A critical role for CD8 T cells in a nonhuman primate model of tuberculosis.

Journal Article

The role of CD8 T cells in anti-tuberculosis immunity in humans remains unknown, and studies of CD8 T cell-mediated protection against tuberculosis in mice have yielded controversial results. Unlike mice, humans and nonhuman primates share a number of important features of the immune system that relate directly to the specificity and functions of CD8 T cells, such as the expression of group 1 CD1 proteins that are capable of presenting Mycobacterium tuberculosis lipids antigens and the cytotoxic/bactericidal protein granulysin. Employing a more relevant nonhuman primate model of human tuberculosis, we examined the contribution of BCG- or M. tuberculosis-elicited CD8 T cells to vaccine-induced immunity against tuberculosis. CD8 depletion compromised BCG vaccine-induced immune control of M. tuberculosis replication in the vaccinated rhesus macaques. Depletion of CD8 T cells in BCG-vaccinated rhesus macaques led to a significant decrease in the vaccine-induced immunity against tuberculosis. Consistently, depletion of CD8 T cells in rhesus macaques that had been previously infected with M. tuberculosis and cured by antibiotic therapy also resulted in a loss of anti-tuberculosis immunity upon M. tuberculosis re-infection. The current study demonstrates a major role for CD8 T cells in anti-tuberculosis immunity, and supports the view that CD8 T cells should be included in strategies for development of new tuberculosis vaccines and immunotherapeutics.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chen, CY; Huang, D; Wang, RC; Shen, L; Zeng, G; Yao, S; Shen, Y; Halliday, L; Fortman, J; McAllister, M; Estep, J; Hunt, R; Vasconcelos, D; Du, G; Porcelli, SA; Larsen, MH; Jacobs, WR; Haynes, BF; Letvin, NL; Chen, ZW

Published Date

  • April 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 5 / 4

Start / End Page

  • e1000392 -

PubMed ID

  • 19381260

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19381260

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1553-7374

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000392


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States