Cross-priming of CD8+ T cells by viral and tumor antigens is a robust phenomenon

Eur J Immunol. 2004 Jan;34(1):194-9. doi: 10.1002/eji.200324257.


"Cross-priming" refers to the activation of naive CD8+ T cells by antigen-presenting cells that have acquired nominal antigens from another cell. The biological relevance of cross-priming of CD8+ T cells has recently been challenged (Zinkernagel, R. M., Eur. J. Immunol. 2002. 32: 2385-2392), on the basis that responses are weak or poorly quantitated, and the determinants recognized are undefined. Here we show that cross-priming is a robust process that elicits vigorous primary responses to multiple peptides in two well-defined systems. Our findings support the relevance of cross-priming in CD8+ T cell responses to viruses and tumor cells, and demonstrate that cross-priming elicits CD8+ T cells to determinants generated by the endogenous processing pathway.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Antigens, Polyomavirus Transforming / immunology
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cross-Priming / immunology*
  • Influenza A virus / immunology
  • Mice


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Polyomavirus Transforming
  • Antigens, Viral