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J Immunol. 2006 Dec 1;177(11):7974-9.

Antigen-specific CD8+ T cells respond to Chlamydia trachomatis in the genital mucosa.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, 200 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Following sexual transmission, Chlamydia trachomatis specifically targets genital tract epithelial cells. Because epithelial cells are readily recognized by CD8+ T cells, the response of CD8+ T cells to Chlamydia infection has been explored in a number of studies. It has been shown that CD8+ T cells are present in the genital tracts of mice following C. trachomatis infection, but the specificity of these T cells has remained undefined. To determine whether Chlamydia-specific CD8+ T cells migrate to the genital tract in response to Chlamydia infection, we generated retrogenic mice that express a TCR specific for a Chlamydia-specific T cell Ag CrpA. T cells from the retrogenic mice were transferred into naive recipient animals to increase the frequency of Chlamydia-specific T cells to a level at which they could be tracked during primary infection. We observed that the Chlamydia-specific retrogenic T cells proliferated in lymph nodes draining the genital tract in response to genital infection with C. trachomatis. Furthermore, we found that these cells acquired the ability to produce IFN-gamma and migrated into the genital mucosa of the infected mice.

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