CD4 T-cell help is required for the induction of efficient CD8 T-cells responses and the generation of memory cells. Lack of CD4 T-cell help may contribute to an exhausted CD8 phenotype and viral persistence. Little is known about priming of CD4 T-cells by liver-derived antigen. We used TF-OVA mice expressing ovalbumin in hepatocytes to investigate CD4 T-cell priming by liver-derived antigen and the impact of CD4 T-cell help on CD8 T-cell function. Naïve and effector CD4 T-cells specific for ovalbumin were transferred into TF-OVA mice alone or together with naïve ovalbumin-specific CD8 T-cells. T-cell activation and function were analyzed. CD4 T-cells ignored antigen presented by liver antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in vitro and in vivo but were primed in the liver-draining lymph node and the spleen. No priming occurred in the absence of bone-marrow derived APCs capable of presenting ovalbumin in vivo. CD4 T-cells primed in TF-OVA mice displayed defective Th1-effector function and caused no liver damage. CD4 T-cells were not required for the induction of hepatitis by CD8 T-cells. Th1-effector but not naïve CD4 T-cells augmented the severity of liver injury caused by CD8 T-cells. Our data demonstrate that CD4 T-cells fail to respond to liver-derived antigen presented by liver APCs and develop defective effector function after priming in lymph nodes and spleen. The lack of CD4 T-cell help may be responsible for insufficient CD8 T-cell function against hepatic antigens.
Pubmed ID: 21779338 RIS Download
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