Antigenic epitopes regulate the phenotype of CD8+ CTL primed by exogenous antigens

Academic Article


  • We previously reported that insulin-specific, MHC class I-restricted CTL precursors can be primed by injecting C57BL/6 mice with bovine insulin in CFA. These bovine insulin-primed CTL displayed a type 0 CTL phenotype, producing IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, low levels of IFN-γ, but no TNF-α. By contrast, CTL generated from C57BL/6 mice primed with OVA in CFA produced IFN-γ and TNF-α but no IL-4, IL-5, or IL-10 and therefore were classified as type 1 CTL. Although CD4+ T cell subsets have been compared extensively in the literature, CTL subsets are less well characterized. Here, the phenotype, function, and requirements for the in vivo activation of type 1 and type 0 CTL cells were studied. Although both types of CTL express many of the same cell-surface Ags, OVA-specific CTL but not bovine insulin-primed CTL expressed CT-1, a carbohydrate epitope of CD45, and bovine insulin-primed CTL but not OVA-specific CTL expressed Fas constitutively. Priming of CTL was abrogated by depletion of phagocytic cells but not CD4+ T cells, whereas depletion of CD4+ T cells but not phagocytic cells inhibited Ab responses in the same mice. Neither endogenous IL-4 nor the dose of priming Ag altered the CTL phenotypes, but the antigenic peptides of OVA and bovine insulin were key to determining the differentiation of either type 1 or type 0 CTL. To our knowledge, this is the first time that antigenic epitopes have been demonstrated to influence the phenotype of Ag-specific CTL responses. These results may be relevant to the development of peptide vaccines in which a particular type of CTL response is desired.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ma H; Kapp JA
  • Start Page

  • 5698
  • End Page

  • 5703
  • Volume

  • 164
  • Issue

  • 11