We compared peripheral and mucosal primary CD8 T cell responses to inflammatory and noninflammatory forms of antigen in a T cell-adoptive transfer system. Immunization with the soluble antigen, ovalbumin (ova), administered i.p. or orally without adjuvant, activated nonmucosal CD8 T cells but did not induce cytotoxic activity. However, after activation, the transferred cells entered the intestinal mucosa and became potent antigen-specific killers. Thus, exogenous intact soluble protein entered the major histocompatibility complex class I antigen presentation pathway and induced mucosal cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Moreover, distinct costimulatory requirements for activation of peripheral versus mucosal T cells were noted in that the CD28 ligand, B7-1, was critical for activated mucosal T cell generation but not for activation of peripheral CD8 T cells. The costimulator, B7-2, was required for optimum activation of both populations. Infection with a new recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus encoding ovalbumin induced lytic activity in mucosal as well as peripheral sites, demonstrating an adjuvant effect of inflammatory mediators produced during virus infection. Generation of antiviral cytotoxic T lymphocytes was also costimulation-dependent. The results indicated that induction of peripheral tolerance via antigen administration may not extend to mucosal sites because of distinct costimulatory and inflammatory signals in the mucosa
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