UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Immunology and Microbiology Program, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems

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Article Preprint


Bacteria | Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Immunity | Immunology of Infectious Disease | Immunoprophylaxis and Therapy | Microbiology


CD4 T cells are essential for immunity to tuberculosis because they produce cytokines including interferon-γ. Whether CD4 T cells act as “helper” cells to promote optimal CD8 T cell responses during Mycobacterium tuberculosis is unknown. Using two independent models, we show that CD4 T cell help enhances CD8 effector functions and prevents CD8 T cell exhaustion. We demonstrate synergy between CD4 and CD8 T cells in promoting the survival of infected mice. Purified helped, but not helpless, CD8 T cells efficiently restrict intracellular bacterial growth in vitro. Thus, CD4 T cell help plays an essential role in generating protective CD8 T cell responses against M. tuberculosis infection in vitro and in vivo. We infer vaccines that elicit both CD4 and CD8 T cells are more likely to be successful than vaccines that elicit only CD4 or CD8 T cells.


Immunology, immunity, tuberculosis, cytokines, CD4 T cells, CD8 T cells

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DOI of Published Version



bioRxiv 2021.02.23.432461; doi: Link to preprint on bioRxiv.


This article is a preprint. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been certified by peer review.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.