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Osteopontin (OPN) has been defined as a key cytokine promoting the release of IL-12 and hence inducing the development of protective cell-mediated immunity to viruses and intracellular pathogens. To further characterize the role of OPN in antiviral immunity, OPN-deficient (OPN-/-) mice were analyzed after infection with influenza virus and vaccinia virus. Surprisingly, we found that viral clearance, lung inflammation, and recruitment of effector T cells to the lung were unaffected in OPN-/- mice after influenza infection. Furthermore, effector status of T cells was normal as demonstrated by normal IFN-gamma production and CTL lytic activity. Moreover, activation and Th1 differentiation of naive TCR transgenic CD4+ T cells by dendritic cells and cognate Ag was normal in the absence of OPN in vitro. Contrary to a previous report, we found that OPN-/- mice mounted a normal immune response to Listeria monocytogenes. In conclusion, OPN is dispensable for antiviral immune responses against influenza virus and vaccinia virus.

Original publication




Journal article


J Immunol

Publication Date





6006 - 6013


Animals, Antibodies, Viral, Cell Differentiation, Interferon-gamma, Interleukin-10, Interleukin-12, Interleukin-12 Subunit p40, Lipopolysaccharides, Listeriosis, Lung, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Orthomyxoviridae, Osteopontin, Protein Subunits, Sialoglycoproteins, T-Lymphocytes, Th1 Cells, Vaccinia virus