Gamma interferon (IFN-γ) receptor null-mutant mice are more susceptible to herpes simplex virus type 1 infection than IFN-γ ligand null-mutant mice

Edouard Cantin, Becky Tanamachi, Harry Openshaw, Jeff Mann, Ken Clarke

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Mouse strains with null mutations in the gamma interferon gene (Ifng) or the gamma interferon receptor gene (Ifngr) have been engineered. The use of these strains as animal models of viral and bacterial infections has enhanced our understanding of the role of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) in the host immune response. However, direct comparisons between Ifng(-/-) (GKO) and Ifngr(-/-) (RGKO) mice have been problematic because previously available strains of these mice have had different genetic backgrounds (i.e., C57BL/6 and BALB/c for GKO mice and 129/Sv//Ev for RGKO mice). To enable direct comparison of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infections in GKO and RGKO mice, we introduced the IFN-γ/null mutation into the 129/Sv//Ev background. We report that, after HSV-1 inoculation, mortality was significantly greater in RGKO mice than in GKO mice (38 versus 23%, P = 0.0001). Similarly, the mortality from vaccinia virus challenge was significantly greater in RGKO mice than in GKO mice. With differences in genetic background excluded as a confounding issue, these results are consistent with the existence of an alternative ligand(s) for the IFN-γ receptor that is also capable of mediating protection against viral challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5196-5200
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes

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