CD8+ T cell immunodominance shifts during the early stages of acute LCMV infection independently from functional avidity maturation

Virology. 2009 Aug 1;390(2):197-204. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2009.05.021. Epub 2009 Jun 18.


Virus-specific T cell responses are often directed to a small subset of possible epitopes and their relative magnitude defines their hierarchy. We determined the size and functional avidity of 4 representative peptide-specific CD8(+) T cell populations in C57BL/6 mice at different time points after lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection. We found that the frequency of different peptide-specific T cell populations in the spleen changed independently over the first 8 days after infection. These changes were not associated with a larger or more rapid increase in functional avidity and yet still resulted in a shift in the final immunodominance hierarchy. Thus, the immunodominance observed at the peak of an antiviral T cell response is not necessarily determined by the initial size or rate of functional avidity maturation of peptide-specific T cell populations.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arenaviridae Infections / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Spleen / immunology


  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Interferon-gamma