Viral immunology

Differential regulation of GM1 and asialo-GM1 expression by T cells and natural killer (NK) cells in respiratory syncytial virus infection.

PMID 18788941


We previously reported that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection increases lung CD8(+) T cell GM1 expression. The related lipid asialo-GM1 (ASGM1) is expressed by T cells in viral infection and by natural killer (NK) cells. The in vivo co-expression of GM1 and ASGM1 by immune cells is not defined. Here we analyzed lung lymphocyte GM1 and ASGM1 expression in RSV-infected mice. GM1 and ASGM1 were coordinately upregulated by activated CD8(+) T cells in RSV-infected BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. In contrast, RSV infection had no effect on constitutively high NK cell GM1 expression, while increasing NK cell ASGM1 expression. GM1 and ASGM1 co-localized in lipid raft structures in NK and CD8(+) T cells sorted from the lungs of RSV-infected mice. Anti-ASGM1 Ab treatment of RSV-infected BALB/c mice depleted GM1/ASGM1-expressing NK cells and GM1/ASGM1-expressing T cells, reduced lung IFN-gamma levels, increased viral load, delayed viral clearance, and reduced illness. STAT1(-/-) mice are more susceptible to RSV replication and disease than wild-type mice. In RSV-infected STAT1(-/-) mice, anti-ASGM1 Ab altered cytokine levels, but in contrast to BALB/c mice, antibody treatment had no effect on viral load or illness. Taken together, GM1 and ASGM1 expression are differentially regulated by T and NK cells in RSV infection. Also, GM1/ASGM1-expressing cells are important for control of RSV in BALB/c mice, whereas STAT1(-/-) mice clear RSV by an alternative pathway.

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G3018 Asialoganglioside GM1 from bovine brain, ~98%, lyophilized powder