Rapamycin augments pathogen-specific but not graft-reactive CD8+ T cell responses

Ivana R. Ferrer, Maylene E. Wagener, Jennifer M. Robertson, Alexa P. Turner, Koichi Araki, Rafi Ahmed, Allan D. Kirk, Christian P. Larsen, Mandy L. Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Recent evidence demonstrating that exposure to rapamycin during viral infection increased the quantity and quality of Ag-specific T cells poses an intriguing paradox, because rapamycin is used in transplantation to dampen, rather than enhance, donor-reactive T cell responses. In this report, we compared the effects of rapamycin on the Ag-specific T cell response to a bacterial infection versus a transplant. Using a transgenic system in which the Ag and the responding T cell population were identical in both cases, we observed that treatment with rapamycin augmented the Ag-specific T cell response to a pathogen, whereas it failed to do sowhen the Ag was presented in the context of a transplant. These results suggest that the environment in which an Ag is presented alters the influence of rapamycin on Ag-specific T cell expansion and highlights a fundamental difference between Ag presented by an infectious agent as compared with an allograft.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2004-2008
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


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