There is a void in our understanding of how CD4 T cell responses are generated and maintained. This proposal is aimed at filling this void, by characterizing how pro- inflammatory cytokines govern the initial virus-specific lymphocyte response after infection and the differentiation of memory cells. The underlying hypothesis of this grant is that inflammatory signals enhance primary and memory T cell development. This will be tested by pursuing three specific aims: 1) to determine how IFN? signals increase the peak CD4 T cell response and memory, 2) to characterize early T cell competition for pro-inflammatory cytokines that affect memory cell differentiation, and 3) to establish the mechanism(s) by which IFN? sustains CD4 T cell responses during chronic virus infection. The proposed experiments address fundamental aspects of CD4 T cell control and memory cell differentiation. Information gleaned from these studies will further investigations directed at understanding CD4 T cell regulation of CD8 T cell memory and B cell memory. The long-range research goals are to eventually identify specific molecular pathways that can be pharmacologically targeted to enhance vaccine-induced T cell memory.

Public Health Relevance

Vaccines protect against infection by increasing the number of pathogen-specific white blood cells. These studies investigate how interferons increase the number of these cells. These experiments will hopefully identify new ways to improve vaccines.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Innate Immunity and Inflammation Study Section (III)
Program Officer
Ferguson, Stacy E
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Schools of Medicine
Chapel Hill
United States
Zip Code
Misumi, Ichiro; Whitmire, Jason K (2014) IFN-? exerts opposing effects on T cell responses depending on the chronicity of the virus infection. J Immunol 192:3596-606
Cook, Kevin D; Waggoner, Stephen N; Whitmire, Jason K (2014) NK cells and their ability to modulate T cells during virus infections. Crit Rev Immunol 34:359-88
Misumi, Ichiro; Whitmire, Jason K (2014) B cell depletion curtails CD4+ T cell memory and reduces protection against disseminating virus infection. J Immunol 192:1597-608
Cook, Kevin D; Whitmire, Jason K (2013) The depletion of NK cells prevents T cell exhaustion to efficiently control disseminating virus infection. J Immunol 190:641-9
Misumi, Ichiro; Alirezaei, Mehrdad; Eam, Boreth et al. (2013) Differential T cell responses to residual viral antigen prolong CD4+ T cell contraction following the resolution of infection. J Immunol 191:5655-68
Whitmire, Jason K (2011) Induction and function of virus-specific CD4+ T cell responses. Virology 411:216-28
Botten, Jason; Whitton, J Lindsay; Barrowman, Polly et al. (2010) A multivalent vaccination strategy for the prevention of Old World arenavirus infection in humans. J Virol 84:9947-56
Whitmire, Jason K; Eam, Boreth; Whitton, J Lindsay (2009) Mice deficient in stem cell antigen-1 (Sca1, Ly-6A/E) develop normal primary and memory CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses to virus infection. Eur J Immunol 39:1494-504
Kemball, Christopher C; Harkins, Stephanie; Whitmire, Jason K et al. (2009) Coxsackievirus B3 inhibits antigen presentation in vivo, exerting a profound and selective effect on the MHC class I pathway. PLoS Pathog 5:e1000618
Whitmire, Jason K; Asano, Mary S; Kaech, Susan M et al. (2009) Requirement of B cells for generating CD4+ T cell memory. J Immunol 182:1868-76