Vesicular stomatitis antigens recognized by cytotoxic cells: Analysis with defective interfering particles and reconstituted membrane vesicles

R. P. Ciavarra, C. Y. Kang, J. Forman

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16 Scopus citations


We have investigated whether T cells recognize newly synthesized viral proteins as target antigens on vesicular stomatitis virus- (VSV) infected cells. Target cells were adsorbed at a high multiplicity of infection (MOI) with defective interfering (DI) particles of VSV and assessed for susceptibility to T cell-mediated lysis. Cells adsorbed with DI particles lacking functional RNA were not lysed; however, one DI particle that contained functional RNA did generate target antigens for anti-VSV effector cells. Since this DI particle is capable of translating virus-specific proteins, these data demonstrate an obligatory requirement for viral protein synthesis for the creation of VSV target antigens recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. In order to directly test whether T cells can recognize a viral antigen present in the mature virion, we prepared reconstituted membrane vesicles containing VSV virion structural proteins and H-2 antigens and asked whether these 'mixed' vesicles can trigger secondary anti-VSV effector cells in vitro. Our results demonstrate that mixed reconstituted membrane vesicles induce potent anti-VSV cytotoxic cells that are restricted for the H-2 haplotype derived from the same H-2 antigens present in the lipid bilayer. Anti-VSV responses were not observed when using either reconstituted viral envelopes devoid of H-2 antigens or vesicles containing H-2 antigens but not VSB proteins. Thus, insertion of a structural viral component and H-2 molecule into the same lipid bilayer is sufficient to induce an H-2 restricted anti-VSV cytotoxic response. We suggest that during VSV infection there is a requirement for viral protein synthesis in order to create target antigens for cytotoxic T lymphocytes; whether there is a requirement for a newly synthesized viral component at the induction phase remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-343
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1980


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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