Under optimal Ag stimulation, CTL become functional effector and memory T cells. Professional APCs (pAPC) are considered essential for the activation of CTL, due to their unique capacity to provide costimulation and present exogenous Ags through MHC class I molecules. In this study, we report a novel means by which Th lymphocytes acquire and present MHC class I determinants to naive CTL. Although previous studies have looked at T cell Ag presentation to activated T cells, this study presents the first example of Ag presentation by Th cells to naive CTL. We report that activated Th cells can function as effective pAPC for CTL. Our results show that: 1) In addition to acquisition of cell surface molecules, including MHC class I/peptide complexes, from pAPC, Th cells can acquire and present MHC class I-binding peptides through TCR-MHC class II interactions with pAPC; 2) the acquired Ag can be functionally presented to CTL; and 3) Ag presentation by Th cells induces naive CTL to proliferate and preferentially differentiate into cells that phenotypically and functionally resemble central memory T cells. These findings suggest a novel role of Th cells as pAPC for the development of memory immune responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy