Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) infection of the CNS is cleared in C57BL/6 mice by a CD8 T cell response restricted by the MHC class I molecule H-2Db. The identity and function of the APC(s) involved in the priming of this T cell response is (are) poorly defined. To address this gap in knowledge, we developed an H-2Db LoxP-transgenic mouse system using otherwise MHC class I-deficient C57BL/6 mice, thereby conditionally ablating MHC class I-restricted Ag presentation in targeted APC subpopulations. We observed that CD11c+ APCs are critical for early priming of CD8 T cells against the immunodominant TMEV peptide VP2121-130. Loss of H-2Db on CD11c+ APCs mitigates the CD8 T cell response, preventing early viral clearance and immunopathology associated with CD8 T cell activity in the CNS. In contrast, animals with H-2Db-deficient LysM+ APCs retained early priming of Db:VP2121-130 epitope-specific CD8 T cells, although a modest reduction in immune cell entry into the CNS was observed. This work establishes a model enabling the critical dissection of H-2Db-restricted Ag presentation to CD8 T cells, revealing cell-specific and temporal features involved in the generation of CD8 T cell responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy