Increased thymic output during acute measles virus infection.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Measles virus infects thymic epithelia, induces a transient lymphopenia, and impairs cell-mediated immunity, but thymic function during measles has not been well characterized. Thirty Zambian children hospitalized with measles were studied at entry, hospital discharge, and at 1-month follow-up and compared to 17 healthy children. During hospitalization, percentages of naïve (CD62L+, CD45RA+) CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes decreased (P = 0.01 for both), and activated (HLA-DR+, CD25+, or CD69+) CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes increased (P = 0.02 and 0.03, respectively). T-cell receptor rearrangement excision circles (TRECs) in measles patients were increased in CD8+ T cells at entry compared to levels at hospital discharge (P = 0.02) and follow-up (P = 0.04). In CD4+ T cells, the increase in TRECS occurred later but was more sustained. At discharge, TRECs in CD4+ T cells (P = 0.05) and circulating levels of interleukin-7 (P = 0.007) were increased compared to control values and remained elevated for 1 month, similar to observations in two measles virus-infected rhesus monkeys. These findings suggest that a decrease in thymic output is not the cause of the lymphopenia and depressed cellular immunity associated with measles.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Permar, SR; Moss, WJ; Ryon, JJ; Douek, DC; Monze, M; Griffin, DE

Published Date

  • July 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 77 / 14

Start / End Page

  • 7872 - 7879

PubMed ID

  • 12829827

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC161922

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-538X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1128/jvi.77.14.7872-7879.2003


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States