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Immunology. 1996 Jun;88(2):252-60.

The contrasting effects of CD8+ T cells on primary, established and Nippostrongylus brasiliensis-induced IgE responses.

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Department of Immunology, King's College School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK.


Recent data have indicated that CD8+ T cells suppress rodent IgE responses. In this study we investigated the effect of CD8+ T cells on primary and established IgE responses in euthymic and athymic nude rats. Euthymic PVG rats were depleted of CD8+ T cells by intraperitoneal injection of a CD8-specific monoclonal antibody (OX8), which resulted in an apparent loss of 92% of splenic and 98% of peripheral blood CD8+ T cells. The CD8+ T-cell depleted animals failed to mount a significant IgE response compared with control animals given an irrelevant monoclonal antibody (OX21). Furthermore, PVG nude rats reconstituted with purified CD4+ thoracic duct lymphocytes (TDL) alone failed to mount a significant IgE response, while animals given unfractionated TDL (containing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells) did. Depletion of CD8+ T cells 7 days prior to immunization and subsequent reconstitution at the time of immunization restored the IgE response. In contrast, removal of CD8+ T cells 1 month after induction of IgE by immunization with ovalbumin (OVA) and ricin prolonged the IgE response. In all cases IgG antibody responses were unaffected by the presence or absence of CD8+ T cells. This study shows that some CD8+ T cells are required for IgE, but not IgG, production to soluble antigen in a primary immune response. However, later in the immune response CD8+ T cells were shown to inhibit IgE production. These effects were apparently restricted to the immune response to soluble antigen, as Hooded Lister rats infected with 9000 larvae of the nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis produced high sustained levels of circulating IgE, in excess of 10 micrograms/ml, regardless of whether CD8+ T cells were depleted before or 1 month after infection.

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