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J Immunol. 2003 Jan 15;170(2):788-94.

Complement component 3 is required for optimal expansion of CD8 T cells during a systemic viral infection.

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Department of Pathobiological Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706, USA.


In addition to its established role in innate immune mechanisms, complement component C3 is also of critical importance in B cell activation and T cell-dependent Ab responses. In this study, we have examined the requirement for C3 in the generation of primary CD8 T cell responses to an acute systemic viral infection. We compared Ag-specific CD8 T cell responses to lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) between wild-type (+/+) and C3-deficient (C3(-/-)) mice on both 129/B6 and B6 backgrounds. These studies revealed that C3 activity is required for optimal expansion of LCMV-specific effector CD8 T cells in an epitope-dependent fashion, which is influenced by the genetic background of the mice. Studies in complement receptor 1/2 (CR1/CR2)-deficient mice showed that regulation of LCMV-specific CD8 T cell responses by C3 is not dependent upon CR1/CR2. These findings may have implications in vaccine development, therapy of autoimmune diseases, and prevention of graft rejection.

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