TL-transgenic mice expressing the thymus leukemia antigen demonstrate a lack of viral clearance following cutaneous HSV infection of the footpad. In this study, both uninfected and HSV-infected TL-transgenic mice demonstrate increased concentrations of IL-4 as well as decreased concentrations of IFN-γ which may possibly underlie the impairment of viral clearance, Furthermore, lymphocytes from HSV-infected nontransgenic mice, adoptively transferred into HSV-infected TL-transgenic mice, promoted viral clearance and led to an increase in IFN-γ production. Transgenic mice which were subcutaneously injected with IFN-γ in the right footpad were also capable of clearing the viral challenge; however, clearance was restricted solely to the right footpad, These studies support the possibility of perturbations in the immune system of TL-transgenic mice and effectively demonstrate the utility of this model system in the study of HSV clearance, persistence, and potential spontaneous reactivation. Moreover, the TL-transgenic animals may provide a useful model system for additional studies requiring a host system skewed toward a Th2 phenotype.
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