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Journal of Virology


The interactions between CD80 and CD86 on antigen-presenting cells and CD28 on T cells serve as an important costimulatory signal in the activation of T cells. Although the simplistic two-signal hypothesis has been challenged in recent years by the identification of different costimulators, this classical pathway has been shown to significantly impact antiviral humoral and cellular immune responses. How the CD80/CD86-CD28 pathway affects the control of chronic or latent infections has been less well characterized. In this study, we investigated its role in antiviral immune responses against murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) and immune surveillance using CD80/CD86−/− mice. In the absence of CD80/CD86, primary antiviral CD8+ T-cell responses and the induction of neutralizing antibodies were severely impaired. During long-term immune surveillance, the virus-specific CD8+ T cells were impaired in IFN-γ production and secondary expansion and exhibited an altered phenotype. Surprisingly, a low level of viral reactivation in the lung was observed, and this effect was independent of CD28 and CTLA-4. Thus, CD80 and CD86, signaling through CD28 and possibly another unidentified receptor, are required for optimal immune surveillance and antiviral immune responses to murine gammaherpesvirus.