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Lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus (LDV) is an apparently innocuous and persistent virus that can modify mouse immune reactions. We have shown that LDV-infected mice immunized with human growth hormone (hGH) showed a deep modification of the specificity of the anti-hGH antibodies (Ab) in CBA/Ht mice but not BALB/c animals. The aim of this work was to extend the previous observations to another mouse strain, C57BL/6, as well as to an antigen unrelated to hGH, ovalbumin (OVA), and to explore at the same time the production of various cytokines at serum and cellular levels. The amount of Ab directed to hGH or OVA native antigenic determinants versus the concentration of Ab to cryptic epitopes was evaluated by ELISA competition experiments. Results indicated that LDV infection affected Ab specificity solely in CBA/Ht mice. In CBA/Ht the virus infection was associated with a reduction of the Ab titers to hGH native epitopes and with a decrease of IL-13 and IL-17 serum levels, but Ab to native OVA epitopes were increased with a simultaneous increase of IL-17. Accordingly, only lymph node cells from infected CBA/Ht mice immunized with OVA were found to produce INF-γ, IL-13 and IL-17. Thus, a correlation of cytokine production with a change in Ab specificity after a viral infection was found, although this phenomenon was restricted to a given antigen and to the genetic background of immunized animals. These observations suggest that an apparent harmless virus can affect some immunological mechanisms, which could lead, for example, to inflammatory or autoimmune disorders. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


José L Aparicio, Anubha Saxena, Jean-Paul Coutelier, Jacques Van Snick, Lilia A Retegui. Changes in antibody specificities and cytokine release after infection with lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus. International immunopharmacology. 2013 Mar;15(3):544-9

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PMID: 23391715

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