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Nat Immunol. 2008 Feb;9(2):155-65. doi: 10.1038/ni1557. Epub 2008 Jan 13.

Direct priming of antiviral CD8+ T cells in the peripheral interfollicular region of lymph nodes.

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Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


It is uncertain how antiviral lymphocytes are activated in draining lymph nodes, the site where adaptive immune responses are initiated. Here, using intravital microscopy we show that after infection of mice with vaccinia virus (a large DNA virus) or vesicular stomatitis virus (a small RNA virus), virions drained to the lymph node and infected cells residing just beneath the subcapsular sinus. Naive CD8+ T cells rapidly migrated to infected cells in the peripheral interfollicular region and then formed tight interactions with dendritic cells, leading to complete T cell activation. Thus, antigen presentation at the lymph node periphery, not at lymphocyte exit sites in deeper lymph node venules, as dogma dictates, has a dominant function in antiviral CD8+ T cell activation.

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