Cytokine- and TCR-Mediated Regulation of T Cell Expression of Ly6C and Sca-1.
ABSTRACT: Ly6C and Sca-1 (Ly6A/E) are Ly6 family GPI-anchored surface molecules that are differentially expressed by multiple immune populations. Ly6C expression has been used to distinguish short-lived effector CD4+ T cells from memory precursor effector cells, whereas Sca-1 has been used in the identification of CD8+ memory stem cells. This study examines the expression patterns of these molecules and establishes that, in vitro, IL-27, type I IFN, and IFN-γ are potent inducers of Ly6C and Sca-1 in naive mouse CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, whereas TGF-β limits their expression. The induction of Ly6C and Sca-1 by IL-27 and IFN-γ is dependent on STAT1, but not STAT3 or T-bet. In mouse splenocytes, at homeostasis, Ly6C and Sca-1 expression was not restricted to effector cells, but was also found at various levels on naive and memory populations. However, in response to infection with Toxoplasma gondii, pathogen-specific T cells expressed high levels of these molecules and in this context, endogenous IL-27 and IFN-γ were required for the expression of Ly6C but not Sca-1. Together, these findings highlight the TCR-dependent and cytokine-mediated signals that modulate T cell expression of Ly6C and Sca-1 in vitro and in vivo during infection.
Project description:Production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-12 by innate phagocytes drives the differentiation of IFN-gamma-producing effector T cells during Toxoplasma gondii infection. However, the role of IL-12 in the regulation of memory CD8+ T cell differentiation and function during murine toxoplasmosis is unclear. To track memory CTL development, we identified a novel H-2K(b)-restricted CTL population specific for the Toxoplasma antigen tgd057. Tgd057-specific CTLs were induced by both vaccination and natural peroral infection, and were representative of the polyclonal CTL population. Tgd057-specific primary effector cells required IL-12 for the differentiation of KLRG1+ effector subpopulations and IFN-gamma production in response to restimulation with parasite-infected cells, but not to restimulation with cognate peptide. The effect of IL-12 deficiency during the primary response was profoundly imprinted on memory CTLs, which continued to show defects in cell numbers, KLRG1+ effector memory subpopulation differentiation, and IFN-gamma recall responses. Importantly, isolated CD62L(hi) KLRG1- CD8+ T cells differentiated in the absence of IL-12 were enhanced in their ability to generate IFN-gamma-producing secondary tgd057-specific effector cells. Our data, for the first time, demonstrate the negative impact of IL-12 signaling on the quality of the central memory CTL compartment. Thus, despite the beneficial role of IL-12 in promoting effector differentiation, excessive exposure to IL-12 during CTL priming may limit the development of long-term protective immunity through the decreased fitness of central memory CTL responses.
Project description:Differentiation of T helper (Th) subset 2 effector lymphocytes is thought to foreclose on IFN-gamma gene expression. Using an IL-4 locus modified to detect transcriptional induction of this effector cytokine gene in developing Th2 cells, we show here that these cells contributed effectively to a long-term memory population. A memory CD4 subset formed efficiently from an activated population after transcriptional induction of the IL-4 locus and differentiation into an IL-4-producing subset with Th2 characteristics. Memory lymphocytes derived from Th2 cells with IL-4 locus activation remained committed to transcriptional competence of Th2 cytokine genes when reactivated and cultured under strong Th1-polarizing conditions. This commitment to transcriptional competence at Th2 cytokine gene loci upon recall activation indicates that linear differentiation is a substantial component of type 2 memory. Strikingly, however, descendants of the Th2 population could turn on IFN-gamma expression when reactivated after a quiescent period, revealing an unexpected flexibility allowing activation of the forbidden IFN-gamma gene after reactivation and growth.
Project description:Influenza virus targets epithelial cells in the upper respiratory tract. Natural Killer (NK) cell-mediated early innate defense responses to influenza infection include the killing of infected epithelial cells and generation of anti-viral cytokines including interferon gamma (IFN-γ). To date, it is unclear how the underlying cytokine milieu during infection regulates NK cell effector functions. Our data show during influenza infection myeloid cell-derived IL-27 regulates the early-phase effector functions of NK cells in the bronchioalveolar and lung tissue. Lack of IL-27R (Il27ra-/-) or IL-27 (Ebi3-/-) resulted in impaired NK cell effector functions including the generation of anti-viral IFN-γ responses. We identify CD27+CD11b+ NK cells as the primary subset that expresses IL-27R, which predominantly produces IFN-γ within the upper respiratory tract of the infected mice. IL-27 alone was incapable of altering the effector functions of NK cells. However, IL-27 sensitizes NK cells to augment both in vitro and in vivo responses mediated via the NKG2D receptor. This 'priming' function of IL-27 is mediated partly via transcriptional pathways regulated by Mafs and Nrf2 transcriptionally regulating TFAM and CPT1. Our data for the first time establishes a novel role for IL-27 in regulating early-phase effector functions of NK cells during influenza infection.
Project description:Mucosal antigen-specific CD4 T-cell responses to intestinal pathogens remain incompletely understood. Here we examined the CD4 T-cell response after oral infection with an internalin A 'murinized' Listeria monocytogenes (Lm). Oral Lm infection induced a robust endogenous listeriolysin O (LLO)-specific CD4 T-cell response with distinct phenotypic and functional characteristics in the intestine. Circulating LLO-specific CD4 T cells transiently expressed the 'gut-homing' integrin ?4?7 and accumulated in the intestinal lamina propria and epithelium where they were maintained independent of interleukin (IL)-15. The majority of intestinal LLO-specific CD4 T cells were CD27- Ly6C- and CD69+ CD103- while the lymphoid LLO-specific CD4 T cells were heterogeneous based on CD27 and Ly6C expression and predominately CD69-. LLO-specific effector CD4 T cells transitioned into a long-lived memory population that phenotypically resembled their parent effectors and displayed hallmarks of residency. In addition, intestinal effector and memory CD4 T cells showed a predominant polyfunctional Th1 profile producing IFN?, TNF?, and IL-2 at high levels with minimal but detectable levels of IL-17A. Depletion of CD4 T cells in immunized mice led to elevated bacterial burden after challenge infection highlighting a critical role for memory CD4 T cells in controlling intestinal intracellular pathogens.
Project description:During many chronic infections virus-specific CD8 T cells succumb to exhaustion as they lose their ability to respond to antigenic activation. Combinations of IL-12, IL-18, and IL-21 have been shown to induce the antigen-independent production of interferon (IFN)-γ by effector and memory CD8 T cells. In this study we investigated whether exhausted CD8 T cells are sensitive to activation by these cytokines. We show that effector and memory, but not exhausted, CD8 T cells produce IFN-γ and upregulate CD25 following exposure to certain combinations of IL-12, IL-18, and IL-21. The unresponsiveness of exhausted CD8 T cells is associated with downregulation of the IL-18-receptor-α (IL-18Rα). Although IL-18Rα expression is connected with the ability of memory CD8 T cells to self-renew and efflux rhodamine 123, the IL-18Rα(lo) exhausted cells remained capable of secreting this dye. To further evaluate the consequences of IL-18Rα downregulation, we tracked the fate of IL-18Rα-deficient CD8 T cells in chronically infected mixed bone marrow chimeras and discovered that IL-18Rα affects the initial but not later phases of the response. The antigen-independent responsiveness of exhausted CD8 T cells was also investigated following co-infection with Listeria monocytogenes, which induces the expression of IL-12 and IL-18. Although IL-18Rα(hi) memory cells upregulated CD25 and produced IFN-γ, the IL-18Rα(lo) exhausted cells failed to respond. Collectively, these findings indicate that as exhausted T cells adjust to the chronically infected environment, they lose their susceptibility to antigen-independent activation by cytokines, which compromises their ability to detect bacterial co-infections.
Project description:CD4(+) T cells differentiate into multiple effector types, but it is unclear how they form memory T cells during infection in vivo. Profiling virus-specific CD4(+) T cells revealed that effector cells with T helper 1 (Th1) or T follicular helper (Tfh) cell characteristics differentiated into memory cells, although expression of Tfh cell markers declined over time. In contrast to virus-specific effector CD8(+) T cells, increased IL-7R expression was not a reliable marker of CD4(+) memory precursor cells. However, decreased Ly6C and T-bet (Tbx21) expression distinguished a subset of Th1 cells that displayed greater longevity and proliferative responses to secondary infection. Moreover, the gene expression profile of Ly6C(lo)T-bet(int) Th1 effector cells was virtually identical to mature memory CD4(+) T cells, indicating early maturation of memory CD4(+) T cell features in this subset during acute viral infection. This study provides a framework for memory CD4(+) T cell development after acute viral infection.
Project description:Interferon (IFN)-gamma plays an important role in the innate immune response against intracellular bacterial pathogens. It is commonly thought that natural killer cells are the primary source of this cytokine that is involved in activating antibacterial effects in infected cells and polarizing CD4+ T cells toward the Th1 subset. However, here we show that both effector and memory CD8+ T cells have the potential to secrete IFN-gamma in response to interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-18 in the absence of cognate antigen. We demonstrate that memory CD8+ T cells specific for the ovalbumin protein secrete IFN-gamma rapidly after infection with wild-type Listeria monocytogenes (LM). Furthermore, small numbers of ovalbumin-specific, memory CD8+ T cells can reduce spleen and liver bacterial counts in IFN-gamma-deficient mice 3 d after LM infection. Up-regulation of the receptors for IL-12 and IL-18 provides a mechanism for the ability of memory CD8+ T cells to respond in this antigen nonspecific manner. Thus, CD8+ T cells play an important role in the innate immune response against intracellular pathogens by rapidly secreting IFN-gamma in response to IL-12 and IL-18.
Project description:CD4(+) T cells are critical for the control of virus infections, T cell memory, and immune surveillance. We studied the differentiation and function of murine ?-herpesvirus 68 (MHV-68)-specific CD4(+) T cells using gp150-specific TCR-transgenic mice. This allowed a more detailed study of the characteristics of the CD4(+) T cell response than did previously available approaches for this virus. Most gp150-specific CD4(+) T cells expressed T-bet and produced IFN-?, indicating that MHV-68 infection triggered differentiation of CD4(+) T cells largely into the Th1 subset, whereas some became follicular Th cells and Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells. These CD4(+) T cells were protective against MHV-68 infection in the absence of CD8(+) T cells and B cells, and protection depended on IFN-? secretion. Marked heterogeneity was observed in the CD4(+) T cells, based on lymphocyte Ag 6C (Ly6C) expression. Ly6C expression positively correlated with IFN-?, TNF-?, and granzyme B production; T-bet and KLRG1 expression; proliferation; and CD4(+) T cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Ly6C expression inversely correlated with survival, CCR7 expression, and secondary expansion potential. Ly6C(+) and Ly6C(-) gp150-specific CD4(+) T cells were able to interconvert in a bidirectional manner upon secondary Ag exposure in vivo. These results indicate that Ly6C expression is closely associated with antiviral activity in effector CD4(+) T cells but is inversely correlated with memory potential. Interconversion between Ly6C(+) and Ly6C(-) cells may maintain a balance between the two Ag-specific CD4(+) T cell populations during MHV-68 infection. These findings have significant implications for Ly6C as a surface marker to distinguish functionally distinct CD4(+) T cells during persistent virus infection.
Project description:Serologic responses to T cell-dependent vaccinations are severely attenuated in patients with ESRD, but the reasons for this is unknown. In this study, a detailed analysis of antigen-specific T cell responses was performed. Patients on hemodialysis and age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects were vaccinated with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells were monitored at regular intervals with intracellular cytokine staining and proliferation assays. IL-2-and IFN-gamma-producing CD4(+) T cells were identified as either central or effector memory CD4(+) T cells using antibodies directed against CD45RO and the chemokine receptor CCR7. Control subjects mounted a memory T cell response comprising both central and effector memory CD4(+) T cells, with the central memory response occurring 1 wk before the effector memory response. IL-2(+) HBsAg-specific memory CD4(+) T cells were primarily detected within the effector population. Patients with ESRD showed a delayed response of IL-2-and IFN-gamma-producing central memory CD4(+) T cells, but their maximal responses were similar to those of control subjects. In contrast, patients with ESRD produced only 6.3% of the IL-2(+) HBsAg-specific effector memory CD4(+) T cells produced by control subjects (0.5 +/- 0.2 x 10(4)/L versus 8 +/- 3.5 x 10(4)/L; P < 0.001), and this impaired response correlated with antigen-specific T cell proliferation and anti-HBsAg IgG titers. In conclusion, the production of antigen-specific effector memory CD4(+) T cells after vaccination, which is critical to achieve an adequate humoral response, is severely impaired in patients with ESRD.
Project description:In contrast to the ability of long-lived CD8(+) memory T cells to mediate protection against systemic viral infections, the relationship between CD4(+) T cell memory and acquired resistance against infectious pathogens remains poorly defined. This is especially true for T helper 1 (Th1) concomitant immunity, in which protection against reinfection coincides with a persisting primary infection. In these situations, pre-existing effector CD4 T cells generated by ongoing chronic infection, not memory cells, may be essential for protection against reinfection. We present a systematic study of the tissue homing properties, functionality, and life span of subsets of memory and effector CD4 T cells activated in the setting of chronic Leishmania major infection in resistant C57Bl/6 mice. We found that pre-existing, CD44(+)CD62L(-)T-bet(+)Ly6C+ effector (T(EFF)) cells that are short-lived in the absence of infection and are not derived from memory cells reactivated by secondary challenge, mediate concomitant immunity. Upon adoptive transfer and challenge, non-dividing Ly6C(+) T(EFF) cells preferentially homed to the skin, released IFN-?, and conferred protection as compared to CD44(+)CD62L(-)Ly6C(-) effector memory or CD44(+)CD62L(+)Ly6C(-) central memory cells. During chronic infection, Ly6C(+) T(EFF) cells were maintained at high frequencies via reactivation of T(CM) and the T(EFF) themselves. The lack of effective vaccines for many chronic diseases may be because protection against infectious challenge requires the maintenance of pre-existing T(EFF) cells, and is therefore not amenable to conventional, memory inducing, vaccination strategies.