Pathogen-induced inflammatory environment controls effector and memory CD8+ T cell differentiation.
ABSTRACT: In response to infection, CD8(+) T cells integrate multiple signals and undergo an exponential increase in cell numbers. Simultaneously, a dynamic differentiation process occurs, resulting in the formation of short-lived effector cells (SLECs; CD127(low)KLRG1(high)) and memory precursor effector cells (CD127(high)KLRG1(low)) from an early effector cell that is CD127(low)KLRG1(low) in phenotype. CD8(+) T cell differentiation during vesicular stomatitis virus infection differed significantly than during Listeria monocytogenes infection with a substantial reduction in early effector cell differentiation into SLECs. SLEC generation was dependent on Ebi3 expression. Furthermore, SLEC differentiation during vesicular stomatitis virus infection was enhanced by administration of CpG-DNA, through an IL-12-dependent mechanism. Moreover, CpG-DNA treatment enhanced effector CD8(+) T cell functionality and memory subset distribution, but in an IL-12-independent manner. Population dynamics were dramatically different during secondary CD8(+) T cell responses, with a much greater accumulation of SLECs and the appearance of a significant number of CD127(high)KLRG1(high) memory cells, both of which were intrinsic to the memory CD8(+) T cell. These subsets persisted for several months but were less effective in recall than memory precursor effector cells. Thus, our data shed light on how varying the context of T cell priming alters downstream effector and memory CD8(+) T cell differentiation.
Project description:As acute infections resolve, effector CD8(+) T cells differentiate into interleukin-7 receptor(lo) (IL-7R(lo)) short-lived effector cells (SLECs) and IL-7R(hi) memory precursor effector cells (MPECs) capable of generating long-lived memory CD8(+) T cells. By using another SLEC marker, KLRG1, we found that KLRG1(hi) effector cells began appearing early during infection and were committed to downregulating IL-7R. Unlike IL-7R(hi) MPECs, KLRG1(hi) IL-7R(lo) SLECs relied on IL-15, but IL-15 could not sustain their long-term maintenance or homeostatic turnover. The decision between SLEC and MPEC fates was regulated by the amount of inflammatory cytokines (i.e., IL-12) present during T cell priming. According to the amount of inflammation, a gradient of T-bet was created in which high T-bet expression induced SLECs and low expression promoted MPECs. These results elucidate a mechanism by which the innate immune system sets the relative amounts of a lineage-determining transcription factor in activated CD8(+) T cells and, correspondingly, regulates their memory cell potential.
Project description:Previous work from our laboratory has demonstrated that during acute viral brain infection, glial cells modulate antiviral T cell effector responses through the PD-1: PD-L1 pathway, thereby limiting the deleterious consequences of unrestrained neuroinflammation. Here, we evaluated the PD-1: PD-L1 pathway in development of brain-resident memory T cells (bTRM) following murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection.Flow cytometric analysis of immune cells was performed at 7, 14, and 30 days post-infection (dpi) to assess the shift of brain-infiltrating CD8+ T cell populations from short-lived effector cells (SLEC) to memory precursor effector cells (MPEC), as well as generation of bTRMs.In wild-type (WT) animals, we observed a switch in the phenotype of brain-infiltrating CD8+ T cell populations from KLRG1+ CD127- (SLEC) to KLRG1- CD127+ (MPEC) during transition from acute through chronic phases of infection. At 14 and 30 dpi, the majority of CD8+ T cells expressed CD127, a marker of memory cells. In contrast, fewer CD8+ T cells expressed CD127 within brains of infected, PD-L1 knockout (KO) animals. Notably, in WT mice, a large population of CD8+ T cells was phenotyped as CD103+ CD69+, markers of bTRM, and differences were observed in the numbers of these cells when compared to PD-L1 KOs. Immunohistochemical studies revealed that brain-resident CD103+ bTRM cells were localized to the parenchyma. Higher frequencies of CXCR3 were also observed among WT animals in contrast to PD-L1 KOs.Taken together, our results indicate that bTRMs are present within the CNS following viral infection and the PD-1: PD-L1 pathway plays a role in the generation of this brain-resident population.
Project description:The PI3K/Akt signaling pathway impacts various aspects of CD8 T cell homeostasis, such as effect versus memory cell differentiation, during viral infection. We used microarrays to determine which downstream molecules were affected and what other signaling pathways were interconnected with the Akt pathway by constitutive activation of Akt in LCMV-infected CD8 T cells. Splenocytes from naive P14/WT or P14/Akt mice were stained with anti-CD8 and anti-Ly5.1, and CD8 T cells were sorted using a FACSAria II instrument. Purified Ly5.1+ CD8 T cells from P14/WT or P14/Akt mice were transferred into B6 mice, which were subsequently infected with LCMV Armstrong. At day 8 post infection, splenocytes were stained with anti-CD8, anti-Ly5.1, anti-KLRG1, and anti-CD127. Following staining, short-lived effector cells (SLECs) and memory precursor effector cells (MPECs) were sorted using the FACSAria II instrument; the purity of the sorted cells was >95%. A total of 5 samples were analyzed, including WT naive, WT SLEC, WT MPEC, Akt naive and Akt SLEC.
Project description:The PI3K/Akt signaling pathway impacts various aspects of CD8 T cell homeostasis, such as effect versus memory cell differentiation, during viral infection. We used microarrays to determine which downstream molecules were affected and what other signaling pathways were interconnected with the Akt pathway by constitutive activation of Akt in LCMV-infected CD8 T cells. Overall design: Splenocytes from naive P14/WT or P14/Akt mice were stained with anti-CD8 and anti-Ly5.1, and CD8 T cells were sorted using a FACSAria II instrument. Purified Ly5.1+ CD8 T cells from P14/WT or P14/Akt mice were transferred into B6 mice, which were subsequently infected with LCMV Armstrong. At day 8 post infection, splenocytes were stained with anti-CD8, anti-Ly5.1, anti-KLRG1, and anti-CD127. Following staining, short-lived effector cells (SLECs) and memory precursor effector cells (MPECs) were sorted using the FACSAria II instrument; the purity of the sorted cells was >95%. A total of 5 samples were analyzed, including WT naive, WT SLEC, WT MPEC, Akt naive and Akt SLEC.
Project description:Generating and maintaining a robust CD8(+) T cell response in the face of high viral burden is vital for host survival. Further, balancing the differentiation of effectors along the memory precursor effector cell pathway versus the short-lived effector cell (SLEC) pathway may be critical in controlling the outcome of virus infection with regard to clearance and establishing protection. Although recent studies have identified several factors that have the capacity to regulate effector CD8(+) T cell differentiation-for example, inflammatory cytokines-we are far from a complete understanding of how cells choose the memory precursor effector cell versus SLEC fate following infection. In this study, we have modulated the infectious dose of the poxvirus vaccinia virus as an approach to modulate the environment present during activation and expansion of virus-specific effector cells. Surprisingly, in the face of a high virus burden, the number of SLECs was decreased. This decrease was the result of increased natural regulatory T cells (Tregs) generated by high viral burden, as depletion of these cells restored SLECs. Our data suggest Treg modulation of differentiation occurs via competition for IL-2 during the late expansion period, as opposed to the time of T cell priming. These findings support a novel model wherein modulation of the Treg response as a result of high viral burden regulates late-stage SLEC number.
Project description:The transcriptional repressor Blimp-1 promotes the differentiation of CD8(+) T cells into short-lived effector cells (SLECs) that express the lectin-like receptor KLRG-1, but how it operates remains poorly defined. Here we show that Blimp-1 bound to and repressed the promoter of the gene encoding the DNA-binding inhibitor Id3 in SLECs. Repression of Id3 by Blimp-1 was dispensable for SLEC development but limited the ability of SLECs to persist as memory cells. Enforced expression of Id3 was sufficient to restore SLEC survival and enhanced recall responses. Id3 function was mediated in part through inhibition of the transcriptional activity of E2A and induction of genes regulating genome stability. Our findings identify the Blimp-1-Id3-E2A axis as a key molecular switch that determines whether effector CD8(+) T cells are programmed to die or enter the memory pool.
Project description:Naïve antigen-specific CD8 T cells expand in response to infection and can be phenotypically separated into distinct effector populations, which include memory precursor effector cells (MPECs) and short-lived effector cells (SLECs). In the days before the peak of the T cell response, a third population called early effector cells (EECs) predominate the antigen-specific response. However, the contribution of the EEC population to the CD8 T cell differentiation program during an antimicrobial immune response is not well understood. To test if EEC populations were pre-committed to either an MPEC or SLEC fate, we purified EECs from mice infected with Listeria monocytogenes (LM) or vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), where the relative frequency of each population is known to be different at the peak of the response. Sorted EECs transferred into uninfected hosts revealed that EECs were pre-programmed to differentiate based on early signals received from the distinct infectious environments. Surprisingly, when these same EECs were transferred early into mismatched infected hosts, the transferred EECs could be diverted from their original fate. These results delineate a model of differentiation where EECs are programmed to form MPECs or SLECs, but remain susceptible to additional inflammatory stimuli that can alter their fate.
Project description:Early after priming, effector CD8 T cells are distinguished into memory precursor and short-lived effector cell subsets (MPECs and SLECs). Here, we delineated a distinct in vivo heterogeneity in killer cell lectin-like receptor G1 (KLRG-1) expression, which was strongly associated with diverse MPEC and SLEC fates. These in vivo MPECs and SLECs expressed equivalent levels of cytotoxic molecules and effector cytokines. Using a unique in vivo degranulation assay, we found that the MPECs and SLECs similarly encountered infected target cells and elaborated equivalent levels of cytotoxicity in vivo. These data provide direct in vivo evidence that memory-fated cells pass through a robust effector phase. Additionally, the preferential localization of the MPECs in the lymph nodes, where a lesser degree of cytotoxicity was elaborated, suggests that the MPECs may be protected from excessive stimulation and terminal differentiation by virtue of their differential tissue localization. These data provide novel mechanistic insights into the linear decreasing potential model of memory differentiation.
Project description:As acute infections resolve, most effector CD8(+) T cells die, whereas some persist and become memory T cells. Recent work showed that subsets of effector CD8(+) T cells, identified by reciprocal expression of killer cell lectin-like receptor G1 (KLRG1) and CD127, have different lifespans. Similar to previous reports, we found that effector CD8(+) T cells reported to have a longer lifespan (i.e., KLRG1(low)CD127(high)) have increased levels of Bcl-2 compared with their shorter-lived KLRG1(high)CD127(low) counterparts. Surprisingly, we found that these effector KLRG1(low)CD127(high) CD8(+) T cells also had increased levels of Bim compared with KLRG1(high)CD127(low) cells. Similar effects were observed in memory cells, in which CD8(+) central memory T cells expressed higher levels of Bim and Bcl-2 than did CD8(+) effector memory T cells. Using both pharmacologic and genetic approaches, we found that survival of both subsets of effector and memory CD8(+) T cells required Bcl-2 to combat the proapoptotic activity of Bim. Interestingly, inhibition or absence of Bcl-2 led to significantly decreased expression of Bim in surviving effector and memory T cells. In addition, manipulation of Bcl-2 levels by IL-7 or IL-15 also affected expression of Bim in effector CD8(+) T cells. Finally, we found that Bim levels were significantly increased in effector CD8(+) T cells lacking Bax and Bak. Together, these data indicate that cells having the highest levels of Bim are selected against during contraction of the response and that Bcl-2 determines the level of Bim that effector and memory T cells can tolerate.
Project description:Both CD4(+) T cell help and IL-2 have been postulated to "program" activated CD8(+) T cells for memory cell development. However, the linkage between these two signals has not been well elucidated. Here we have studied effector and memory CD8(+) T cell differentiation following infection with three pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, vesicular stomatitis virus, and vaccinia virus) in the absence of both CD4(+) T cells and IL-2 signaling. We found that expression of CD25 on antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells peaked 3-4 days after initial priming and was dependent on CD4(+) T cell help, likely through a CD28:CD80/86 mediated pathway. CD4(+) T cell or CD25-deficiency led to normal early effector CD8(+) T cell differentiation, but a subsequent lack of accumulation of CD8(+) T cells resulting in overall decreased memory cell generation. Interestingly, in both primary and recall responses KLRG1(high) CD127(low) short-lived effector cells were drastically diminished in the absence of IL-2 signaling, although memory precursors remained intact. In contrast to previous reports, upon secondary antigen encounter CD25-deficient CD8(+) T cells were capable of undergoing robust expansion, but short-lived effector development was again impaired. Thus, these results demonstrated that CD4(+) T cell help and IL-2 signaling were linked via CD25 up-regulation, which controls the expansion and differentiation of antigen-specific effector CD8(+) T cells, rather than "programming" memory cell traits.