Induction of CD4 T cell proliferation and in vitro Th1-like cytokine responses to measles virus

R. C. Howe, N. Dhiman, I. G. Ovsyannikova, Gregory A. Poland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Mechanisms that lead to induction of life-long immunity to measles virus (MV) are poorly understood. In the present study, we have assessed the activation, proliferation and cytokine secreting function of peripheral blood T cells from MV immune individuals. Expression of cell blastogenesis markers, such as increased forward light scatter and CD38 expression, peaked 5-7 days after infection of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with the live attenuated Edmonston strain of MV. Subset analysis revealed that both CD3- and CD3+ cells expressed activation markers but that the CD3+ T cells predominated late in the culture period corresponding to maximal proliferation and cell recovery. The majority of CD3+ T cells consisted of CD4+CD8- cells. IFN-γ and IL-4 production similarly showed optimal production late in culture. Depletion of CD4 cells prior to culture and MV stimulation completely abrogated both IFN-γ and IL-4 production, whereas depletion of CD8 cells did not diminish production, suggesting that CD4+CD8- T cells were principally involved in production of these cytokines. Finally, optimal IFN-γ production was elicited at high MV doses and IL-4 at much lower doses. These results suggest that among MV immune individuals, in vitro responses to measles are dominated by CD4+ T cells that, depending on antigen dose, primarily produce a Th1-like and, to a lesser extent, a Th1/Th2-mixed pattern of cytokine release.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-342
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2005


  • CD4/CD8 T cells
  • Cytokines
  • Lymphoproliferation
  • Measles virus
  • PBMC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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