Determining the magnitude and kinetics, together with the phenotypic and functional characteristics of responding CD8 T cells, is critical for understanding the regulation of adaptive immunity as well as in evaluating vaccine candidates. Recent technical advances have allowed tracking of some CD8 T cells responding to infection, and a body of information now exists describing phenotypic changes that occur in CD8 T cells of known Ag-specificity during their activation, expansion, and memory generation in inbred mice. In this study, we demonstrate that Ag but not inflammation-driven changes in expression of CD11a and CD8α can be used to distinguish naive from Ag-experienced (effector and memory) CD8 T cells after infection or vaccination. Interestingly and in contrast to inbred mice, tracking polyclonal CD8 T cell responses with this approach after bacterial and viral infections revealed substantial discordance in the magnitude and kinetics of CD8 T cell responses in outbred hosts. These data reveal limitations to the use of inbred mouse strains as preclinical models at vaccine development and suggest the same dose of infection or vaccination can lead to substantial differences in the magnitude and timing of Ag-specific CD8 expansion as well in differences in protective memory CD8 T cell numbers in outbred individuals. This concept has direct relevance to development of vaccines in outbred humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy