Interleukin-2 and inflammation induce distinct transcriptional programs that promote the differentiation of effector cytolytic T cells.
ABSTRACT: Interleukin(IL)-2 and inflammation regulate effector and memory cytolytic T-lymphocyte (CTL) generation during infection. We demonstrate a complex interplay between IL-2 and inflammatory signals during CTL differentiation. IL-2 stimulation induced the transcription factor eomesodermin (Eomes), upregulated perforin (Prf1) transcription, and repressed re-expression of memory CTL markers Bcl6 and IL-7Ralpha. Binding of Eomes and STAT5 to Prf1 cis-regulatory regions correlated with transcriptional initiation (increased recruitment of RNA polymerase II to the Prf1 promoter). Inflammation (CpG, IL-12) enhanced expression of IL-2Ralpha and the transcription factor T-bet, but countered late Eomes and perforin induction while preventing IL-7Ralpha repression by IL-2. After infection of mice with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, IL-2Ralpha-deficient effector CD8(+) T cells expressed more Bcl6 but less perforin and granzyme B, formed fewer KLRG-1(+) and T-bet-expressing CTL, and killed poorly. Thus, inflammation influences both effector and memory CTL differentiation, whereas persistent IL-2 stimulation promotes effector at the expense of memory CTL development.
Project description:The maturation of naive CD8(+) T cells into effector CTLs is a critical feature of a functional adaptive immune system. Development of CTLs depends, in part, upon the expression of the transcriptional regulator eomesodermin (EOMES), which is thought to regulate expression of two key effector molecules, perforin and granzyme B. Although EOMES is important for effector CTL development, the precise mechanisms regulating CD8(+) effector cell maturation remains poorly understood. In this study, we show that Notch1 regulates the expression of EOMES, perforin, and granzyme B through direct binding to the promoters of these crucial effector molecules. By abrogating Notch signaling, both biochemically as well as genetically, we conclude that Notch activity mediates CTL activity through direct regulation of EOMES, perforin, and granzyme B.
Project description:Acquisition of effector properties is a key step in the generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Here we show that inflammatory signals regulate Dicer expression in CTL, and that deletion or depletion of Dicer in mouse or human activated CD8+ T cells causes upregulation of perforin, granzyme and effector cytokines. Genome-wide analysis of miRNA changes induced by exposure of differentiating CTLs to IL-2 and inflammatory signals identifies miR-139 and miR-150 as components of a miRNA network that controls perforin, eomesodermin (Eomes) and IL-2Ra expression in differentiating CTLs and whose activity is modulated by IL-2, inflammation and antigenic stimulation. Overall our data show that strong IL-2R and inflammatory signals act through Dicer and miRNAs to control the cytolytic program and other aspects of effector CTL differentiation. Comparison of control and Dicer knock-out CTLs differentiated in vitro; Comparison of wild type CTLs differentiated in vitro with or without inflammatory stimuli; Comparison of effector and memory precursor CTLs isolated from mice infected with LCMV-Armstrong
Project description:IL-7 is essential for the survival of naive and memory T cells, and IL-7 receptor alpha-chain (IL-7Ralpha) expression is dynamically regulated in activated CD8 T cells during acute viral and bacterial infections. Most virus-specific CD8 T cells become IL-7Ralpha(low) and are relatively short-lived, but some escape IL-7Ralpha repression (referred to as IL-7Ralpha(high) memory precursor effector cells) and preferentially enter the memory CD8 T cell pool. How antiviral effector CD8 T cells regulate IL-7Ralpha expression in an "on and off" fashion remains to be characterized. During lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection, we found that opposing actions of the transcription factors GABPalpha (GA binding protein alpha) and Gfi-1 (growth factor independence 1) control IL-7Ralpha expression in effector CD8 T cells. Specifically, GABPalpha was required for IL-7Ralpha expression in memory precursor effector cells, and this correlated with hyperacetylation of the Il7ra promoter. In contrast, Gfi-1 was required for stable IL-7Ralpha repression in effector CD8 T cells and acted by antagonizing GABPalpha binding and recruiting histone deacetylase 1, which deacetylated the Il7ra promoter. Thus, Il7ra promoter acetylation and activity was dependent on the reciprocal binding of GABPalpha and Gfi-1, and these data provide a biochemical mechanism for the generation of stable IL-7Ralpha(high) and IL-7Ralpha(low) states in virus-specific effector CD8 T cells.
Project description:Activation of naive CD8(+) T cells with antigen induces their differentiation into effector cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTLs). CTLs lyse infected or aberrant target cells by exocytosis of lytic granules containing the pore-forming protein perforin and a family of proteases termed granzymes. We show that effector CTL differentiation occurs in two sequential phases in vitro, characterized by early induction of T-bet and late induction of Eomesodermin (Eomes), T-box transcription factors that regulate the early and late phases of interferon (IFN) gamma expression, respectively. In addition, we demonstrate a critical role for the transcription factor Runx3 in CTL differentiation. Runx3 regulates Eomes expression as well as expression of three cardinal markers of the effector CTL program: IFN-gamma, perforin, and granzyme B. Our data point to the existence of an elaborate transcriptional network in which Runx3 initially induces and then cooperates with T-box transcription factors to regulate gene transcription in differentiating CTLs.
Project description:CD8+ T cell differentiation is controlled by the transcription factors T-bet and Eomesodermin, in concert with the cytokines IL-2, IL-10 and IL-12. Among these pathways, the mechanisms by which T-box proteins and IL-10 interact to promote a memory T cell fate remain poorly understood. Here, we show that Eomes and IL-10 drive a central memory phenotype in murine CD8+ T cells. Eomes expression led to increased IL-10 expression by the effector CD8+ T cells themselves as well as an increase in the level of the lymph node homing selectin CD62L. Furthermore, exposure of effector CD8+ T cells to IL-10 maintained CD62L expression levels in culture. Thus, Eomes promotes a step-wise transition of effector T cells towards a memory phenotype, synergizing with IL-10 to enhance the expression of CD62L. The early augmentation of lymph node homing markers by Eomes may facilitate the retention of effector T cells in the relatively low inflammatory milieu of the secondary lymphoid organs that promotes central memory development.
Project description:BCL6 protects germinal center (GC) B cells against DNA damage-induced apoptosis during somatic hypermutation and class-switch recombination. Although expression of BCL6 was not found in early IL-7-dependent B cell precursors, we report that IL-7Ralpha-Stat5 signaling negatively regulates BCL6. Upon productive VH-DJH gene rearrangement and expression of a mu heavy chain, however, activation of pre-B cell receptor signaling strongly induces BCL6 expression, whereas IL-7Ralpha-Stat5 signaling is attenuated. At the transition from IL-7-dependent to -independent stages of B cell development, BCL6 is activated, reaches expression levels resembling those in GC B cells, and protects pre-B cells from DNA damage-induced apoptosis during immunoglobulin (Ig) light chain gene recombination. In the absence of BCL6, DNA breaks during Ig light chain gene rearrangement lead to excessive up-regulation of Arf and p53. As a consequence, the pool of new bone marrow immature B cells is markedly reduced in size and clonal diversity. We conclude that negative regulation of Arf by BCL6 is required for pre-B cell self-renewal and the formation of a diverse polyclonal B cell repertoire.
Project description:Effector CD8+ T cells generally produce type-1 cytokines and mediators of the perforin/granzyme cytolytic pathway, yet type-2-polarized CD8+ cells (Tc2) are detected in type-2 (T2) cytokine-driven diseases such as asthma. It is unclear whether T2 cytokine exposure during activation is sufficient to polarize human CD8+ T cells. To address this question, a protocol was developed for high-efficiency activation of human CD8+ T cells in which purified single cells or populations were stimulated with plate-bound anti-CD3 and anti-CD11a mAb for up to 8?days in T2 polarizing or neutral conditions, before functional analysis. Activation of CD8+ naïve T cells (TN) in T2 compared with neutral conditions decreased the size of single-cell clones, although early division kinetics were equivalent, indicating an effect on overall division number. Activation of TN in T2 conditions followed by brief anti-CD3 mAb restimulation favored expression of T2 cytokines, GATA3 and Eomes, and lowered expression of type-1 cytokines, Prf1, Gzmb, T-BET, and Prdm1. However, IL-4 was only weakly expressed, and PMA and ionomycin restimulation favored IFN-? over IL-4 expression. Activation of TN in T2 compared with neutral conditions prevented downregulation of costimulatory (CD27, CD28) and lymph-node homing receptors (CCR7) and CD95 acquisition, which typically occur during differentiation into effector phenotypes. CD3 was rapidly and substantially induced after activation in neutral, but not T2 conditions, potentially contributing to greater division and differentiation in neutral conditions. CD8+ central memory T cells (TCM) were less able to enter division upon reactivation in T2 compared with neutral conditions, and were more refractory to modulating IFN-? and IL-4 production than CD8+ TN. In summary, while activation of TN in T2 conditions can generate T2 cytokine-biased cells, IL-4 expression is weak, T2 bias is lost upon strong restimulation, differentiation, and division are arrested, and reactivation of TCM is reduced in T2 conditions. Taken together, this suggests that exposure to T2 cytokines during activation may not be sufficient to generate and retain human Tc2 cells.
Project description:The generation of long-lived memory T cells is critical for successful vaccination but the factors controlling their differentiation are still poorly defined. We tested the hypothesis that the strength of T cell receptor (TCR) signaling contributed to memory CD8(+) T cell generation.We manipulated the density of antigenic epitope presented by dendritic cells to mouse naïve CD8(+) T cells, without varying TCR affinity. Our results show that a two-fold decrease in antigen dose selectively affects memory CD8(+) T cell generation without influencing T cell expansion and acquisition of effector functions. Moreover, we show that low antigen dose alters the duration of the interaction between T cells and dendritic cells and finely tunes the expression level of the transcription factors Eomes and Bcl6. Furthermore, we demonstrate that priming with higher epitope density results in a 2-fold decrease in the expression of Neuron-derived orphan nuclear receptor 1 (Nor-1) and this correlates with a lower level of conversion of Bcl-2 into a pro-apoptotic molecule and an increased number of memory T cells.Our results show that the amount of antigen encountered by naïve CD8(+) T cells following immunization with dendritic cells does not influence the generation of functional effector CD8(+) T cells but rather the number of CD8(+) memory T cells that persist in the host. Our data support a model where antigenic epitope density sensed by CD8(+) T cells at priming influences memory generation by modulating Bcl6, Eomes and Nor-1 expression.
Project description:The prevailing paradigm of T lymphocyte control of viral replication is that the protective capacity of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells is directly proportional to the number of functions they can perform, with IL-2 production capacity considered critical. Having recently defined rapid perforin upregulation as a novel effector function of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells, here we sought to determine whether new perforin production is a component of polyfunctional CD8(+) T cell responses that contributes to the control of several human viral infections: cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), influenza (flu), and adenovirus (Ad). We stimulated normal human donor PBMC with synthetic peptides whose amino acid sequences correspond to defined CTL epitopes in the aforementioned viruses, and then used polychromatic flow cytometry to measure the functional capacity and the phenotype of the responding CD8(+) T cells. While EBV and flu-specific CD8(+) T cells rarely upregulate perforin, CMV-specific cells often do and Ad stimulates an exceptionally strong perforin response. The differential propensity of CD8(+) T cells to produce either IL-2 or perforin is in part related to levels of CD28 and the transcription factor T-bet, as CD8(+) T cells that rapidly upregulate perforin harbor high levels of T-bet and those producing IL-2 express high amounts of CD28. Thus, "polyfunctional" profiling of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells must not be limited to simply the number of functions the cell can perform, or one particular memory phenotype, but should actually define which combinations of memory markers and functions are relevant in each pathogenic context.
Project description:Memory CD8(+) T cells are characterized by more rapid and robust effector function upon infection compared with naive T cells, but factors governing effector gene responsiveness are incompletely understood. We sought to understand transcriptional control of the effector genes IFN-? (Ifng), granzyme B (Gzmb), and perforin 1 (Prf1) in murine memory CD8(+) T cells by characterizing their transcriptional profiles and chromatin states during lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection. Each effector gene has a distinct transcriptional profile in resting memory cells and following restimulation. Primary infection leads to reduced nucleosomal density near the transcription start sites and reduced H3K27 methylation throughout the Ifng and Gzmb loci, and these chromatin changes persist in the memory phase. Despite similarities in chromatin at the memory stage, PolII recruitment and continuous transcription occur at the Ifng locus but not the Gzmb locus. We propose that these chromatin changes poise effector genes for rapid upregulation, but are insufficient for PolII recruitment and transcription.