• CC chemokines;
  • genital herpes infection;
  • mucosal immunity

PROBLEM: To investigate the production of the CC chemokines RANTES, MCP-1, and MIP-1α in the vaginal mucosa following HSV-2 challenge in vaccinated and unvaccinated mice. METHOD OF STUDY: The concentrations of the chemokines were determined in the vagina of HSV-2-vaccinated as well as unvaccinated mice after HSV-2 challenge using a PERFEXT method combined with ELISA. RESULTS: HSV-2 infection did not induce any measurable levels of MIP-1α, whereas high levels of RANTES and MCP-1 were detected in unvaccinated animals at 48 hr post challenge. The vaccinated mice developed a more rapid induction of RANTES, but not of MCP-1, appearing as early as 24 hr post challenge. The local induction of RANTES production was preceded by a vaginal IFN-γ response. Furthermore, vaccinated IFN-γ−/− mice did not produce any enhanced levels of RANTES following HSV-2 challenge. CONCLUSIONS: The protective immune response against genital HSV-2 infection is associated with a rapid induction of local IFN-γ-dependent RANTES production.