Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20850354
Immunity 2010 Sep;33(3):412-23
CD8(+) T cell responses generate effector cells endowed with distinct functional potentials but the contribution of early events in this process is unclear. Here, we have imaged T cells expressing a fluorescent reporter for the activation of the interferon-γ (IFN-γ) locus during priming in lymph nodes. We have demonstrated marked differences in the efficiency of gene activation during stable T cell-dentritic cell (DC) contacts, influenced in part by signal strength. Imaging the first cell division, we have demonstrated that heterogeneity in T cell functional potential was largely apparent as T cells initiated clonal expansion. Moreover, by analyzing the fate of single activated T cells ex vivo, we have provided evidence that these early differences resulted in clonal progenies with distinct functional properties. Thus, the early set of T cell-DC interactions in lymph nodes largely contribute to the heterogeneity of T cell responses through the generation of functionally divergent clonal progenies.