Upon intranasal instillation of vesicular stomatis virus (VSV), which is closely related to rabies virus, the virus infects olfactory sensory neurons. The virus moves along the neuronal axons to peripheral areas of the olfactory bulb. In our study we show that within the olfactory bulb, infected neurons produce chemokines, which recruit antigen-specific T cells into the infected brain. This chemokine induction is mediated by MyD88 dependent signaling. In the infected brain, virus-specific CD8+ T cells are needed in order to promote survival of the host.
The MyD88 signaling pathway is a new pharmacological target that potentially allows the regulation of T cell recruitment into the infected brain.