Vaccinia virus-specific CD4+ T cell responses target a set of antigens largely distinct from those targeted by CD8+ T cell responses

Academic Article


  • Recent studies have defined vaccinia virus (VACV)-specific CD8+ T cell epitopes in mice and humans. However, little is known about the epitope specificities of CD4+ T cell responses. In this study, we identified 14 I-Ab-restricted VACV-specific CD4+ T cell epitopes by screening a large set of 2146 different 15-mer peptides in C57BL/6 mice. These epitopes account for ∼20% of the total anti-VACV CD4+ T cell response and are derived from 13 different viral proteins. Surprisingly, none of the CD4+ T cell epitopes identified was derived from VACV virulence factors. Although early Ags were recognized, late Ags predominated as CD4 + T cell targets. These results are in contrast to what was previously found in CD8+ T cells responses, where early Ags, including virulence factors, were prominently recognized. Taken together, these results highlight fundamental differences in immunodominance of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses to a complex pathogen. Copyright © 2007 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Moutaftsi M; Bui HH; Peters B; Sidney J; Salek-Ardakani S; Oseroff C; Pasquetto V; Crotty S; Croft M; Lefkowitz EJ
  • Start Page

  • 6814
  • End Page

  • 6820
  • Volume

  • 178
  • Issue

  • 11