Naive CD8(+) but Not CD4(+) T Cells Induce Maturation of Dendritic Cells

J Mol Med (Berl). 2002 Aug;80(8):533-41. doi: 10.1007/s00109-002-0360-4. Epub 2002 Jun 19.


We have shown previously that the generation of tumor-reactive CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes require qualitatively different signals from CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells that most likely are provided to dendritic cells (DCs). This raises the question of whether the two T cell subsets are equally able to deliver the initial activation signal to DCs. Using ovalbumin as a model antigen we show that naive CD4(+) T cells cannot activate immature DCs and do not become activated, even though they recognize antigen on immature DCs. In contrast, naive CD8(+) T cells rapidly activate DCs and subsequently start to proliferate. This suggests that CD8(+) T cells contribute to DC activation prior to CD4(+) T cells and implies that CD8(+) T cells can provide help to CD4(+) T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4 Antigens / analysis
  • CD4 Antigens / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8 Antigens / analysis
  • CD8 Antigens / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cellular Senescence / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Ovalbumin / genetics
  • Ovalbumin / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology


  • CD4 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Ovalbumin