MHC class-I-restricted CD8 T cells play a protective role during primary Salmonella infection

Seung Joo Lee, Samantha Dunmire, Stephen J. McSorley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Protective immunity against Salmonella infection is known to require CD4 Th1 cells and B cells, but the role of MHC class-I-restricted CD8 T cells is less clear. Previous studies have suggested that CD8 T cells participate in secondary, but not primary, bacterial clearance. However, these studies have used experimental models that are difficult to interpret and do not clearly isolate the role of MHC class-I-restricted CD8 T cells from other cell populations. Here, we examined the role of class-I-restricted T cells in protection against Salmonella infection using mice lacking all classical MHC class-Ia molecules, perforin, or granzyme B. Immunized KbDb-, perforin-, granzyme B-, or perforin/granzyme B-deficient mice were able to resolve secondary infection with virulent Salmonella, demonstrating that class-I-restricted CTLs are not required for acquired immunity. However, during primary infection with attenuated bacteria, bacterial clearance was delayed in each of these mouse strains when compared to wild-type mice. Taken together, these data demonstrate that CD8 T cells are not required for acquired immunity to Salmonella, but can play a protective role in resolving primary infection with attenuated bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalImmunology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 17 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge helpful discussions with members of the McSorley laboratory and the laboratory of Dr. S. Way in completion of these experiments. This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health AI56172 and AI055743 .


  • Acquired immunity
  • CD8 T cells
  • Infection
  • Salmonella


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