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Fang M, Remakus S, Roscoe F, Ma X, Sigal LJ
CD4+ T cell help is dispensable for protective CD8+ T cell memory against mousepox virus following vaccinia virus immunization
J Virol (2015) 89:776-83.
It has been shown in various infection models that CD4(+) T cell help (TH) is necessary for the conditioning, maintenance, and/or recall responses of memory CD8(+) T cells (CD8M). Yet, in the case of vaccinia virus (VACV), which constitutes the vaccine used to eradicate smallpox and is a candidate vector for other infectious diseases, the issue is controversial because different groups have shown either T(H) dependence or independence of CD8M conditioning, maintenance, and/or recall response. In agreement with some of these groups, we show that T(H) plays a role in, but is not essential for, the maintenance, proliferation, and effector differentiation of polyclonal memory CD8(+) T cells after infection with wild-type VACV strain Western Reserve. More important, we show that unhelped and helped anti-VACV memory CD8(+) T cells are similarly efficient at protecting susceptible mice from lethal mousepox, the mouse equivalent of human smallpox. Thus, T(H) is not essential for the conditioning and maintenance of memory CD8(+) T cells capable of mounting a recall response strong enough to protect from a lethal natural pathogen. Our results may partly explain why the VACV vaccine is so effective. IMPORTANCE: We used vaccinia virus (VACV)--a gold standard vaccine--as the immunogen and ectromelia virus (ECTV) as the pathogen to demonstrate that the conditioning and maintenance of anti-VACV memory CD8(+) T cells and their ability to protect against an orthopoxvirus (OPV) infection in its natural host can develop in the absence of CD4(+) T cell help. Our results provide important insight to our basic knowledge of the immune system. Further, because VACV is used as a vaccine in humans, our results may help us understand how this vaccine induces protective immunity in this species. In addition, this work may partly explain why VACV is so effective as a vaccine.
Publication Date: 2015-01-01.
PMCID: PMC4301148
Last updated on Thursday, August 06, 2020