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Science. 2003 Apr 11;300(5617):337-9.

Requirement for CD4 T cell help in generating functional CD8 T cell memory.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Although primary CD8 responses to acute infections are independent of CD4 help, it is unknown whether a similar situation applies to secondary responses. We show that depletion of CD4 cells during the recall response has minimal effect, whereas depletion during the priming phase leads to reduced responses by memory CD8 cells to reinfection. Memory CD8 cells generated in CD4+/+ mice responded normally when transferred into CD4-/- hosts, whereas memory CD8 cells generated in CD4-/- mice mounted defective recall responses in CD4+/+ adoptive hosts. These results demonstrate a previously undescribed role for CD4 help in the development of functional CD8 memory.

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