Natural killer T (NKT) cells are unique T lymphocytes that recognize CD1d-bound lipid antigens and play an important role in both innate and acquired immune responses against infectious diseases and tumors. We have already shown that a vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection results in the rapid inhibition of murine CD1d-mediated antigen presentation to NKT cells. In the present study, it was found that the VSV matrix (VSV-M) protein is an important element in this decrease in antigen presentation postinfection. The VSV-M protein altered the intracellular distribution of murine CD1d molecules, resulting in qualitative (but not quantitative) changes in cell surface CD1d expression. The M protein was distributed throughout the infected cell, and it was found to activate the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38 very early postinfection. Infection of CD1d+ cells with a temperature-sensitive VSV-M mutant at the nonpermissive temperature both substantially reversed the inhibition of antigen presentation by CD1d and delayed the activation of p38. Thus, the VSV-M protein plays an important role in permitting the virus to evade important components of the innate immune response by regulating specific MAPK pathways.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science