Killer T cells regulate antigen presentation for early expansion of memory, but not naive, CD8+ T cell

Gabrielle T. Belz, Lei Zhang, Matthew D.H. Lay, Fiona Kupresanin, Miles P. Davenport

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Antigen presentation within the lymph node draining a site of infection is crucial for initiation of cytotoxic T cell responses. Precisely how this antigen presentation regulates T cell expansion in vivo is unclear. Here, we show that, in primary infection, antigen presentation peaks ≈3 days postinfection and then slowly decays until day 12. This prolonged antigen presentation is required for optimal expansion of naive CD8+ T cells, because early ablation of dendritic cells reduces the later CD8+ T cell response. Antigen presentation during secondary infection was 10-fold lower in magnitude and largely terminated by day 4 postinfection. Expansion of memory, but not naive, antigen-specific T cells was tightly controlled by perforin-dependent cytolysis of antigen-presenting cells. The ability of the memory T cells to remove antigen-presenting cells provides a negative-feedback loop to directly limit the duration of antigen presentation in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6341-6346
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendritic cell
  • Immunity
  • Immunological memory
  • Influenza virus
  • T lymphocyte

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