We assessed the effect of modified antigen presenting cells (APCs) expressing high levels of Fas Ligand (APC-FasL) on post-viral chronic inflammatory disease. FasL-deficient B6-gld/gld mice infected with murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) cleared the virus from their lungs, kidneys, and livers within 2 weeks of infection. However, inflammation persisted in these organs for more than 8 weeks, with a chronically increased T-cell response to MCMV-infected APCs and production of autoantibodies. Administration of APC- AdFasL at 4 weeks suppressed this inflammation and diminished the T-cell response and autoantibody production. APC-AdFasL that had been transfected with ultraviolet-irradiated MCMV were more effective than uninfected APC- AdFasL in ameliorating the chronic inflammation. APC-AdFasL migrated preferentially to the spleen, where they triggered apoptosis of lymphocytes in the marginal zone of the spleen. These results confirm that Fas-mediated apoptosis is not required for clearance of virus, but is required for down- modulation of the virally induced chronic inflammatory response. This organwide effect of APC-AdFasL appears to be mediated by elimination of activated T lymphocytes in the spleen before their emigration to the target organs.