Detection of a high frequency of virus-specific CD4+ T cells during acute infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Pathology

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), like many viruses, induces a profound activation and expansion of CD8+ T cells. In contrast, CD4+ T cells do not increase in total number during the acute infection. We show here that mice infected with LCMV have a low but detectable frequency (<1/300) of CD4+ T cells, as detected by IL-2 production in limiting dilution assays, to each of two class II peptides during the peak of the acute LCMV response and into long-term memory. However, during the peak of the acute CD4+ T cell response, >20% of the CD4+ T cells secreted IFN-gamma after stimulation with PMA and ionomycin, and >10% of the CD4+ T cells secreted IFN-gamma after stimulation with the LCMV peptides. Thus, these new sensitive assays reveal a heretofore unappreciated, yet profound Ag-specific CD4+ T cell response during viral infections.


J Immunol. 1998 Oct 1;161(7):3215-8.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID