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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • H Acha-Orbea
  • D Finke
  • A Attinger
  • S Schmid
  • N Wehrli
  • S Vacheron
  • I Xenarios
  • L Scarpellino
  • S A Luther

Colleges, School and Institutes


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