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Blood. 2003 May 1;101(9):3520-6. Epub 2003 Jan 2.

Activation of influenza virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells: a new role for plasmacytoid dendritic cells in adaptive immunity.

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Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-Oncology, Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA.


Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) contribute to innate antiviral immune responses by producing type I interferons (IFNs) upon exposure to enveloped viruses. However, their role in adaptive immune responses, such as the initiation of antiviral T-cell responses, is not known. In this study, we examined interactions between blood pDCs and influenza virus with special attention to the capacity of pDCs to activate influenza-specific T cells. pDCs were compared with CD11c(+) DCs, the most potent antigen-presenting cells (APCs), for their capacity to activate T-cell responses. We found that like CD11c(+) DCs, pDCs mature following exposure to influenza virus, express CCR7, and produce proinflammatory chemokines, but differ in that they produce type I IFN and are resistant to the cytopathic effect of the infection. After influenza virus exposure, both DC types exhibited an equivalent efficiency to expand anti-influenza virus cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and T helper 1 (TH1) CD4(+) T cells. Our results pinpoint a new role of pDCs in the induction of antiviral T-cell responses and suggest that these DCs play a prominent role in the adaptive immune response against viruses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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