The Changing Landscape of Naive T Cell Receptor Repertoire With Human Aging.
ABSTRACT: Human aging is associated with a profound loss of thymus productivity, yet naïve T lymphocytes still maintain their numbers by division in the periphery for many years. The extent of such proliferation may depend on the cytokine environment, including IL-7 and T-cell receptor (TCR) "tonic" signaling mediated by self pMHCs recognition. Additionally, intrinsic properties of distinct subpopulations of naïve T cells could influence the overall dynamics of aging-related changes within the naïve T cell compartment. Here, we investigated the differences in the architecture of TCR beta repertoires for naïve CD4, naïve CD8, naïve CD4+CD25-CD31+ (enriched with recent thymic emigrants, RTE), and mature naïve CD4+CD25-CD31- peripheral blood subsets between young and middle-age/old healthy individuals. In addition to observing the accumulation of clonal expansions (as was shown previously), we reveal several notable changes in the characteristics of T cell repertoire. We observed significant decrease of CDR3 length, NDN insert, and number of non-template added N nucleotides within TCR beta CDR3 with aging, together with a prominent change of physicochemical properties of the central part of CDR3 loop. These changes were similar across CD4, CD8, RTE-enriched, and mature CD4 subsets of naïve T cells, with minimal or no difference observed between the latter two subsets for individuals of the same age group. We also observed an increase in "publicity" (fraction of shared clonotypes) of CD4, but not CD8 naïve T cell repertoires. We propose several explanations for these phenomena built upon previous studies of naïve T-cell homeostasis, and call for further studies of the mechanisms causing the observed changes and of consequences of these changes in respect of the possible holes formed in the landscape of naïve T cell TCR repertoire.
Project description:Every person carries a vast repertoire of CD4+ T-helper cells and CD8+ cytotoxic T cells for a healthy immune system. Somatic VDJ recombination at genomic loci that encode the T-cell receptor (TCR) is a key step during T-cell development, but how a single T cell commits to become either CD4+ or CD8+ is poorly understood. To evaluate the influence of TCR sequence variation on CD4+/CD8+ lineage commitment, we sequenced rearranged TCRs for both ? and ? chains in naïve T cells isolated from healthy donors and investigated gene segment usage and recombination patterns in CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets. Our data demonstrate that most V and J gene segments are strongly biased in the naïve CD4+ and CD8+ subsets with some segments increasing the odds of being CD4+ (or CD8+) up to five-fold. These V and J gene associations are highly reproducible across individuals and independent of classical HLA genotype, explaining ~11% of the observed variance in the CD4+ vs. CD8+ propensity. In addition, we identified a strong independent association of the electrostatic charge of the complementarity determining region 3 (CDR3) in both ? and ? chains, where a positively charged CDR3 is associated with CD4+ lineage and a negatively charged CDR3 with CD8+ lineage. Our findings suggest that somatic variation in different parts of the TCR influences T-cell lineage commitment in a predominantly additive fashion. This notion can help delineate how certain structural features of the TCR-peptide-HLA complex influence thymic selection.
Project description:Naïve T cells develop in the thymus and coordinate immune responses to new antigens; however, mechanisms for their long-term persistence over the human lifespan remain undefined. Here, we investigated human naïve T cell development and maintenance in primary and secondary lymphoid tissues obtained from individual organ donors aged 3 months-73 years. In the thymus, the frequency of double-positive thymocytes declined sharply in donors over age 40 coincident with reduced recent thymic emigrants (RTE) in lymphoid tissues, while naïve T cells were functionally maintained predominantly in lymph nodes (LN). Analysis of TCR clonal distribution by CDR3 sequencing of naïve CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in spleen and LNs reveal site-specific clonal expansions of naïve T cells from individuals >40 years of age with minimal clonal overlap between lymphoid tissues. We also identified biased naïve T cell clonal distribution within specific lymph nodes based on VJ usage. Together these results suggest prolonged maintenance of naïve T cells through in situ homeostasis and retention in lymphoid tissue.
Project description:T cell maturation and activation depend upon T cell receptor (TCR) interactions with a wide variety of antigenic peptides displayed in a given major histocompatibility complex (MHC) context. Complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) is the most variable part of the TCR? and -? chains, which govern interactions with peptide-MHC complexes. However, it remains unclear how the CDR3 landscape is shaped by individual MHC context during thymic selection of naïve T cells. We established two mouse strains carrying distinct allelic variants of <i>H2-A</i> and analyzed thymic and peripheral production and TCR repertoires of naïve conventional CD4<sup>+</sup> T (T<sub>conv</sub>) and naïve regulatory CD4<sup>+</sup> T (T<sub>reg</sub>) cells. Compared with tuberculosis-resistant C57BL/6 (H2-A<sup>b</sup>) mice, the tuberculosis-susceptible H2-A<sup>j</sup> mice had fewer CD4<sup>+</sup> T cells of both subsets in the thymus. In the periphery, this deficiency was only apparent for T<sub>conv</sub> and was compensated for by peripheral reconstitution for T<sub>reg</sub> We show that H2-A<sup>j</sup> favors selection of a narrower and more convergent repertoire with more hydrophobic and strongly interacting amino acid residues in the middle of CDR3? and CDR3?, suggesting more stringent selection against a narrower peptide-MHC-II context. H2-A<sup>j</sup> and H2-A<sup>b</sup> mice have prominent reciprocal differences in CDR3? and CDR3? features, probably reflecting distinct modes of TCR fitting to MHC-II variants. These data reveal the mechanics and extent of how MHC-II shapes the naïve CD4<sup>+</sup> T cell CDR3 landscape, which essentially defines adaptive response to infections and self-antigens.
Project description:The EuroFlow PID consortium developed a set of flow cytometry tests for evaluation of patients with suspicion of primary immunodeficiency (PID). In this technical report we evaluate the performance of the SCID-RTE tube that explores the presence of recent thymic emigrants (RTE) together with T-cell activation status and maturation stages and discuss its applicability in the context of the broader EuroFlow PID flow cytometry testing algorithm for diagnostic orientation of PID of the lymphoid system. We have analyzed peripheral blood cells of 26 patients diagnosed between birth and 2 years of age with a genetically defined primary immunodeficiency disorder: 15 severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) patients had disease-causing mutations in RAG1 or RAG2 (n = 4, two of them presented with Omenn syndrome), IL2RG (n = 4, one of them with confirmed maternal engraftment), NHEJ1 (n = 1), CD3E (n = 1), ADA (n = 1), JAK3 (n = 3, two of them with maternal engraftment) and DCLRE1C (n = 1) and 11 other PID patients had diverse molecular defects [ZAP70 (n = 1), WAS (n = 2), PNP (n = 1), FOXP3 (n = 1), del22q11.2 (DiGeorge n = 4), CDC42 (n = 1) and FAS (n = 1)]. In addition, 44 healthy controls in the same age group were analyzed using the SCID-RTE tube in four EuroFlow laboratories using a standardized 8-color approach. RTE were defined as CD62L+CD45RO-HLA-DR-CD31+ and the activation status was assessed by the expression of HLA-DR+. Naïve CD8+ T-lymphocytes and naïve CD4+ T-lymphocytes were defined as CD62L+CD45RO-HLA-DR-. With the SCID-RTE tube, we identified patients with PID by low levels or absence of RTE in comparison to controls as well as low levels of naïve CD4+ and naïve CD8+ lymphocytes. These parameters yielded 100% sensitivity for SCID. All SCID patients had absence of RTE, including the patients with confirmed maternal engraftment or oligoclonally expanded T-cells characteristic for Omenn syndrome. Another dominant finding was the increased numbers of activated CD4+HLA-DR+ and CD8+HLA-DR+ lymphocytes. Therefore, the EuroFlow SCID-RTE tube together with the previously published PIDOT tube form a sensitive and complete cytometric diagnostic test suitable for patients suspected of severe PID (SCID or CID) as well as for children identified via newborn screening programs for SCID with low or absent T-cell receptor excision circles (TRECs).
Project description:AIDS is caused by CD4 T-cell depletion. Although combination antiretroviral therapy can restore blood T-cell numbers, the clonal diversity of the reconstituting cells, critical for immunocompetence, is not well defined.We performed an extensive analysis of parameters of thymic function in perinatally HIV-1-infected (n?=?39) and control (n?=?28) participants ranging from 13 to 23 years of age. CD4 T cells including naive (CD27 CD45RA) and recent thymic emigrant (RTE) (CD31/CD45RA) cells, were quantified by flow cytometry. Deep sequencing was used to examine T-cell receptor (TCR) sequence diversity in sorted RTE CD4 T cells.Infected participants had reduced CD4 T-cell levels with predominant depletion of the memory subset and preservation of naive cells. RTE CD4 T-cell levels were normal in most infected individuals, and enhanced thymopoiesis was indicated by higher proportions of CD4 T cells containing TCR recombination excision circles. Memory CD4 T-cell depletion was highly associated with CD8 T-cell activation in HIV-1-infected persons and plasma interlekin-7 levels were correlated with naive CD4 T cells, suggesting activation-driven loss and compensatory enhancement of thymopoiesis. Deep sequencing of CD4 T-cell receptor sequences in well compensated infected persons demonstrated supranormal diversity, providing additional evidence of enhanced thymic output.Despite up to two decades of infection, many individuals have remarkable thymic reserve to compensate for ongoing CD4 T-cell loss, although there is ongoing viral replication and immune activation despite combination antiretroviral therapy. The longer term sustainability of this physiology remains to be determined.
Project description:Healthy immune aging is in part determined by how well the sizes of naïve T cell compartments are being maintained with advancing age. Throughout adult life, replenishment largely derives from homeostatic proliferation of existing naïve and memory T cell populations. However, while the subpopulation composition of CD4 T cells is relatively stable, the CD8 T cell compartment undergoes more drastic changes with loss of naïve CD8 T cells and accumulation of effector T cells, suggesting that CD4 T cells are more resilient to resist age-associated changes. To determine the epigenetic basis for these differences in behaviors, we compared chromatin accessibility maps of CD4 and CD8 T cell subsets from young and old individuals and related the results to the expressed transcriptome. The dominant age-associated signatures resembled hallmarks of differentiation, which were more pronounced for CD8 naïve and memory than the corresponding CD4 T cell subsets, indicating that CD8 T cells are less able to keep cellular quiescence upon homeostatic proliferation. In parallel, CD8 T cells from old adults, irrespective of their differentiation state, displayed greater reduced accessibility to genes of basic cell biological function, including genes encoding ribosomal proteins. One possible mechanism is the reduced expression of the transcription factors YY1 and NRF1. Our data suggest that chromatin accessibility signatures can be identified that distinguish CD4 and CD8 T cells from old adults and that may confer the higher resilience of CD4 T cells to aging.
Project description:In advanced age, decreased CD8(+) cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses to novel pathogens and cancer is paralleled by a decline in the number and function of naïve CTL precursors (CTLp). Although the age-related fall in CD8(+) T-cell numbers is well established, neither the underlying mechanisms nor the extent of variation for different epitope specificities have been defined. Furthermore, naïve CD8(+) T cells expressing high levels of CD44 accumulate with age, but it is unknown whether this accumulation reflects their preferential survival or an age-dependent driver of CD8(+) T-cell proliferation. Here, we track the number and phenotype of four influenza A virus (IAV)-specific CTLp populations in naïve C57BL/6 (B6) mice during aging, and compare T-cell receptor (TCR) clonal diversity for the CD44hi and CD44lo subsets of one such population. We show differential onset of decline for several IAV-specific CD8(+) T-cell populations with advanced age that parallel age-associated changes in the B6 immunodominance hierarchy, suggestive of distinct impacts of aging on different epitope-specific populations. Despite finding no evidence of clonal expansions in an aged, epitope-specific TCR repertoire, nonrandom alterations in TCR usage were observed, along with elevated CD5 and CD8 coreceptor expression. Collectively, these data demonstrate that naïve CD8(+) T cells expressing markers of heightened self-recognition are selectively retained, but not clonally expanded, during aging.
Project description:The TCR repertoire serves as a reservoir of TCRs for recognizing all potential pathogens. Two major types of T cells, CD4(+) and CD8(+), that use the same genetic elements and process to generate a functional TCR differ in their recognition of peptide bound to MHC class II and I, respectively. However, it is currently unclear to what extent the TCR repertoire of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells is different. Here, we report a comparative analysis of the TCR? repertoires of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells by use of a 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends-PCR-sequencing method. We found that TCR? richness of CD4(+) T cells ranges from 1.2 to 9.8 × 10(4) and is approximately 5 times greater, on average, than that of CD8(+) T cells in each study subject. Furthermore, there was little overlap in TCR? sequences between CD4(+) (0.3%) and CD8(+) (1.3%) T cells. Further analysis showed that CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells exhibited distinct preferences for certain amino acids in the CDR3, and this was confirmed further by a support vector machine classifier, suggesting that there are distinct and discernible differences between TCR? CDR3 in CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. Finally, we identified 5-12% of the unique TCR?s that share an identical CDR3 with different variable genes. Together, our findings reveal the distinct features of the TCR? repertoire between CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells and could potentially be used to evaluate the competency of T cell immunity.
Project description:The adaptive immune system uses several strategies to generate a repertoire of T cell receptors (TCR) with sufficient diversity to recognize the universe of potential pathogens. However, it remains unclear how differences in the T cell receptor (TCR) contribute to heterogeneity in T cell state. In this study, we used polychromatic flow cytometry to isolate highly pure CD4<sup>+</sup>/CD8<sup>+</sup> naive and memory T cells, and applied deep sequencing to characterize corresponding TCR ?-chain (TCR?) complementary-determining region 3 (CDR3) repertoires. We find that shorter TCR? CDR3s with fewer insertions were highly enriched during thymic selection. Antigen-experienced T cells (memory T cells) harbor shorter CDR3s vs. naive T cells. Moreover, the public TCR? CDR3 clonotypes within cell subsets or interindividual tend to have shorter CDR3 length and a significantly larger size compared with "private" clonotypes. Taken together, shorter CDR3s highly enriched during thymic selection and antigen-driven selection, and further enriched in public T-cell responses. These results indicated that it may be evolutionary pressures drive short CDR3s to recognize most of antigen in nature.
Project description:Diversity in T lymphocyte antigen receptors is generated by somatic rearrangement of T cell receptor (TCR) genes and is concentrated within the third complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) of each chain of the TCR heterodimer. We sequenced the CDR3 regions from millions of rearranged TCR beta chain genes in naïve and memory CD8(+) T cells of seven adults. The CDR3 sequence repertoire realized in each individual is strongly biased toward specific V(beta)-J(beta) pair utilization, dominated by sequences containing few inserted nucleotides, and drawn from a defined subset comprising less than 0.1% of the estimated 5 x 10(11) possible sequences. Surprisingly, the overlap in the naïve CD8(+) CDR3 sequence repertoires of any two of the individuals is approximately 7000-fold larger than predicted and appears to be independent of the degree of human leukocyte antigen matching.