Interplays between mouse mammary tumor virus and the cellular and humoral immune response

H Acha-Orbea, D Finke, A Attinger, S Schmid, N Wehrli, S Vacheron, I Xenarios, L Scarpellino, K M Toellner, I C MacLennan, S A Luther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Mouse mammary tumor virus has developed strategies to exploit the immune response. It requires vigorous immune stimulation to achieve efficient infection. The infected antigen-presenting cells present a viral superantigen on the cell surface which stimulates strong CD4-mediated T-cell help but CD8 T-cell responses are undetectable. Despite the high frequency of superantigen-reactive T cells, the superantigen-induced immune response is comparable to classical antigen responses in terms of T-cell priming, T-cell-B-cell collaboration as well as follicular and extra-follicular B-cell differentiation. Induction of systemic anergy is observed, similar to classical antigen responses where antigen is administered systemically but does not influence the role of the superantigen-reactive T cells in the maintenance of the chronic germinal center reaction. So far we have been unable to detect a cytotoxic T-cell response to mouse mammary tumor virus peptide antigens or to the superantigen. This might yet represent another step in the viral infection strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-303
Number of pages17
JournalImmunological Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1999


  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Tumor Virus Infections
  • Mammary Tumor Virus, Mouse
  • Antibody Formation
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Mice
  • Virus Diseases
  • Superantigens
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells
  • Retroviridae Infections
  • T-Lymphocytes


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