Professional APC play a central role in generating antiviral CD8 + CTL immunity. However, the fate of such APC following interaction with these same CTL remains poorly understood. We have shown previously that prolonged Ag presentation persists in the presence of a strong CTL response following HSV infection. In this study, we examined the mechanism of survival of APC in vivo when presenting an immunodominant determinant from HSV. We show that transferred peptide-labeled dendritic cells were eliminated from draining lymph nodes in the presence of HSV-specific CTL. Maturation of dendritic cells with LPS or anti-CD40 before injection protected against CTL lysis in vivo. Furthermore, endogenous APC could be eliminated from draining lymph nodes early after HSV infection by adoptive transfer of HSV-specific CTL, yet the cotransfer of significant virus-specific CD4+ T cell help promoted prolonged Ag presentation. This suggests that Th cells may assist in prolonging class 1-restricted Ag presentation, potentially enhancing CTL recruitment and allowing more efficient T cell priming.