CD8+ T cells play a crucial role in protective immunity to viruses and tumours. Antiviral CD8+ T cells are initially activated by professional antigen presenting cells (pAPCs) that are directly infected by viruses (direct-priming) or following uptake of exogenous antigen transferred from virus-infected or tumour cells (cross-priming). In order to efficiently target each of these antigen-processing pathways during vaccine design, it is necessary to delineate the properties of the natural substrates for either of these antigen-processing pathways. In this study, we utilized a novel T-cell receptor (TCR) transgenic mouse to examine the requirement for both antigen synthesis and synthesis of other cellular factors during direct or cross-priming. We found that direct presentation required ongoing synthesis of antigen, but that cross-priming favoured long-lived antigens and did not require ongoing antigen production. Even after prolonged blockade of protein synthesis in the donor cell, cross-priming was unaffected. In contrast, direct-presentation was almost undetectable in the absence of antigen neosynthesis and required ongoing protein synthesis. This suggests that the direct- and cross-priming pathways may utilize differing pools of antigen, an observation that has far-reaching implications for the rational design of vaccines aimed at the generation of protective CD8+ T cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy