Editors' ChoiceImmunology

Early Help in Programming Immune Memories

Science's STKE  15 Apr 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 178, pp. tw153
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.178.tw153

To generate a convincing humoral immune response to infection, most antibody-producing B cells must receive assistance from CD4+ helper T cells. By contrast, the primary response of many CD8+ T lymphocytes shows little dependence on T cell help, and there has been debate whether the same holds true for memory CD8+ T cells. Sun and Bevan and Shedlock and Shen show that vigorous CD8+ T cell memory in mice depends heavily on CD4+ T cell help, although this reliance develops specifically during primary rather than secondary responses. Thus, initial priming of CD8+ T cells to antigen appears to represent a crucial juncture in the production of efficient immunological memory to infection and vaccines.

J. C. Sun, M. J. Bevan, Defective CD8 T cell memory following acute infection without CD4 T cell help. Science 300, 339-345 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]

D. J. Shedlock, H. Shen, Requirement for CD4 T cell help in generating functional CD8 T cell memory. Science 300, 337-339 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]