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Cell Immunol. 2002 May-Jun;217(1-2):36-46.

Strength of prior stimuli determines the magnitude of secondary responsiveness in CD8+ T cells.

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Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


CD8+T cells can become anergic following activation, though the cellular mechanism, as compared to CD4+ T cells, remains poorly understood. Here, we examined the effects of different antigen-dose, peptide ligands, and engagement of costimulatory molecules on the induction of CD8+ T cell anergy. We observed that increasing strengths of signals delivered to CD8+ T cells by varying the antigen-dose and the nature of peptide ligands induced increasing degrees of non-responsiveness to secondary stimulation. Furthermore, higher levels of LFA-3 engagement of CD2 rendered CD8+ T cells unresponsive to secondary antigenic re-challenge. This pattern of secondary responsiveness lasted up to 2 weeks following primary stimulation and was not correlated with prior cell division history. These results indicate that the strength of prior stimuli, which is determined by the sum of signals from both TCR and costimulatory molecules, determines the activation threshold and magnitude of CD8+ T cell responses.

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