Cognate CD4(+) T cell licensing of dendritic cells in CD8(+) T cell immunity

Nat Immunol. 2004 Nov;5(11):1143-8. doi: 10.1038/ni1129. Epub 2004 Oct 10.


Several studies have indicated that CD8(+) T cells require CD4(+) T cell help for memory formation. Evidence suggests that such help can be antigen independent, challenging whether the 'licensing' of dendritic cells (DCs) by CD4(+) T cells is ever required for cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses. We show here that help is essential for the generation of CTL immunity to herpes simplex virus 1 and that CD4(+) T cells mediate help in a cognate, antigen-specific way. We provide direct in vivo evidence for DC licensing by helper T cells and show that licensing is rapid and essential for the formation of effector and memory CTLs. In situations in which DCs are poorly licensed by pathogen-derived signals, our findings suggest that CTL immunity may be heavily dependent on cognate DC licensing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology
  • Immunologic Memory / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II