Publication Date


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Academic Program

Immunology and Microbiology



First Thesis Advisor

Kenneth L. Rock


Macrophages, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Immunity, Cellular, Lymphocyte Activation, Antigens, CD8, Immune System Diseases


Professional antigen presenting cells (APCs) represent an important link between the innate and adaptive immune system. Macrophages (MΦs) and dendritic cells (DCs) serve as sentinels in the periphery collecting samples from their environment and processing this information. These cells then present antigenic fragments to T cells in the context of self-MHC molecules. Although a clear role for both of these APCs in the stimulation of already activated or memory T cells has been established, the ability of MΦs to activate naive T cells is still unknown. In this thesis the ability of bone marrow-derived MΦs and DCs to prime naive CD8+ and CD4+ T cells was investigated. Using adoptively transferred transgenic CFSE-Iabeled P-14 T cells, specific for gp33 from lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus in the context of Db, we were able to demonstrate the ability of both MΦs and DCs to induce naive CD8+ T cells proliferation. Once primed by MΦs these T cells gained effector function as shown by interferon- γ (IFN-γ) production and in vivo cytolysis. In addition, immunization of wild type animals with gp33-pulsed MΦs, as well as DCs, led to greater than a 95% reduction in lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus titers. To rule out the role of cross-presentation in the observed priming, two models were used. In the first model, lethally irradiated F1 bxs chimeras reconstituted with either H-2s or H-2b bone marrow were used as host for the adoptive transfer experiments. Since the gp33 peptide binds to Db, the H-2s reconstituted animals should be unable to cross-present the peptide to the P-14 T cells. Using this model, we were able to clearly demonstrate the ability of MΦs to activate naive P-14 T cells to undergo division. Additional experiments, demonstrated that these MΦ primed T cells went on to develop into effector cells. Finally, the ability of the MΦ primed T cells to develop into functional memory cells was demonstrated. To confirm the chimera results, these experiments were repeated using β2 microglobulin deficient animals (whose cells don't express MHC I) as host in adoptive experiments. MΦs were able to stimulate the naive P-14 T cells to divide and gain effector function as demonstrated by the ability to produce IFN-γ. In contrast to the CD8 system, MΦ were poor stimulators of D011.10 CD4+ T cell proliferation. Additionally, D011.10 T cells stimulated by DCs were able to produce interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, tumor necrosis factor and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor where as MΦ stimulated D011.10 T cells were only able to produce IL-2. In conclusion this body of work clearly demonstrates the in vivo ability of MΦ to stimulate CD8+ T cell proliferation, effector function, as well as the formation of functional CD8+ T cell memory. Whether or not the nature of the memory pools stimulated by the two APCs is exactly the same is still unknown and needs further investigation. The ability of APCs other than DCs to stimulate functional protective memory needs to be considered in the quest to design vaccines that offer broad-spectrum protection.


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