Defective CD8 T Cell Memory Following Acute Infection Without CD4 T Cell Help

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Science  11 Apr 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5617, pp. 339-342
DOI: 10.1126/science.1083317

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The CD8+ cytotoxic T cell response to pathogens is thought to be CD4+ helper T cell independent because infectious agents provide their own inflammatory signals. Mice that lack CD4+ T cells mount a primary CD8 response toListeria monocytogenes equal to that of wild-type mice and rapidly clear the infection. However, protective memory to a challenge is gradually lost in the former animals. Memory CD8+ T cells from normal mice can respond rapidly, but memory CD8+ T cells that are generated without CD4 help are defective in their ability to respond to secondary encounters with antigen. The results highlight a previously undescribed role for CD4 help in promoting protective CD8 memory development.

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