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Eur J Immunol. 2000 Feb;30(2):678-82.

Immune down-regulation and peripheral deletion of CD8 T cells does not require TNF receptor-ligand interactions nor CD95 (Fas, APO-1).

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Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, University of Freiburg, Germany.


TNF receptor-ligand interactions and CD95 (Fas / APO-1) have been demonstrated to be involved in activation-induced death of mature T cells. Here, we examined the role of these molecules in the murine model of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection using LCMV TCR transgenic (tg) mice lacking TNF, TNF receptor I (TNFR1), CD95 or both TNFR1 and CD95. This report demonstrates that neither TNF receptor-ligand interactions nor CD95 was required for down-regulation of LCMV-specific CD8 T cells following acute LCMV infection in vivo. Even LCMV-specific CD8 T cells lacking both TNFR1 and CD95 molecules declined after the acute phase of the infection with normal kinetics. Furthermore, peripheral deletion of LCMV-specific CD8 T cells induced by LCMV peptide injection or by adoptive transfer of tg spleen cells expressing the corresponding LCMV epitope was not impaired in mice lacking TNF, TNFR1 and / or CD95. Our data speak against an indispensable role of these molecules in antigen-induced apoptosis of CD8 T cells in vivo and suggest that T cell homeostasis after antigen challenge is controlled by additional mechanisms.

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