B cells promote CD8 T cell primary and memory responses to subunit vaccines

Jared Klarquist, Eric W. Cross, Scott B. Thompson, Benjamin Willett, Daniel L. Aldridge, Alayna K. Caffrey-Carr, Zhenming Xu, Christopher A. Hunter, Andrew Getahun, Ross M. Kedl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The relationship between B cells and CD4 T cells has been carefully studied, revealing a collaborative effort in which B cells promote the activation, differentiation, and expansion of CD4 T cells while the so-called “helper” cells provide signals to B cells, influencing their class switching and fate. Interactions between B cells and CD8 T cells are not as well studied, although CD8 T cells exhibit an accelerated contraction after certain infections in B-cell-deficient mice. Here, we find that B cells significantly enhance primary CD8 T cell responses after vaccination. Moreover, memory CD8 numbers and function are impaired in B-cell-deficient animals, leading to increased susceptibility to bacterial challenge. We also show that interleukin-27 production by B cells contributes to their impact on primary, but not memory, CD8 responses. Better understanding of the interactions between CD8 T cells and B cells may aid in the design of more effective future vaccine strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109591
JournalCell Reports
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 24 2021


  • B cell cross presentation
  • B cell depletion
  • B cell help
  • CD8 T cell B cell interactions
  • common variable immunodeficiency
  • IL-27
  • MD4 mice
  • subunit vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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