The CD8 coreceptor is important for positive selection of major histocompatibility complex I (MHC-I)-restricted thymocytes and in the generation of pathogen-specific T cells. However, the requirement for CD8 in these processes may not be essential. We previously showed that mice lacking β2-microglobulin are highly susceptible to tumors induced by mouse polyoma virus (PyV), but CD8-deficient mice are resistant to these tumors. In this study, we show that CD8-deficient mice also control persistent PyV infection as efficiently as wild-type mice and generate a substantial virus-specific, MHC-I-restricted, T-cell response. Infection with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), which is acutely cleared, also recruited antigen-specific, MHC-I-restricted T cells in CD8-deficient mice. Yet, unlike in VSV infection, the antiviral MHC-I-restricted T-cell response to PyV has a prolonged expansion phase, indicating a requirement for persistent infection in driving T-cell inflation in CD8-deficient mice. Finally, we show that the PyV-specific, MHC-I-restricted T cells in CD8-deficient mice, while maintained long term at near-wild-type levels, are short lived in vivo and have extremely narrow T-cell receptor repertoires. These findings provide a possible explanation for the resistance of CD8-deficient mice to PyV-induced tumors and have implications for the maintenance of virus-specific MHC-I-restricted T cells during persistent infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science