Monitoring the T cell response to genital tract infection

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Aug 8;103(32):12069-74. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0603866103. Epub 2006 Jul 31.


To date, it has not been possible to study antigen-specific T cell responses during primary infection of the genital tract. The low frequency of pathogen-specific T cells in a naïve mouse makes it difficult to monitor the initial events after antigen encounter. We developed a system to examine the response of pathogen-specific T cells in the genital mucosa after intrauterine infection. We identified the protective CD4(+) T cell antigen Cta1 from Chlamydia trachomatis and generated T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic (tg) mice with specificity for this protein. By transferring TCR tg T cells into naïve animals, we determined that Chlamydia-specific T cells were activated and proliferated in the lymph nodes draining the genital tract after primary intrauterine infection. Activated T cells migrated into the genital mucosa and secreted IFN-gamma. The development of Chlamydia-specific TCR tg mice provides an approach for dissecting how pathogen-specific T cells function in the genital tract.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / metabolism
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chlamydia Infections / blood
  • Chlamydia Infections / immunology*
  • Chlamydia Infections / microbiology*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / metabolism
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • Spleen / microbiology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7 / chemistry


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7
  • Interferon-gamma