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Insertion of the CXC chemokine ligand 9 (CXCL9) into the mouse hepatitis virus genome results in protection from viral-induced encephalitis and hepatitis.

  • Author(s): Muse, Michael
  • Kane, Joy AC
  • Carr, Daniel JJ
  • Farber, Joshua M
  • Lane, Thomas E
  • et al.

The role of the CXC chemokine ligand 9 (CXCL9) in host defense following infection with mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) was determined. Inoculation of the central nervous system (CNS) of CXCL9-/- mice with MHV resulted in accelerated and increased mortality compared to wild type mice supporting an important role for CXCL9 in anti-viral defense. In addition, infection of RAG1-/- or CXCL9-/- mice with a recombinant MHV expressing CXCL9 (MHV-CXCL9) resulted in protection from disease that correlated with reduced viral titers within the brain and NK cell-mediated protection in the liver. Survival in MHV-CXCL9-infected CXCL9-/- mice was associated with reduced viral burden within the brain that coincided with increased T cell infiltration. Similarly, viral clearance from the livers of MHV-CXCL9-infected mice was accelerated but independent of increased T cell or NK cell infiltration. These observations indicate that CXCL9 promotes protection from coronavirus-induced neurological and liver disease.

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