Early response to rotavirus infection involves massive B cell activation

Sarah E. Blutt, Kelly L. Warfield, Dorothy E. Lewis, Margaret E. Conner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rotavirus is an acute enteric pathogen which induces severe diarrhea in infants and children. To determine the immune response to rotavirus in vivo, we used a mouse model of rotavirus infection. We observed dramatic increases in the sizes of both Peyer's patches and mesenteric lymph nodes, but not spleen, between 1 and 6 days after infection with a homologous strain of murine rotavirus, EC wild type. Histological analysis showed large increases in the numbers of lymphocytes in these same tissues in rotavirus-infected mice. Flow cytometric analysis confirmed the increase in numbers of lymphocytes and revealed a large increase in the percentage of activated B, but not T, lymphocytes in both Peyer's patches and mesenteric lymph nodes of rotavirus-infected mice compared with control mice. Fragment cultures from these tissues established at 3-4 days postinfection contain rotavirus-specific IgM but not IgA Ab. A similar degree of lymphoid hyperplasia and percentage of activated B cells were observed in rotavirus-infected TCR knockout mice. Taken together, our findings show that rotavirus infection, in the context of a normal immune response, induces a large increase in the percentages of activated B cells in the absence of any detectable increase in the percentage of activated T cells, implicating a T cell-independent B cell response as the primary mechanism for initial rotavirus clearance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5716-5721
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume168
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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