UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


CD4+ T Cells Provide Intermolecular Help To Generate Robust Antibody Responses in Vaccinia Virus-Vaccinated Humans

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology; Department of Pathology; Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research

Publication Date


Document Type



CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes; Vaccinia virus; Antibodies, Heterophile


Immunology and Infectious Disease


Immunization with vaccinia virus elicits a protective Ab response that is almost completely CD4+ T cell dependent. A recent study in a rodent model observed a deterministic linkage between Ab and CD4+ T cell responses to particular vaccinia virus proteins suggesting that CD4+ T cell help is preferentially provided to B cells with the same protein specificity (Sette et al. 2008. Immunity 28: 847-858). However, a causal linkage between Ab and CD4+ T cell responses to vaccinia or any other large pathogen in humans has yet to be done. In this study, we measured the Ab and CD4+ T cell responses against four vaccinia viral proteins (A27L, A33R, B5R, and L1R) known to be strongly targeted by humoral and cellular responses induced by vaccinia virus vaccination in 90 recently vaccinated and 7 long-term vaccinia-immunized human donors. Our data indicate that there is no direct linkage between Ab and CD4+ T cell responses against each individual protein in both short-term and long-term immunized donors. Together with the observation that the presence of immune responses to these four proteins is linked together within donors, our data suggest that in vaccinia-immunized humans, individual viral proteins are not the primary recognition unit of CD4+ T cell help for B cells. Therefore, we have for the first time, to our knowledge, shown evidence that CD4+ T cells provide intermolecular (also known as noncognate or heterotypic) help to generate robust Ab responses against four vaccinia viral proteins in humans.

DOI of Published Version



J Immunol. 2013 Jun 15;190(12):6023-33. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1202523. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

PubMed ID