Cutting edge: regulation of CD8+ T cell effector population size.
Kemp RA., Powell TJ., Dwyer DW., Dutton RW.
Naive CD8(+) T cells are activated on encounter with Ag presented on dendritic cells and proliferate rapidly. To investigate the regulation of naive CD8(+) T cells proliferation, we adoptively transferred TCR-transgenic CD8(+) T cells into intact mice together with Ag-pulsed dendritic cells. Regardless of the number of cells initially transferred, the expansion of activated Ag-specific CD8(+) T cells was limited to a ceiling of effector cells. This limit was reached from a wide range of T cell doses, including a physiological number of precursor cells, and was not altered by changing the amount of Ag or APCs. The total Ag-specific response was composed of similar numbers of host and donor transgenic cells regardless of donor cell input, suggesting that these populations were independently regulated. Regulation of the transgenic donor cell population was TCR specific. We hypothesize that a clone-specific regulatory mechanism controls the extent of CD8(+) T cell responses to Ag.