Regulation of Antigen-Specific CD8+ T Cell Homeostasis by Perforin and Interferon-γ

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Science  17 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5495, pp. 1354-1357
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5495.1354

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T cell memory depends on factors that regulate expansion and death of these cells after antigenic stimulation. Mice deficient in perforin and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) exhibited increased expansion, altered immunodominance, and decreased death of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells after infection with an attenuated strain ofListeria monocytogenes, which was cleared from these mice. Expansion of CD8+ T cells was controlled by perforin, whereas IFN-γ regulated immunodominance and the death phase. Thus, perforin and IFN-γ regulate distinct elements of CD8+ T cell homeostasis independently of their role as antimicrobial effector molecules.

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