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J Immunol. 1998 Sep 15;161(6):2740-5.

The role of B7-1 and B7-2 costimulation for the generation of CTL responses in vivo.

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Department of Pathology, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01655, USA.


The role of B7-1 and B7-2 costimulatory molecules in the generation of Ag-specific CD8+ CTLs is not well understood. In this paper, we analyze the role of both B7-1 and B7-2 in the generation of CTLs to nonliving, exogenous Ag and to live virus. To analyze the role of B7 costimulation in the induction of CTLs, we blocked B7-1 and/or B7-2 in vivo by injecting C57BL/6 mice with anti-B7-1 and/or anti-B7-2 mAbs; the mice were subsequently immunized with either chicken OVA that had been cross-linked to beads as a model of exogenous Ags or with wild-type and recombinant vaccinia virus expressing different forms of chicken OVA as models of viral Ags. Our results indicate that B7 costimulation is necessary in the generation of CTLs for all of these Ags. Since the B7 molecules could be costimulating CD8+ and/or CD4+ T cells in wild-type animals, we also examined the role of costimulation in the generation of CTLs to exogenous and viral Ag in MHC class II-deficient mice lacking most CD4+ T cells. In these animals, a combination of both mAbs also blocked all CTL responses, indicating that the Th cell-independent activation of CTLs is dependent upon the B7-costimulatory signals supplied to the CD8+ cell. These findings contribute to the understanding of the role of costimulation for the generation of CTLs. We also discuss the implications of these findings on the role of professional APCs in the initiation of CTL responses.

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