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Complementary dendritic cell-activating function of CD8+ and CD4+ T cells: helper role of CD8+ T cells in the development of T helper type 1 responses

Complementary dendritic cell-activating function of CD8+ and CD4+ T cells: helper role of CD8+ T cells in the development of T helper type 1 responses

Journal of Experimental Medicine 195(4): 473-483

Dendritic cells (DCs) activated by CD40L-expressing CD4+ T cells act as mediators of "T helper (Th)" signals for CD8+ T lymphocytes, inducing their cytotoxic function and supporting their long-term activity. Here, we show that the optimal activation of DCs, their ability to produce high levels of bioactive interleukin (IL)-12p70 and to induce Th1-type CD4+ T cells, is supported by the complementary DC-activating signals from both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Cord blood- or peripheral blood-isolated naive CD8+ T cells do not express CD40L, but, in contrast to naive CD4+ T cells, they are efficient producers of IFN-gamma at the earliest stages of the interaction with DCs. Naive CD8+ T cells cooperate with CD40L-expressing naive CD4+ T cells in the induction of IL-12p70 in DCs, promoting the development of primary Th1-type CD4+ T cell responses. Moreover, the recognition of major histocompatibility complex class I-presented epitopes by antigen-specific CD8+ T cells results in the TNF-alpha- and IFN-gamma-dependent increase in the activation level of DCs and in the induction of type-1 polarized mature DCs capable of producing high levels of IL-12p70 upon a subsequent CD40 ligation. The ability of class I-restricted CD8+ T cells to coactivate and polarize DCs may support the induction of Th1-type responses against class I-presented epitopes of intracellular pathogens and contact allergens, and may have therapeutical implications in cancer and chronic infections.

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Accession: 010365901

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PMID: 11854360

DOI: 10.1084/jem.20011662

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