Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
PI: Matthew F. Mescher
Gene Array Analysis of CD8 T Lymphocyte Activation
CD8 T lymphocytes are the "killer cells” of the immune system, and can recognize and eliminate virus-infected cells and tumor cells. In order to carry out this function, the naive cells must first be stimulated in an antigen-specific manner to proliferate and undergo a differentiation process to develop effector function. Naive CD8 T lymphocytes require three signals to become fully activated: antigen, costimulation, and a third signal that can be provided by IL-12 or Type I interferon. Using artificial antigen-presenting cells to provide antigen and costimulation, the researchers perform gene array analysis to determine the genes that are regulated by the third signal cytokines. Studies so far have revealed several families of regulated genes and have identified candidate transcription factors that may play key regulatory roles in proliferation, survival, and differentiation of the cells. The group is performing additional gene array analyses to determine changes in expression patterns when these candidate molecules are absent, using T cells from mice with selective gene knockouts.
Pujya Agarwal, Research Associate