Reduced type I interferon production by dendritic cells and weakened antiviral immunity in patients with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein deficiency

Philipp A. Lang, Namir Shaabani, Stephanie Borkens, Nadine Honke, Stefanie Scheu, Sarah Booth, Dirk Brenner, Andreas Meryk, Carmen Barthuber, Mike Recher, Tak W. Mak, Pamela S. Ohashi, Dieter Häussinger, Gillian M. Griffiths, Adrian J. Thrasher, Gerben Bouma*, Karl S. Lang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is a rare X-linked primary immunodeficiency caused by absence of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) expression, resulting in defective function of many immune cell lineages and susceptibility to severe bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Despite a significant proportion of patients with WAS having recurrent viral infections, surprisingly little is known about the effects of WASP deficiency on antiviral immunity. Objective: We sought to evaluate the antiviral immune response in patients with WASP deficiency in vivo. Methods: Viral clearance and associated immunopathology were measured after infection of WASP-deficient (WAS KO) mice with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). Induction of antiviral CD8 + T-cell immunity and cytotoxicity was documented in WAS KO mice by means of temporal enumeration of total and antigen-specific T-cell numbers. Type I interferon (IFN-I) production was measured in serum in response to LCMV challenge and characterized in vivo by using IFN-I reporter mice crossed with WAS KO mice. Results: WAS KO mice showed reduced viral clearance and enhanced immunopathology during LCMV infection. This was attributed to both an intrinsic CD8+ T-cell defect and defective priming of CD8+ T cells by dendritic cells (DCs). IFN-I production by WAS KO DCs was reduced both in vivo and in vitro. Conclusions: These studies use a well-characterized model of persistence-prone viral infection to reveal a critical deficiency of CD8 + T-cell responses in murine WASP deficiency, in which abrogated production of IFN-I by DCs might play an important contributory role. These findings might help us to understand the immunodeficiency of WAS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-824.e2
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • CD8 T cells
  • Type I interferon
  • Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
  • Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein
  • dendritic cells
  • diabetes
  • virus


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