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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2000 Mar 29;355(1395):317-22.

T-cell proliferation in vivo and the role of cytokines.

Author information

  • 1Department of Immunology, IMM4, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. jsprent@scripps.edu


Unlike typical naive T cells, T cells with an activated (CD44hi) memory phenotype show a rapid rate of proliferation in vivo. The turnover of memory-phenotype CD8+ T cells can be considerably augmented by injecting mice with various compounds, including polyinosinic polycytidylic acid, lipopolysaccharide and immunostimulatory DNA (CpG DNA). Certain cytokines, notably type I (alpha, beta) interferons (IFN-I), have a similar effect. These agents appear to induce proliferation of CD44hi CD8+ cells in vivo by an indirect process involving production of effector cytokines, possibly interleukin-15, by antigen-presenting cells. Although none of the agents tested induces proliferation of naive-phenotype T cells, IFN-I has the capacity to cause upregulation of surface markers on purified naive T cells. Depending upon the experimental conditions used, IFN-I can either inhibit or enhance primary responses of naive T cells to specific antigen.

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