.1002/eji.200737648

Type

Journal article

Journal

Eur J Immunol

Publication Date

12/2007

Volume

37

Pages

3393 - 3403

Keywords

Adult, Amino Acid Sequence, Antigen Presentation, Antigens, Viral, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cells, Cultured, Epitopes, Female, HLA-DR Antigens, HLA-DRB1 Chains, Herpesvirus 3, Human, Humans, Immediate-Early Proteins, Immunologic Memory, Immunophenotyping, Keratinocytes, Male, Molecular Sequence Data, Peptide Fragments, T-Cell Antigen Receptor Specificity, T-Lymphocyte Subsets, Viral Envelope Proteins, Virus Activation