Differential Effects of Cytolytic T Cell Subsets on Intracellular Infection

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Science  13 Jun 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5319, pp. 1684-1687
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5319.1684

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In analyzing mechanisms of protection against intracellular infections, a series of human CD1-restricted T cell lines of two distinct phenotypes were derived. Both CD4CD8 (double-negative) T cells and CD8+ T cells efficiently lysed macrophages infected withMycobacterium tuberculosis. The cytotoxicity of CD4CD8 T cells was mediated by Fas-FasL interaction and had no effect on the viability of the mycobacteria. The CD8+ T cells lysed infected macrophages by a Fas-independent, granule-dependent mechanism that resulted in killing of bacteria. These data indicate that two phenotypically distinct subsets of human cytolytic T lymphocytes use different mechanisms to kill infected cells and contribute in different ways to host defense against intracellular infection.

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