Massive expansion of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells during an acute virus infection

Immunity. 1998 Feb;8(2):167-75. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80469-0.


During LCMV infection, CD8+ T cells expand greatly. Bystander activation has been thought to play a role because few cells score as LCMV specific in limiting dilution analysis. In contrast, we find that at least a quarter of the CD8+ cells secrete IFNgamma specifically in response to LCMV peptides at the peak of the response. Moreover, by analyzing the expansion of adoptively transferred LCMV-specific, TCR-transgenic CD8+ T cells in congenic hosts, we have determined that most of the CD8+ cell expansion is virus specific. Analysis of the effect of the monospecific TCR-transgenic T cells on the host response to three LCMV epitopes suggests that CTL precursors compete for sites on the APC in an epitope-specific fashion and that this competition determines the specificity of the response.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Epitopes
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Immunological
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic
  • Transplantation Chimera


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Epitopes
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Interferon-gamma