Normal establishment of virus-specific memory CD8 T cell pool following primary infection during pregnancy

Carolyn M. Constantin, David Masopust, Tania Gourley, Jason Grayson, Ora L. Strickland, Rafi Ahmed, Elizabeth A. Bonney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Suppression of cell-mediated immunity has been proposed as a mechanism that promotes maternal tolerance of the fetus but also contributes to increased occurrence and severity of certain infections during pregnancy. Despite decades of research examining the effect of pregnancy on Ag-specific T cell responses, many questions remain. In particular, quantitative examination of memory CD8 T cell generation following infection during pregnancy remains largely unknown. To examine this issue, we evaluated the generation of protective immunity following infection during pregnancy with a nonpersistent strain of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) in mice. The CD8 T cell response to LCMV occurred normally in pregnant mice compared with the nonpregnant cohort with rapid viral clearance in all tissues tested except for the placenta. Despite significant infiltration of CD8 T cells to the maternal-fetal interface, virus persisted in the placenta until delivery. Live pups were not infected and generated normal primary immune responses when challenged as adults. Memory CD8 T cell development in mice that were pregnant during primary infection was normal with regards to the proliferative capacity, number of Ag-specific cells, cytokine production upon re-stimulation, and the ability to protect from re-infection. These data suggest that virus-specific adaptive memory is normally generated in mice during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4383-4389
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007

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