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Enumeration and Functional Evaluation of Virus-Specific CD4+ and CD8+ T Cells in Lymphoid and Peripheral Sites of Coxsackievirus B3 Infection▿

By Christopher C. Kemball, Stephanie Harkins and J. Lindsay Whitton

Abstract

Previous studies have suggested that coxsackievirus B (CVB) activates CD8+ T cells in vivo, but the extent of this activation and the antigen specificity of the CD8+ T cells remain uncertain. Furthermore, CVB-induced CD4+ T-cell responses have not been carefully investigated. Herein, we evaluate CD8+ and CD4+ T-cell responses both in a secondary lymphoid organ (spleen) and in peripheral tissues (heart and pancreas), using a recombinant CVB3 (rCVB3.6) that encodes well-characterized CD8+ and CD4+ T-cell epitopes. Despite reaching high levels in vivo, rCVB3.6 failed to trigger a marked expansion of CD8+ or CD4+ T cells, and T-cell activation was surprisingly limited. Furthermore, epitope-specific effector functions could not be detected using highly sensitive in vivo and ex vivo assays. Moreover, major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I tetramer analysis indicated that our inability to detect CVB3-specific CD8+ T-cell responses could not be explained by the cells being dysfunctional. In contrast to naïve T cells, epitope-specific memory CD8+ and CD4+ T cells proliferated markedly, indicating that both of the rCVB3.6-encoded epitopes were presented by their respective MHC molecules in vivo. These data are consistent with the observation that several CVB3 proteins can limit the presentation of viral epitopes on the surface of infected cells and suggest that the level of MHC/peptide complex is sufficient to trigger memory but not naïve T cells. Finally, our findings have implications for the biological significance of cross-priming, a process thought by some to be important for the induction of antiviral CD8+ T-cell responses

Topics: Pathogenesis and Immunity
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2293035
Provided by: PubMed Central
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