Enterobacteria-infected T cells as antigen-presenting cells for cytotoxic CD8 T cells: a contribution to the self-limitation of cellular immune reactions in reactive arthritis?

J Infect Dis. 1997 May;175(5):1121-7. doi: 10.1086/516451.


In enterobacteria-induced reactive arthritis (ReA), different T cell subsets play a role in the induction and maintenance of the synovitic process. Synovial fluid-derived alphabeta CD4, alphabeta CD8, and gammadelta T lymphocyte clones (TLC) that recognize Yersinia or Salmonella antigens on professional antigen-presenting cells (APC) have been characterized, and T cells themselves can function as nonprofessional APC. T cells were infected with the facultatively intracellular, arthritogenic enterobacterium Yersinia enterocolitica O:3. A CD8 TLC isolated from a patient with Yersinia-induced ReA recognized and efficiently lysed autologous and allogeneic Yersinia-infected T cells. Infected cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) had a reduced lytic capacity against syngeneic and allogeneic infected target cells, suggesting that the infection of CTL by bacteria may represent a mechanism of immune escape. In ReA, antigen presentation by T cells may modify the antibacterial immune response and may also contribute to network control mechanisms of T cell-mediated cytotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / microbiology*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Arthritis, Reactive / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / microbiology
  • Clone Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • L Cells
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Salmonella typhimurium / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / microbiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / ultrastructure
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / microbiology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Yersinia Infections / immunology*
  • Yersinia enterocolitica / immunology*


  • Antigens, Bacterial