Cross-priming of CD8+ T cells stimulated by virus-induced type I interferon

Nat Immunol. 2003 Oct;4(10):1009-15. doi: 10.1038/ni978. Epub 2003 Sep 21.


CD8+ T cell responses can be generated against antigens that are not expressed directly within antigen-presenting cells (APCs), through a process known as cross-priming. To initiate cross-priming, APCs must both capture extracellular antigen and receive specific activation signals. We have investigated the nature of APC activation signals associated with virus infection that stimulate cross-priming. We show that infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus induces cross-priming by a mechanism dependent on type I interferon (IFN-alpha/beta). Activation of cross-priming by IFN-alpha/beta was independent of CD4+ T cell help or interaction of CD40 and CD40 ligand, and involved direct stimulation of dendritic cells. These data identify expression of IFN-alpha/beta as a mechanism for the induction of cross-priming during virus infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology
  • CD40 Antigens / immunology
  • CD40 Ligand / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Female
  • Interferon Type I / biosynthesis
  • Interferon Type I / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / immunology*
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / virology
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms


  • CD40 Antigens
  • Interferon Type I
  • CD40 Ligand
  • Ovalbumin