Steady-state dendritic cells expressing cognate antigen terminate memory CD8+ T-cell responses

Blood. 2008 Feb 15;111(4):2091-100. doi: 10.1182/blood-2007-07-103200. Epub 2007 Nov 14.


Antigen stimulation of naive T cells in conjunction with strong costimulatory signals elicits the generation of effector and memory populations. Such terminal differentiation transforms naive T cells capable of differentiating along several terminal pathways in response to pertinent environmental cues into cells that have lost developmental plasticity and exhibit heightened responsiveness. Because these cells exhibit little or no need for the strong costimulatory signals required for full activation of naive T cells, it is generally considered memory and effector T cells are released from the capacity to be inactivated. Here, we show that steady-state dendritic cells constitutively presenting an endogenously expressed antigen inactivate fully differentiated memory and effector CD8(+) T cells in vivo through deletion and inactivation. These findings indicate that fully differentiated effector and memory T cells exhibit a previously unappreciated level of plasticity and provide insight into how memory and effector T-cell populations may be regulated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Ovalbumin / genetics
  • Peptide Fragments


  • Cytokines
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Ovalbumin