Research ArticleAutoimmunity

Brain-resident memory T cells generated early in life predispose to autoimmune disease in mice

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Science Translational Medicine  26 Jun 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 498, eaav5519
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aav5519

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Autoimmunity goes viral

The etiology of most autoimmune disorders remains unknown. Viral infection has been associated with the risk of developing autoimmune diseases; however, a precise causal relationship has yet to be identified. Steinbach et al. now show that transient brain viral infection early in life worsened lesion development and symptoms in a mouse model of autoimmune disease. Autoimmune lesions were spatially associated with areas of previous viral infection in mice. Mechanistically, early-life viral infection induced a persistent population of chemokine ligand 5 (CCL5)–expressing brain-resident memory T cells that promoted a long-lasting proinflammatory environment. Blockade of CCL5 signaling prevented the increased predisposition to autoimmunity in the mouse model.

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