Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Exp Med. 1998 Jul 6;188(1):71-82.

Conserved T cell receptor repertoire in primary and memory CD8 T cell responses to an acute viral infection.

Author information

  • 1Emory Vaccine Center, Rollins Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


Viral infections often induce potent CD8 T cell responses that play a key role in antiviral immunity. After viral clearance, the vast majority of the expanded CD8 T cells undergo apoptosis, leaving behind a stable number of memory cells. The relationship between the CD8 T cells that clear the acute viral infection and the long-lived CD8 memory pool remaining in the individual is not fully understood. To address this issue, we examined the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire of virus-specific CD8 T cells in the mouse model of infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) using three approaches: (a) in vivo quantitative TCR beta chain V segment and complementarity determining region 3 (CDR3) length repertoire analysis by spectratyping (immunoscope); (b) identification of LCMV-specific CD8 T cells with MHC class I tetramers containing viral peptide and costaining with TCR Vbeta-specific antibodies; and (c) functional TCR fingerprinting based on recognition of variant peptides. We compared the repertoire of CD8 T cells responding to acute primary and secondary LCMV infections, together with that of virus-specific memory T cells in immune mice. Our analysis showed that CD8 T cells from several Vbeta families participated in the anti-LCMV response directed to the dominant cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitope (NP118-126). However, the bulk (approximately 70%) of this CTL response was due to three privileged T cell populations systematically expanding during LCMV infection. Approximately 30% of the response consisted of Vbeta10+ CD8 T cells with a beta chain CDR3 length of nine amino acids, and 40% consisted of Vbeta8.1+ (beta CDR3 = eight amino acids) and Vbeta8.2+ cells (beta CDR3 = six amino acids). Finally, we showed that the TCR repertoire of the primary antiviral CD8 T cell response was similar both structurally and functionally to that of the memory pool and the secondary CD8 T cell effectors. These results suggest a stochastic selection of memory cells from the pool of CD8 T cells activated during primary infection.

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

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk