Reversal in the Immunodominance Hierarchy in Secondary CD8+ T Cell Responses to Influenza A Virus: Roles for Cross-Presentation and Lysis-Independent Immunodomination Academic Article uri icon


  • Immunodominance is a central feature of CD8+ T cell (TCD8+) responses to pathogens, transplants, and tumors. Determinants occupy a stable position in an immunodominance hierarchy (alpha-, beta-, etc.) defined by the frequencies of responding TCD8+. In this paper, we study the mechanistic basis for place-swapping between alpha- (acid polymerase (PA)(224-233)) and beta-determinants (nuclear protein 366-374) in primary vs secondary anti-influenza A virus (IAV) responses in mice. This phenomena was recently correlated with the inability of IAV-infected nondendritic cells (DCs) to generate PA(224-233), and it was proposed that secondary TCD8+ are principally activated by IAV-infected epithelial cells, while primary TCD8+ are activated by IAV-infected DCs. In this study, we show that the inability of non-DCs to generate PA(224-232) is relative rather than absolute, and that the preferential use of cross-priming in secondary anti-IAV responses can also account for the revised hierarchy. We further show that immunodomination of PA(224-233)-specific TCD8+ by nucleoprotein 366-374-specific TCD8+ plays a critical role in the phenomena, and that this is unlikely to be mediated by TCD8+ lysis of APCs or other cells.


  • Chen, Weisan
  • Pang, Ken
  • Masterman, Kelly-Anne
  • Kennedy, Gina
  • Basta, Sameh
  • Dimopoulos, Nektaria
  • Hornung, Felicita
  • Smyth, Mark
  • Bennink, Jack R
  • Yewdell, Jonathan W

publication date

  • October 15, 2004