Murine T cell clones specific for the Kunjin (KUN), West Nile (WN) and Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) flaviviruses were generated following priming . Clones were isolated by limiting dilution and maintained in culture with antigen stimulation and interleukin-2 (IL-2). The cells were characterized as having the Thy 1, L3T4 and Lyt 2 phenotype by immunofluorescence. All clones proliferated strongly and secreted high levels of IL-2 and IL-3 in response to homologous antigen. Both KUN- and WN-specific clones showed extensive cross-reactivity to KUN and WN antigen, but recognized MVE to a lesser extent. In contrast, MVE-specific clones cross-reacted strongly with both KUN and WN. These data show that antigen-specific, major histocompatibility complex-restricted L3T4 T cells are generated during flavivirus infection and are cross-reactive for viruses of the same subgroup.


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