Requirement of the IFN-alpha/beta-induced CXCR3 chemokine signalling for CD8+ T cell activation

Genes Cells. 2002 Mar;7(3):309-20. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2443.2002.00515.x.


Background: Activation of both CD4+ T and CD8+ T cells is triggered by the engagement of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) with MHC/peptide complexes on antigen-presenting cells. This process also requires other molecular interactions, which transmit co-stimulatory signals to these T cells. To ensure an effective immune response, distinct T cell subsets may additionally employ unique mechanism(s) for efficient activation.

Results: We here show that mutant CD8+ T cells lacking the IFN-alpha/beta signalling components are hyporesponsive to antigen stimulation in vitro. We further show that IFN-alpha/beta-mediated signals are required for induction of the chemokines IP-10/I-TAC and their common receptor, CXCR3, and in turn provide evidence that CXCR3-mediated signals indeed function in the activation and proliferation of CD8+ T cells, particularly for the CD44low naive phenotype cells.

Conclusion: The CXCR3 chemokine system is regulated by IFN-alpha/beta in CD8+ T cells, and it is critical for the efficient cell activation. The present study therefore reveals a novel role of the IFN-alpha/beta-CXCR3 signalling cascade in CD8+ T cell activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Interferon Type I / immunology
  • Interferon Type I / metabolism*
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism*
  • Receptors, CXCR3
  • Receptors, Chemokine / immunology
  • Receptors, Chemokine / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Cxcr3 protein, mouse
  • Interferon Type I
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Receptors, CXCR3
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • interferon-alpha 8