Athymic nude (nu/nu) mice were inoculated in the ear pinna with 10 p.f.u. herpes simplex virus type 1 (strain SC 16). Initially, the virus was observed to replicate in the pinna, spreading via a neurological route to the dorsal root ganglia, spinal cord, brain and adrenal glands. Following the transfer of lymphoid cells from day 7 herpesvirus-infected hairy immunocompetent donors into infected nude mice, virus was not isolated from the pinna and nervous system of the majority of the mice. The passive transfer of neutralizing polyclonal anti-herpesvirus serum or neutralizing monoclonal anti-gp D serum did not reduce infectivity in the pinna, but markedly reduced the amount of virus in the ganglia and spinal cord. These data suggest that neutralizing antibodies play an important role in restricting the movement of virus to the nervous system, whereas cell-mediated immune (CMI) mechanisms are essential for eliminating virus from the pinna.

Keyword(s): antibodies , athymic mice , CMI and HSV

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