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Role For CD8+ T Cells In Antichlamydial Immunity Defined By Chlamydia-specific T-lymphocyte Clones

J U Igietseme, D M Magee, D M Williams, R G Rank

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The role of CD8+ T cells in antichlamydial immunity was investigated in a murine model of chlamydial genital infection by using T-cell clones generated against the Chlamydia trachomatis agent of mouse pneumonitis (MoPn). Two CD8+ T-cell clones tested (2.1F and 2.14-9) were chlamydia antigen specific and MHC restricted and reacted against MoPn as well as the Chlamydia psittaci agent of guinea pig inclusion conjunctivitis and C. trachomatis serovar E, suggesting the recognition of a genus-specific antigen. Upon adoptive transfer into persistently MoPn-infected nu/nu mice, 55.6% of the recipients of clone 2.1F (15 of 27) resolved the infection but recipients of clone 2.14-9 did not. The ability to resolve the MoPn infection correlated with the capacity of clone 2.1F to elaborate a combination of gamma interferon and tumor necrosis factor alpha. The results suggested that in addition to CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells may also contribute to antichlamydial T-cell immunity in vivo.