The impact of a boosting immunogen on the differentiation of secondary memory CD8+ T cells

Avi Hai Hovav, Michael W. Panas, Christa E. Osuna, Mark J. Cayabyab, Patrick Autissier, Norman L. Letvin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


While recent studies have demonstrated that secondary CD8+ T cells develop into effector-memory cells, the impact of particular vaccine regimens on the elicitation of these cells remains poorly defined. In the present study we evaluated the effect of three different immunogens - recombinant vaccinia, recombinant adenovirus, and plasmid DNA - on the generation of memory cellular immune responses. We found that vectors that induce the rapid movement of CD8+ T cells into the memory compartment during a primary immune response also drive a rapid differentiation of these cells into effector-memory CD8+ T cells following a secondary immunization. In contrast, the functional profiles of both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells, assessed by measuring antigen-stimulated gamma interferon and interleukin-2 production, were not predominantly shaped by the boosting immunogen. We also demonstrated that the in vivo expression of antigen by recombinant vectors was brief following boosting immunization, suggesting that antigen persistence has a minimal impact on the differentiation of secondary CD8+ T cells. When used in heterologous or in homologous prime-boost combinations, these three vectors generated antigen-specific CD8+ T cells with different phenotypic profiles. Expression of the memory-associated molecule CD27 on effector CD8+ T cells decreased following heterologous but not homologous boosting, resulting in a phenotypic profile similar to that seen on primary CD8+ T cells. These data therefore suggest that the phenotype of secondary CD8+ T cells is determined predominantly by the boosting immunogen whereas the cytokine profile of these cells is shaped by both the priming and boosting immunogens.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)12793-12802
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of a boosting immunogen on the differentiation of secondary memory CD8+ T cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this