In vivo kinetics of GITR and GITR ligand expression and their functional significance in regulating viral immunopathology.
Suvas S., Kim B., Sarangi PP., Tone M., Waldmann H., Rouse BT.
This report evaluates the role of interaction between glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor (GITR) and GITR ligand (GITR-L) in the immuno-inflammatory response to infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV). Both GITR and GITR-L were transiently upregulated after ocular HSV infection, on antigen-specific T cells and antigen-presenting cells, respectively, in the draining lymph node (DLN). In addition, virus-specific T-cell responses in the DLN and spleen were enhanced by anti-GITR antibody treatment, an outcome expected to result in more severe inflammatory lesions. Intriguingly, the treatment resulted in significantly diminished T-cell-mediated ocular lesions. The explanation for these findings was that anti-GITR antibody treatment caused a reduced production of ocular MMP-9, a molecule involved in ocular angiogenesis, an essential step in the pathogenesis of herpetic keratitis. Our results are the first observations to determine in vivo kinetics of GITR and GITR-L expression after virus infection, and they emphasize the role of GITR-GITR-L interaction to regulate virus-induced immuno-inflammatory lesions.