Cytomegalovirus-induced reactivation of toxoplasma gondii pneumonia in mice: Lung lymphocyte phenotypes and suppressor function

Claire Pomeroy, Gregory A Filice, John A. Hitt, M. Colin Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Active cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is associated with immunosuppression and predisposes to the development of life-threatening superinfections in immunocompromised patients. In a mouse model of virus-induced immunosuppression, acute murine CMV (MCMV) infection induced reactivation of dormant Toxoplasma gondii infection, producing Toxoplasma pneumonia. Changes in lung lymphocyte numbers and phenotypes appeared to be integral to the pathogenesis of MCMV-induced reactivation of T. gondii pneumonia. Numbers of lung CD4<+</cells decreased during acute MCMV infection in mice with dormant T. gondii infection as well as in previously uninfected mice. Dually infected mice subsequently developed reactivation of Toxoplasma pneumonia. The pneumonia was characterized by a large influx of T lymphocytes, predominantly CD8<+</cells, into the lungs. These lung lymphocytes markedly suppressed the ability of immune splenocytes to proliferate in response to T. gondii antigens and concanavalin A in vitro. These results suggested that the initial fall in the numbers of lung CD4<+</cells observed after MCMV infection may have induced reactivation of T. gondii infection in the lungs. The subsequent pneumonia appeared to be a manifestation of a massive influx of T lymphocytes, especially CD8<+</cells, into the lungs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-681
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1992


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