Recruitment of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells in response to infection is markedly efficient

Jeroen W. J. van Heijst, Carmen Gerlach, Erwin Swart, Daoud Sie, Cláudio Nunes-Alves, Ron M. Kerkhoven, Ramon Arens, Margarida Correia-Neves, Koen Schepers, Ton N. M. Schumacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

119 Citations (Scopus)


The magnitude of antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses is not fixed but correlates with the severity of infection. Although by definition T cell response size is the product of both the capacity to recruit naïve T cells (clonal selection) and their subsequent proliferation (clonal expansion), it remains undefined how these two factors regulate antigen-specific T cell responses. We determined the relative contribution of recruitment and expansion by labeling naïve T cells with unique genetic tags and transferring them into mice. Under disparate infection conditions with different pathogens and doses, recruitment of antigen-specific T cells was near constant and close to complete. Thus, naïve T cell recruitment is highly efficient, and the magnitude of antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses is primarily controlled by clonal expansion
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1265-1269
Number of pages5
Issue number5945
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2009


  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Ampicillin/therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use
  • Antigens, Bacterial/immunology
  • Antigens, Viral/immunology
  • Antigens/immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology
  • Dendritic Cells/immunology
  • Epitopes/immunology
  • Genes, T-Cell Receptor alpha
  • Genes, T-Cell Receptor beta
  • Influenza A virus/immunology
  • Listeriosis/drug therapy
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology
  • Ovalbumin/immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/chemistry
  • Spleen/immunology
  • Vaccinia/immunology
  • Virus Diseases/immunology

Cite this