Antigen-specific CD8+ T cells respond to Chlamydia trachomatis in the genital mucosa

J Immunol. 2006 Dec 1;177(11):7974-9. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.177.11.7974.


Following sexual transmission, Chlamydia trachomatis specifically targets genital tract epithelial cells. Because epithelial cells are readily recognized by CD8+ T cells, the response of CD8+ T cells to Chlamydia infection has been explored in a number of studies. It has been shown that CD8+ T cells are present in the genital tracts of mice following C. trachomatis infection, but the specificity of these T cells has remained undefined. To determine whether Chlamydia-specific CD8+ T cells migrate to the genital tract in response to Chlamydia infection, we generated retrogenic mice that express a TCR specific for a Chlamydia-specific T cell Ag CrpA. T cells from the retrogenic mice were transferred into naive recipient animals to increase the frequency of Chlamydia-specific T cells to a level at which they could be tracked during primary infection. We observed that the Chlamydia-specific retrogenic T cells proliferated in lymph nodes draining the genital tract in response to genital infection with C. trachomatis. Furthermore, we found that these cells acquired the ability to produce IFN-gamma and migrated into the genital mucosa of the infected mice.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / genetics
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / microbiology
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / immunology
  • Chlamydia Infections / immunology*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / immunology
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genitalia, Female / immunology*
  • Genitalia, Female / microbiology
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Lymph Nodes / cytology
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mucous Membrane / cytology
  • Mucous Membrane / immunology*
  • Mucous Membrane / microbiology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Interferon-gamma