Journal Article

Induction of rapid apoptosis for class I MHC molecule-restricted CD8<sup>+</sup> HIV-1 gp160-specific murine activated CTLs by free antigenic peptide <i>in vivo</i>

Yohko Nakagawa, Masumi Shimizu, Yoshihiko Norose, Megumi Takahashi and Hidemi Takahashi

in International Immunology

Volume 25, issue 1, pages 11-24
Published in print January 2013 | ISSN: 0953-8178
Published online September 2012 | e-ISSN: 1460-2377 | DOI:
Induction of rapid apoptosis for class I MHC molecule-restricted CD8+ HIV-1 gp160-specific murine activated CTLs by free antigenic peptide in vivo

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We have previously reported that the cytotoxic activity of murine CD8+ CTLs specific for HIV-1 gp160 envelope protein was markedly inhibited in vitro by brief exposure to a free epitope peptide P18-I10 (aa: RGPGRAFVTI) using the epitope-specific CTL line (LINE-IIIB) or a clone (RT-1). We have also shown that recently stimulated P18-I10-specific murine CTLs rapidly fell into apoptosis in vitro after brief exposure to the free epitope peptide. In the present study, we examined whether similar inactivation or apoptosis of recently stimulated CTLs occurred in vivo by exposure to the free epitope peptide using TCR transgenic (Tg-RT-1) mice expressing TCRαβ genes of CTL clone RT-1. When the Tg mice were inoculated with recombinant vaccinia virus expressing HIV-1-IIIB gp160 genes followed by injection of P18-I10 epitope peptide, apparent reduction in the number of CTLs determined by flow cytometry using H-2Dd/P18-I10 pentamer was observed within a few hours after the injection. Most of the H-2Dd/P18-I10 pentamer-stained cells were positive for Annexin V and apoptosis was confirmed by microscopic analyses. Moreover, when mice were pretreated with immunosuppressive agents, such as cyclosporin A and tacrolimus (FK506), induction of apoptosis by P18-I10 was significantly inhibited and CTL cytotoxicity was maintained. These results suggest that the rapid loss of virus-specific CD8+ CTLs might occur in vivo through apoptosis in the early stages of viral infection when activated CTLs may encounter viral epitope(s) released from virus-infected cells attacked by CTLs and we can prevent the loss by pretreatment with immunosuppressive agents.

Keywords: apoptosis; cyclosporin A; CTLs; epitope peptide; HIV

Journal Article.  7805 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Immunology ; Biological Sciences

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