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J Immunol. 2007 Jan 15;178(2):778-87.

Chemokine-guided CD4+ T cell help enhances generation of IL-6RalphahighIL-7Ralpha high prememory CD8+ T cells.

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Lymphocyte Biology Section, Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


CD4(+) T cells promote effective CD8(+) T cell-mediated immunity, but the timing and mechanistic details of such help remain controversial. Furthermore, the extent to which innate stimuli act independently of help in enhancing CD8(+) T cell responses is also unresolved. Using a noninfectious vaccine model in immunocompetent mice, we show that even in the presence of innate stimuli, CD4(+) T cell help early after priming is required for generating an optimal pool of functional memory CD8(+) T cells. CD4(+) T cell help increased the size of a previously unreported population of IL-6Ralpha(high)IL-7Ralpha(high) prememory CD8(+) T cells shortly after priming that showed a survival advantage in vivo and contributed to the majority of functional memory CD8(+) T cells after the contraction phase. In accord with our recent demonstration of chemokine-guided recruitment of naive CD8(+) T cells to sites of CD4(+) T cell-dendritic cell interactions, the generation of IL-6Ralpha(high)IL-7Ralpha(high) prememory as well as functional memory CD8(+) T cells depended on the early postvaccination action of the inflammatory chemokines CCL3 and CCL4. Together, these findings support a model of CD8(+) T cell memory cell differentiation involving the delivery of key signals early in the priming process based on chemokine-guided attraction of naive CD8(+) T cells to sites of Ag-driven interactions between TLR-activated dendritic cells and CD4(+) T cells. They also reveal that elevated IL-6Ralpha expression by a subset of CD8(+) T cells represents an early imprint of CD4(+) T cell helper function that actively contributes to the survival of activated CD8(+) T cells.

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