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Cytomegalovirus restricts ICOSL expression on antigen-presenting cells disabling T cell co-stimulation and contributing to immune evasion.

ABSTRACT: Viral infections are controlled, and very often cleared, by activated T lymphocytes. The inducible co-stimulator (ICOS) mediates its functions by binding to its ligand ICOSL, enhancing T-cell activation and optimal germinal center (GC) formation. Here, we show that ICOSL is heavily downmodulated during infection of antigen-presenting cells by different herpesviruses. We found that, in murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), the immunoevasin m138/fcr-1 physically interacts with ICOSL, impeding its maturation and promoting its lysosomal degradation. This viral protein counteracts T-cell responses, in an ICOS-dependent manner, and limits virus control during the acute MCMV infection. Additionally, we report that blockade of ICOSL in MCMV-infected mice critically regulates the production of MCMV-specific antibodies due to a reduction of T follicular helper and GC B cells. Altogether, these findings reveal a novel mechanism evolved by MCMV to counteract adaptive immune surveillance, and demonstrates a role of the ICOS:ICOSL axis in the host defense against herpesviruses.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC7840182 | BioStudies | 2021-01-01


REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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