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transgenic mouse, interleukin 18, interferon Type II, dendritic cell


Rapid proliferation is one of the important features of memory CD8+ T cells, ensuring rapid clearance of reinfection. Although several cytokines such as IL-15 and IL-7 regulate relatively slow homeostatic proliferation of memory T cells during the maintenance phase, it is unknown how memory T cells can proliferate more quickly than naïve T cells upon antigen stimulation. To examine antigen-specific CD8+ T cell proliferation in recall responses in vivo, we targeted a model antigen, ovalbumin(OVA), to DEC-205+ dendritic cells (DCs) with a CD40 maturation stimulus. This led to the induction of functional memory CD8+ T cells, which showed rapid proliferation and multiple cytokine production (IFN-γ, IL-2, TNF-α) during the secondary challenge to DC-targeted antigen. Upon antigen-presentation, IL-18, an IFN-γ-inducing factor, accumulated at the DC:T cell synapse. Surprisingly, IFN-γ receptors were required to augment IL-18 production from DCs. Mice genetically deficient for IL-18 or IFN-γ-receptor 1 also showed delayed expansion of memory CD8+ T cells in vivo. These results indicate that a positive regulatory loop involving IFN-γ and IL-18 signaling contributes to the accelerated memory CD8+ T cell proliferation during a recall response to antigen presented by DCs.


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