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Factors controlling the expression of cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA) by T cells are poorly understood, but data from murine and human CD4(+) T cell systems have suggested that cytokines play an important role. However, there are no data examining the influence of cytokines on the expression of CLA by human antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were isolated from 10 HLA-A*0201-positive healthy individuals. Using HLA-peptide tetrameric complexes refolded with immunodominant peptides from Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV) and influenza A virus, we investigated the temporal associations of CLA expression by viral-specific CD8(+) T cells following stimulation with antigen. Ex vivo influenza matrix-specific CD8(+) T cells expressed significantly (P < 0.05) greater levels of CLA than EBV BMLF1 and CMV pp65-specific CD8(+) T cells (mean 9.7% influenza matrix versus 1.4% BMLF1 versus 1.1% pp65) and these differences were sustained on culture. However, regardless of viral specificity, interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-4 induced significant (P < 0.05) dose-dependent up-regulation and down-regulation of CLA expression, respectively, with IL-4 showing a dominant negative effect. In many cases, IL-4 resulted in complete abrogation of detectable CLA expression by the viral-specific CD8(+) T cells. Overall these data demonstrate that CLA expression by human viral-specific CD8(+) T cells is highly dynamic and that IL-4 causes significant down-regulation. Disorders associated with a type 2 cytokine shift may reduce the efficiency of skin homing by viral-specific CD8(+) T cells. Furthermore, the ability to modify the local and systemic microenvironment may offer novel therapeutic strategies that influence tissue-specific T cell homing.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Exp Immunol

Publication Date





107 - 115


Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte, Antigens, Neoplasm, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cells, Cultured, Cytomegalovirus, Dermatitis, Atopic, Down-Regulation, Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte, Flow Cytometry, Herpesvirus 4, Human, Humans, Interleukin-12, Interleukin-4, Membrane Glycoproteins, Orthomyxoviridae, Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing, Skin, Skin Diseases, Viral