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Immunity. 1998 Jun;8(6):683-91.

Virus-specific CD8+ T cells in primary and secondary influenza pneumonia.

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Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.


Virus-specific CD8+ effector T cells (eCTL) are enriched in the lungs of mice with primary influenza pneumonia, though later detection of memory T cells (mCTL) in the mediastinal lymph nodes (MLN) or spleen by peptide-based staining protocols is at the limits of flow cytometric analysis. Respiratory challenge with an H3N2 virus months after H1N1 priming induces a massive recall response, which reduces virus titers 2-3 days earlier than in nave controls. Influenza-specific mCTL produce interferon-gamma within 6 hr, but still take 4-5 days to localize to the infected respiratory tract. The delay reflects that the recall response develops first in the MLN, which contains relatively few mCTL. The response to a subdominant epitope is less obvious after secondary challenge.

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