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Keywords:

  • In vivo trogocytosis;
  • T cells;
  • Viral infection

Abstract

Trogocytosis describes the transfer of surface determinants between immune cells and has been implicated in immune regulation. Most findings are based on in vitro studies since in vivo trogocytosis of immune cells is difficult to detect under physiological conditions. We used low frequencies of memory P14 T cells to demonstrate that T cells perform trogocytosis in vivo if in contact with APC pulsed with GP33-peptide or expressing the antigen endogenously. Furthermore, in vivo trogocytosis of T cells is demonstrated during infections with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus and vaccinia virus. Trogocytosis-positive T cells revealed higher expression of activation marker and cytokines, showing a more activated phenotype compared to trogocytosis-negative T cells.