Targeted disruption of T cell costimulatory pathways, particularly CD28 and CD40, has allowed for the development of minimally myeloablative strategies for the induction of mixed allogeneic chimerism and donor-specific tolerance across full MHC barriers. In this study we analyze in depth the ability of mixed allogeneic chimeras in two strain combinations to mount effective host-restricted and donor-restricted antiviral CD4 and CD8 responses, as well as the impact of development of mixed chimerism on the maintenance of pre-existing memory populations. While antiviral CD8 responses in mixed chimeras following acute viral infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus Armstrong or vaccinia virus are largely host-restricted, donor-restricted CD8 responses as well as host- and donor-restricted CD4 responses are also readily detected, and virus is promptly cleared. We further demonstrate that selection of donor-restricted T cells in mixed chimeras is principally mediated by bone marrow-derived cells in the thymus. Conversely, we find that mixed chimeras exhibit a deficit in their ability to deal with a chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus clone 13 infection. Encouragingly, pre-existing memory populations are largely unaffected by the development of high level mixed chimerism and maintain the ability to control viral rechallenge. Our results suggest that while pre-existing T cell memory and primary immunocompetence to acute infection are preserved in mixed allogeneic chimeras, MHC class I and/or class II tissue matching may be required to fully preserve immunocompetence in dealing with chronic viral infections.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/thandi_onami/8/