Human memory CD8 T cell effector potential is epigenetically preserved during in vivo homeostasis.
ABSTRACT: Antigen-independent homeostasis of memory CD8 T cells is vital for sustaining long-lived T cell-mediated immunity. In this study, we report that maintenance of human memory CD8 T cell effector potential during in vitro and in vivo homeostatic proliferation is coupled to preservation of acquired DNA methylation programs. Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing of primary human naive, short-lived effector memory (TEM), and longer-lived central memory (TCM) and stem cell memory (TSCM) CD8 T cells identified effector molecules with demethylated promoters and poised for expression. Effector-loci demethylation was heritably preserved during IL-7- and IL-15-mediated in vitro cell proliferation. Conversely, cytokine-driven proliferation of TCM and TSCM memory cells resulted in phenotypic conversion into TEM cells and was coupled to increased methylation of the CCR7 and Tcf7 loci. Furthermore, haploidentical donor memory CD8 T cells undergoing in vivo proliferation in lymphodepleted recipients also maintained their effector-associated demethylated status but acquired TEM-associated programs. These data demonstrate that effector-associated epigenetic programs are preserved during cytokine-driven subset interconversion of human memory CD8 T cells.
Project description:The development of T cells has been characterized as taking place over three stages: naïve (Tn), central memory (Tcm), and effector memory (Tem) cells. Recently, stem cell memory T cells (Tscm) were found to be the least-developed memory subset. We performed detailed analysis of the gene expression of human CD4+ T cells with clear distinction of the Tn, Tscm, Tcm, and Tem stages. We sorted Tn, Tscm, Tcm, and Tem CD4+ T cells from the peripheral blood of six healthy volunteers to see the differences of gene expression between each developmental stage.
Project description:CD8+ T cells have been shown to play a crucial role in Trypanosoma cruzi infection. Memory CD8+ T cells can be categorised based on their distinct differentiation stages and functional activities as follows: stem cell memory (TSCM), central memory (TCM), transitional memory (TTM), effector memory (TEM) and terminal effector (TTE) cells. Currently, the immune mechanisms that control T. cruzi in the chronic phase of the infection are unknown.To characterise the CD8+ T cell subsets that could be participating in the control of T. cruzi infection, in this study, we compared total and T. cruzi-specific circulating CD8+ T cells with distinctive phenotypic and functional features in chronic chagasic patients (CCPs) with different degrees of cardiac dysfunction. We observed a decreased frequency of total TSCM along with an increased frequency of TTE in CCPs with severe disease. Antigen-specific TSCM cells were not detectable in CCPs with severe forms of the disease. A functional profile of CD8+ T cell subsets among CCPs revealed a high frequency of monofunctional CD8+ T cells in the most severe patients with IFN-?+- or TNF-?+-producing cells.These findings suggest that CD8+ TSCM cells may be associated with the immune response to T. cruzi and outcome of Chagas disease, given that these cells may be involved in repopulating the T cell pool that controls infection.
Project description:The development of T cells has been characterized as taking place over three stages: naïve (Tn), central memory (Tcm), and effector memory (Tem) cells. Recently, stem cell memory T cells (Tscm) were found to be the least-developed memory subset. We performed detailed analysis of the gene expression of human CD4+ T cells with clear distinction of the Tn, Tscm, Tcm, and Tem stages. Overall design: We sorted Tn, Tscm, Tcm, and Tem CD4+ T cells from the peripheral blood of six healthy volunteers to see the differences of gene expression between each developmental stage.
Project description:Background:Maintenance of long-lasting immunity is thought to depend on stem cell memory T cells (TSCM), which have superior self-renewing capacity, longevity and proliferative potential compared with central memory (TCM) or effector (TEFF) T cells. Our knowledge of TSCM derives primarily from studies of virus-specific CD8+ TSCM. We aimed to determine if infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb), the etiological agent of tuberculosis, generates antigen-specific CD4+ TSCM and to characterize their functional ontology. Methods:We studied T cell responses to natural M. tb infection in a longitudinal adolescent cohort of recent QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT) converters and three cross-sectional QFT+ adult cohorts; and to bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination in infants. M. tb and/or BCG-specific CD4 T cells were detected by flow cytometry using major histocompatibility complex class II tetramers bearing Ag85, CFP-10, or ESAT-6 peptides, or by intracellular cytokine staining. Transcriptomic analyses of M. tb-specific tetramer+ CD4+ TSCM (CD45RA+ CCR7+ CD27+) were performed by microfluidic qRT-PCR, and functional and phenotypic characteristics were confirmed by measuring expression of chemokine receptors, cytotoxic molecules and cytokines using flow cytometry. Results:M. tb-specific TSCM were not detected in QFT-negative persons. After QFT conversion frequencies of TSCM increased to measurable levels and remained detectable thereafter, suggesting that primary M. tb infection induces TSCM cells. Gene expression (GE) profiling of tetramer+ TSCM showed that these cells were distinct from bulk CD4+ naïve T cells (TN) and shared features of bulk TSCM and M. tb-specific tetramer+ TCM and TEFF cells. These TSCM were predominantly CD95+ and CXCR3+, markers typical of CD8+ TSCM. Tetramer+ TSCM expressed significantly higher protein levels of CCR5, CCR6, CXCR3, granzyme A, granzyme K, and granulysin than bulk TN and TSCM cells. M. tb-specific TSCM were also functional, producing IL-2, IFN-?, and TNF-? upon antigen stimulation, and their frequencies correlated positively with long-term BCG-specific CD4+ T cell proliferative potential after infant vaccination. Conclusion:Human infection with M. tb induced distinct, antigen-specific CD4+ TSCM cells endowed with effector functions, including expression of cytotoxic molecules and Th1 cytokines, and displayed chemokine receptor profiles consistent with memory Th1/17 cells. Induction of CD4+ TSCM should be considered for vaccination approaches that aim to generate long-lived memory T cells against M. tb.
Project description:Memory T cells are heterogeneous in terms of their phenotype and functional properties. We investigated the molecular profiles of human CD8 naïve (TN), central memory (TCM), effector memory (TEM), and effector memory RA (TEMRA) T cells using gene expression microarrays and phospho-protein-specific intracellular flow cytometry. We demonstrate that TCM have a gene expression and cytokine signaling signature that lies between that of TN and TEM or TEMRA cells, whereas TEM and TEMRA are closely related. Our data define the molecular basis for the different functional properties of central and effector memory subsets. We show that TEM and TEMRA cells strongly express genes with known importance in CD8 T cell effector function. In contrast, TCM are characterized by high basal and cytokine-induced STAT5 phosphorylation, reflecting their capacity for self-renewal. Altogether, our results distinguish TCM and TEM/TEMRA at the molecular level and are consistent with the concept that TCM represent memory stem cells.
Project description:During acute infections, a small population of effector CD8(+) T cells evades terminal differentiation and survives as long-lived memory T cells. We demonstrate that the transcriptional repressor Blimp-1 enhanced the formation of terminally differentiated CD8(+) T cells during lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection, and Blimp-1 deficiency promoted the acquisition of memory cell properties by effector cells. Blimp-1 expression was preferentially increased in terminally differentiated effector and "effector memory" (Tem) CD8(+) T cells, and gradually decayed after infection as central memory (Tcm) cells developed. Blimp-1-deficient effector CD8(+) T cells showed some reduction in effector molecule expression, but primarily developed into memory precursor cells that survived better and more rapidly acquired several Tcm cell attributes, including CD62L and IL-2 expression and enhanced proliferative responses. These results reveal a critical role for Blimp-1 in controlling terminal differentiation and suppressing memory cell developmental potential in effector CD8(+) T cells during viral infection.
Project description:Memory CD8 T cells that circulate in the blood and are present in lymphoid organs are an essential component of long-lived T cell immunity. These memory CD8 T cells remain poised to rapidly elaborate effector functions upon re-exposure to pathogens, but also have many properties in common with naive cells, including pluripotency and the ability to migrate to the lymph nodes and spleen. Thus, memory cells embody features of both naive and effector cells, fuelling a long-standing debate centred on whether memory T cells develop from effector cells or directly from naive cells. Here we show that long-lived memory CD8 T cells are derived from a subset of effector T cells through a process of dedifferentiation. To assess the developmental origin of memory CD8 T cells, we investigated changes in DNA methylation programming at naive and effector cell-associated genes in virus-specific CD8 T cells during acute lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection in mice. Methylation profiling of terminal effector versus memory-precursor CD8 T cell subsets showed that, rather than retaining a naive epigenetic state, the subset of cells that gives rise to memory cells acquired de novo DNA methylation programs at naive-associated genes and became demethylated at the loci of classically defined effector molecules. Conditional deletion of the de novo methyltransferase Dnmt3a at an early stage of effector differentiation resulted in reduced methylation and faster re-expression of naive-associated genes, thereby accelerating the development of memory cells. Longitudinal phenotypic and epigenetic characterization of the memory-precursor effector subset of virus-specific CD8 T cells transferred into antigen-free mice revealed that differentiation to memory cells was coupled to erasure of de novo methylation programs and re-expression of naive-associated genes. Thus, epigenetic repression of naive-associated genes in effector CD8 T cells can be reversed in cells that develop into long-lived memory CD8 T cells while key effector genes remain demethylated, demonstrating that memory T cells arise from a subset of fate-permissive effector T cells.
Project description:Central memory T cells (TCM) patrol lymph nodes, providing central immunosurveillance against known pathogens, but have not been described as conducting primary tissue immunosurveillance. We analyzed the expression of tissue-homing addressins in human TCM vs effector memory T cells (TEM) from the same donors. In humans, the majority of human TCM were tropic for either skin or gut, and the overall tissue tropism of TCM was comparable to that of TEM TCM were present in healthy, noninflamed human skin, lung, colon, and cervix, suggesting a role for TCM in the primary immunosurveillance of peripheral tissues. TCM also had potent effector functions; 80% of CD8+ TCM produced TC1/TC2/TC17/TC22 cytokines. TCM injected into human skin-grafted mice migrated into skin and induced inflammatory eruptions comparable to TEM-injected mice. In summary, human TCM express peripheral tissue-homing receptors at levels similar to their effector memory counterparts, are found in healthy human tissues, have impressive effector functions, and can act alone to induce skin inflammation in human engrafted mice. Our studies support a novel role for human TCM in primary immunosurveillance of peripheral tissues and highlight the important role of this long-lived cell type in tissue-based immune responses.
Project description:The aim was to assess miRNA expression in 3 human ex-vivo CD8+ T cell subsets which span from antigen inexperienced cells (Naïve) to early memory cells (central memory, Tcm) and later stage memory cells (effector memory, Tem) CD8+ T cells were sorted on a FACS Aria II machine. N = naïve = CD8+, CCR7+, CD45RA+, CD45RO-, Tcm = central memory = CD8+, CCR7+, CD45RA-, CD45RO-,Tem= effector memory = CD8+, CCR7-, CD45RA-, CD45RO+ PBMC were isolated from 3 healthy human donors and sorted by FACS into 3 CD8+ T cell subsets. Total RNA was purified using the miRVANA kit (Ambion)
Project description:During acute infections, CD8+ T cells form various memory subpopulations to provide long-lasting protection against reinfection. Central memory (TCM), Effector memory (TEM), and long-lived effector (LLE) cells are circulating memory populations with distinct plasticity, migration patterns, and effector functions. Tissue-resident memory (TRM) cells permanently reside in the frontline sites of pathogen entry and provide tissue-specific protection upon reinfection. Here, using scRNA-seq and bulk RNA-seq, we examined the different and shared transcriptomes and regulators of TRMs with other circulating memory populations. Furthermore, we identified heterogeneity within the TRM pool from small intestine and novel transcriptional regulators that may control the phenotypic and functional heterogeneity of TRM cells during acute infection. Our findings provide a resource for future studies to identify novel pathways for enhancing vaccination and immunotherapeutic approaches. Overall design: There are three CD8 memory groups, TEM, TCM, and TRM. CD8+CD44+GP33+ cells were sorted from LCMV infected mice at day 30 post infection. TEM and TCM cells are sorted from spleen, seperated by CD62L. TRM cells are sorted from intraepithelial lymphocytes from small intestine. There are 2-3 replicates for each cell group.