Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Immunol. 2004 Sep;5(9):927-33. Epub 2004 Aug 8.

CD4+ T cells are required for the maintenance, not programming, of memory CD8+ T cells after acute infection.

Author information

  • 1Department of Immunology and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


Immunization in the absence of CD4(+) T cell help results in defective CD8(+) T cell memory, deficient recall responses and diminished protective immunity. Here we investigated at what stage during the immune response to pathogen CD4(+) T cells are essential in the promotion of functional CD8(+) T cell memory. Memory CD8(+) T cell numbers decreased gradually in the absence of CD4(+) T cells despite the presence of similar numbers of memory cell precursors at the peak of the effector phase. Adoptive transfer of effector or memory CD8(+) T cells into wild-type or CD4(+) T cell-deficient mice demonstrated that the presence of CD4(+) T cells was important only after, not during, the early CD8(+) T cell programming phase. In the absence of CD4(+) T cells, memory CD8(+) T cells became functionally impaired and decreased in quantity over time. We conclude that in the context of an acute infection, CD4(+) T cells are required only during the maintenance phase of long-lived memory CD8(+) T cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center