Activation of naïve cluster of differentiation (CD)8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) is a tightly regulated process, and specific dendritic cell (DC) subsets are typically required to activate naive CTLs. Potential pathways for antigen presentation leading to CD8+ T-cell priming include direct presentation, cross-presentation, and cross-dressing. To distinguish between these pathways, we designed single-chain trimer (SCT) peptide-MHC class I complexes that can be recognized as intact molecules but cannot deliver antigen to MHC through conventional antigen processing. We demonstrate that cross-dressing is a robust pathway of antigen presentation following vaccination, capable of efficiently activating both naïve and memory CD8+ T cells and requires CD8α+/CD103 + DCs. Significantly, immune responses induced exclusively by cross-dressing were as strong as those induced exclusively through cross-presentation. Thus, cross-dressing is an important pathway of antigen presentation, with important implications for the study of CD8+ T-cell responses to viral infection, tumors, and vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12716-12721
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number31
StatePublished - Jul 31 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Cross-dressed CD8α+/CD103+ dendritic cells prime CD8+ T cells following vaccination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this