In vivo state of antiviral CTL precursors. Characterization of a cycling cell population containing CTL precursors in immune mice

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pathology; Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The in vivo state of CD8+ mouse memory CTL specific to lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) was characterized. During acute LCMV infection, the majority of the LCMV-specific CTL activity tested immediately ex vivo was mediated by CD8+ L-selectin- Mac-1+ CTL. The L-selectin- population of CD8+ cells elicited during acute infection also carried > 99% of the restimulatable CD8+ CTL precursors (CTLp) to LCMV, and these required added IL-2 for development into effectors in vitro. In contrast with the acute infection, most of the virus-specific CTLp in immune mice were L-selectin+. Examination of CD8+ T cells in LCMV-immune mice revealed that a L-selectin+ blast-size population of cycling CD8+ cells contained CTLp, which developed into effector CTL in the absence of added IL-2. These cells also expressed Mac-1 and IL-2R. Flow cytometric sorting for IL-2R+ and IL-2R- CD8+ cells in the immune animal revealed, by limiting dilution analysis, similar frequencies of CTLp in both populations. In bulk restimulation assays, the CD25+ CTLp did not require added IL-2 for their in vitro development into effectors, whereas the CD25- CTLp did. Hence, the different requirements for CTLp to effector development in vitro reflect qualitative differences in the in vivo state of the CTLp in the various subpopulations. LCMV-specific memory CTLp that did not require added IL-2 for differentiation were also found in the small-size, noncycling, CD8+L-selectin- cells. In contrast, the small-size, noncycling, CD8+L-selectin+, and CD8+IL-2R- populations also carried CTLp, but these required added IL-2 for development into effector CTL. Hence, T cell memory to LCMV is distributed among various lymphocyte subpopulations in immune animals, and the presence of an activated cycling cell component may account for the long-term perpetuation of antiviral immunologic memory.


J Immunol. 1995 Jan 15;154(2):620-32.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

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