Direct priming of antiviral CD8+ T cells in the peripheral interfollicular region of lymph nodes

Nat Immunol. 2008 Feb;9(2):155-65. doi: 10.1038/ni1557. Epub 2008 Jan 13.


It is uncertain how antiviral lymphocytes are activated in draining lymph nodes, the site where adaptive immune responses are initiated. Here, using intravital microscopy we show that after infection of mice with vaccinia virus (a large DNA virus) or vesicular stomatitis virus (a small RNA virus), virions drained to the lymph node and infected cells residing just beneath the subcapsular sinus. Naive CD8+ T cells rapidly migrated to infected cells in the peripheral interfollicular region and then formed tight interactions with dendritic cells, leading to complete T cell activation. Thus, antigen presentation at the lymph node periphery, not at lymphocyte exit sites in deeper lymph node venules, as dogma dictates, has a dominant function in antiviral CD8+ T cell activation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • Cell Movement
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / analysis
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Vaccinia virus / immunology
  • Vesiculovirus / immunology


  • Green Fluorescent Proteins