Low-dose Salmonella infection evades activation of flagellin-specific CD4 T cells

Aparna Srinivasan, Joseph Foley, Rajesh Ravindran, Stephen J Mcsorley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Many pathogens can establish a lethal infection from relatively small inocula, yet the effect of infectious dose upon CD4 T cell activation is not clearly understood. This issue was examined by tracking Salmonella flagellin-specific SM1 T cells in vivo, after i.v. and oral challenge of mice with virulent Salmonella typhimurium. SM1 T cells rapidly expressed activation markers and expanded in response to high-dose infection but remained completely unresponsive in mice challenged with low doses of Salmonella. SM1 T cells, in these mice, remained unresponsive, despite massive bacterial replication in vivo. Naive SM1 T cells in low-dose Salmonella-infected mice were activated rapidly after the injection of flagellin peptide, demonstrating that these T cells were fully capable of responding, ruling out the possibility of a bacterial-induced suppressive environment. The inability of flagellin-specific SM1 T cells to respond to low-dose infection was not due to Ag down-regulation, because flagellin expression was detected using a functional assay. Together, these data suggest that low-dose Salmonella infection can evade flagellin-specific CD4 T cell activation in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4091-4099
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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