CD40-independent pathways of T cell help for priming of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes

Zhengbin Lu, Lingxian Yuan, Xianzheng Zhou, Eduardo Sotomayor, Hyam I. Levitsky, Drew M. Pardoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In many cases, induction of CD8+ CTL responses requires CD4+ T cell help. Recently, it has been shown that a dominant pathway of CD4+ help is via antigen-presenting cell (APC) activation through engagement of CD40 by CD40 ligand on CD4+ T cells. To further study this three cell interaction, we established an in vitro system using dendritic cells (DCs) as APCs and influenza hemagglutinin (HA) class I and II peptide-specific T cell antigen receptor transgenic T cells as cytotoxic T lymphocyte precursors and CD4+ T helper cells, respectively. We found that CD4+ T cells can provide potent help for DCs to activate CD8+ T cells when antigen is provided in the form of either cell lysate, recombinant protein, or synthetic peptides. Surprisingly, this help is completely independent of CD40. Moreover, CD40-independent CD4+ help can be documented in vivo. Finally, we show that CD40-independent T cell help is delivered through both sensitization of DCs and direct CD4+-CD8+ T cell communication via lymphokines. Therefore, we conclude that CD4+ help comprises at least three components: CD40-dependent DC sensitization, CD40-independent DC sensitization, and direct lymphokine-dependent CD4+-CD8+ T cell communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-550
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 7 2000


  • CD4 help
  • CD40
  • CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocytes
  • Cross-priming
  • Dendritic cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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