MAIT cells protect against pulmonary Legionella longbeachae infection.
ABSTRACT: Mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells recognise conserved microbial metabolites from riboflavin synthesis. Striking evolutionary conservation and pulmonary abundance implicate them in antibacterial host defence, yet their functions in protection against clinically important pathogens are unknown. Here we show that mouse Legionella longbeachae infection induces MR1-dependent MAIT cell activation and rapid pulmonary accumulation of MAIT cells associated with immune protection detectable in immunocompetent host animals. MAIT cell protection is more evident in mice lacking CD4+ cells, and adoptive transfer of MAIT cells rescues immunodeficient Rag2-/-?C-/- mice from lethal Legionella infection. Protection is dependent on MR1, IFN-? and GM-CSF, but not IL-17A, TNF or perforin, and enhanced protection is detected earlier after infection of mice antigen-primed to boost MAIT cell numbers before infection. Our findings define a function for MAIT cells in protection against a major human pathogen and indicate a potential role for vaccination to enhance MAIT cell immunity.
Project description:We sought to describe in detail the consequences of MAIT cell activation using a transcriptomic approach to define the basic transcriptome of a MAIT cell in both humans and mice and to determine how this is modulated by activation. Fresh human peripheral blood cells were obtained from three donors. These were cultured for 6 hours with (‘stimulated’) or without (‘unstimulated’) 10 nM 5-OP-RU, magnetically enriched on MR1-tetramer+ cells, and flow-sorted for RNA sequencing of live CD3+TCR Valpha7.2+ MR1-5-OP-RU tetramer+ MAIT cells, and of unstimulated naïve live CD8+CD45RA+ T cells as a comparator cell type. For the murine samples we included within the same sequencing experiment live pulmonary CD3+45.2+19-MR1-5-OP-RU tetramer+ MAIT cells which were magnetically enriched and flow-sorted from the lungs of mice 7 days after infection with 1x104 CFU L. longbeachae (‘acute’), or at least 12 weeks post infection (‘resolution’) or 7 days after a second intranasal infection with 2x104 CFU L. longbeachae in mice that had recovered from infection 12 weeks previously (‘reinfection’). Live CD3+CD45.2+CD19-CD8+CD44-CD62L+ naïve T cells from uninfected mice were used as a comparator cell type. Overall design: Illumina sequencing of human and murine MR1-5-OP-RU tetramer+ MAIT cells in comparison with naïve CD8 T cells. 3 biological replicates of each of the following conditions: Human peripheral blood MAIT cell unstimulated. Human peripheral blood MAIT cells stimulated for 6 h with 5-OP-RU. Human peripheral blood CD8+45RA+ T cells. Murine pulmonary MAIT cells 7 days after legionella infection, 12 weeks after legionella infection, 7 days after reinfection with legionella, Murine naive pulmonary CD8+CD45+44-62L+ T cells. Full details of the study can be downloaded at https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/12/09/490649?rss=1
Project description:Mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are evolutionarily-conserved, innate-like lymphocytes which are abundant in human lungs and can contribute to protection against pulmonary bacterial infection. MAIT cells are also activated during human viral infections, yet it remains unknown whether MAIT cells play a significant protective or even detrimental role during viral infections in vivo. Using murine experimental challenge with two strains of influenza A virus, we show that MAIT cells accumulate and are activated early in infection, with upregulation of CD25, CD69 and Granzyme B, peaking at 5 days post-infection. Activation is modulated via cytokines independently of MR1. MAIT cell-deficient MR1-/- mice show enhanced weight loss and mortality to severe (H1N1) influenza. This is ameliorated by prior adoptive transfer of pulmonary MAIT cells in both immunocompetent and immunodeficient RAG2-/-γC-/- mice. Thus, MAIT cells contribute to protection during respiratory viral infections, and constitute a potential target for therapeutic manipulation.
Project description:Mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are "innate" T cells that express an invariant T-cell receptor ?-chain restricted by the nonclassical MHC class I molecule MHC-related protein 1 (MR1). A recent discovery that MR1 presents vitamin B metabolites, presumably from pathogenic and/or commensal bacteria, distinguishes MAIT cells from peptide- or lipid-recognizing ?? T cells in the immune system. MAIT cells are activated by a wide variety of bacterial strains in vitro, but their role in defense against infectious assaults in vivo remains largely unknown. To investigate how MAIT cells contribute to mucosal immunity in vivo, we used a murine model of pulmonary infection by using the live vaccine strain (LVS) of Francisella tularensis. In the early acute phase of infection, MAIT cells expanded robustly in the lungs, where they preferentially accumulated after reaching their peak expansion in the late phase of infection. Throughout the course of infection, MAIT cells produced the critical cytokines IFN-?, TNF-?, and IL-17A. Mechanistic studies showed that MAIT cells required both MR1 and IL-12 40 kDa subunit (IL-12p40) signals from infected antigen presenting cells to control F. tularensis LVS intracellular growth. Importantly, pulmonary F. tularensis LVS infection of MR1-deficient (MR1(-/-)) mice, which lack MAIT cells, revealed defects in early mucosal cytokine production, timely recruitment of IFN-?-producing CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells to the infected lungs, and control of pulmonary F. tularensis LVS growth. This study provides in vivo evidence demonstrating that MAIT cells are an important T-cell subset with activities that influence the innate and adaptive phases of mucosal immunity.
Project description:Mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are a unique innate T cell subset that is necessary for rapid recruitment of activated CD4+ T cells to the lungs after pulmonary F. tularensis LVS infection. Here, we investigated the mechanisms behind this effect. We provide evidence to show that MAIT cells promote early differentiation of CCR2-dependent monocytes into monocyte-derived DCs (Mo-DCs) in the lungs after F. tularensis LVS pulmonary infection. Adoptive transfer of Mo-DCs to MAIT cell-deficient mice (MR1-/- mice) rescued their defect in the recruitment of activated CD4+ T cells to the lungs. We further demonstrate that MAIT cell-dependent GM-CSF production stimulated monocyte differentiation in vitro, and that in vivo production of GM-CSF was delayed in the lungs of MR1-/- mice. Finally, GM-CSF-deficient mice exhibited a defect in monocyte differentiation into Mo-DCs that was phenotypically similar to MR1-/- mice. Overall, our data demonstrate that MAIT cells promote early pulmonary GM-CSF production, which drives the differentiation of inflammatory monocytes into Mo-DCs. Further, this delayed differentiation of Mo-DCs in MR1-/- mice was responsible for the delayed recruitment of activated CD4+ T cells to the lungs. These findings establish a novel mechanism by which MAIT cells function to promote both innate and adaptive immune responses.
Project description:Mucosal-associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells recognize vitamin B-based antigens presented by the non-polymorphic MHC class I related-1 molecule (MR1). Both MAIT T cell receptors (TCR) and MR1 are highly conserved among mammals, suggesting an important, and conserved, immune function. For many years, the antigens they recognize were unknown. The discovery that MR1 presents vitamin B-based small molecule ligands resulted in a rapid expansion of research in this area, which has yielded information on the role of MAIT cells in immune protection, autoimmune disease and recently in homeostasis and cancer. More recently, we have begun to appreciate the diverse nature of the small molecule ligands that can bind MR1, with several less potent antigens and small molecule drugs that can bind MR1 being identified. Complementary structural information has revealed the complex nature of interactions defining antigen recognition. Additionally, we now view MAIT cells (defined here as MR1-riboflavin-Ag reactive, TRAV1-2+ cells) as one subset of a broader family of MR1-reactive T cells (MR1T cells). Despite these advances, we still lack a complete understanding of how MR1 ligands are generated, presented and recognized in vivo. The biological relevance of these MR1 ligands and the function of MR1T cells in infection and disease warrants further investigation with new tools and approaches.
Project description:Mucosal Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells can sense intracellular infection by a broad array of pathogens. These cells are activated upon encountering microbial antigen(s) displayed by MR1 on the surface of an infected cell. Human MR1 undergoes alternative splicing. The full-length isoform, MR1A, can activate MAIT cells, while the function of the isoforms, MR1B and MR1C, are incompletely understood. In this report, we sought to characterize the expression and function of these splice variants. Using a transcriptomic analysis in conjunction with qPCR, we find that that MR1A and MR1B transcripts are widely expressed. However only MR1A can present mycobacterial antigen to MAIT cells. Coexpression of MR1B with MR1A decreases MAIT cell activation following bacterial infection. Additionally, expression of MR1B prior to MR1A lowers total MR1A abundance, suggesting competition between MR1A and MR1B for either ligands or chaperones required for folding and/or trafficking. Finally, we evaluated CD4/CD8 double positive thymocytes expressing surface MR1. Here, we find that relative expression of MR1A/MR1B transcript is associated with the prevalence of MR1?+?CD4/CD8 cells in the thymus. Our results suggest alternative splicing of MR1 represents a means of regulating MAIT activation in response to microbial ligand(s).
Project description:MHC-related protein 1 (MR1) is a highly conserved MHC class I-like molecule. Human and murine mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are restricted by MR1 and express an invariant T cell receptor. Even though MR1 protein expression on the cell surface has not been demonstrated in vivo or ex vivo, it is assumed that MR1 presents a bacterial antigen from the intestinal lumen to MAIT cells because MAIT cells are present in the lamina propria and their expansion is dependent on the presence of intestinal micro flora. The existence of bovine MAIT cells and MR1 has been demonstrated recently although ovine MAIT cells and MR1 have not yet been described. We cloned bovine and ovine MR1 transcripts, including splice variants, and identified an anti human MR1 antibody that recognizes cells transfected with the bovine homolog. Using this antibody, no MR1 staining was detected using cells freshly isolated from blood, thymus, spleen, colon, ileum, and lymph node. MAIT cells are known to be enriched in the CD4/CD8 double negative peripheral blood T cell population, but their relative abundance in different tissues is not known. Comparison of the amount of MAIT cell-specific TCR transcript to the amount of constant alpha chain transcript revealed that numbers of MAIT cells are low in neonates and increase by 3-weeks of age. In 3-month old animals, MAIT cells are abundant in spleen and less so in ileum, peripheral blood, lymph node, colon, and thymus.
Project description:Legionella longbeachae, found in soil and compost-derived products, is a globally underdiagnosed cause of Legionnaires' disease. We conducted a case-control study of L. longbeachae Legionnaires' disease in Canterbury, New Zealand. Case-patients were persons hospitalized with L. longbeachae pneumonia, and controls were persons randomly sampled from the electoral roll for the area served by the participating hospital. Among 31 cases and 172 controls, risk factors for Legionnaires' disease were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, history of smoking >10 years, and exposure to compost or potting mix. Gardening behaviors associated with L. longbeachae disease included having unwashed hands near the face after exposure to or tipping and troweling compost or potting mix. Mask or glove use was not protective among persons exposed to compost-derived products. Precautions against inhaling compost and attention to hand hygiene might effectively prevent L. longbeachae disease. Long-term smokers and those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should be particularly careful.
Project description:Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells typically express a TRAV1-2+ semi-invariant TCR? that enables recognition of bacterial, mycobacterial, and fungal riboflavin metabolites presented by MR1. MAIT cells are associated with immune control of bacterial and mycobacterial infections in murine models. Here, we report that a population of pro-inflammatory TRAV1-2+ CD8+ T cells are present in the airways and lungs of healthy individuals and are enriched in bronchoalveolar fluid of patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). High-throughput T cell receptor analysis reveals oligoclonal expansions of canonical and donor-unique TRAV1-2+ MAIT-consistent TCR? sequences within this population. Some of these cells demonstrate MR1-restricted mycobacterial reactivity and phenotypes suggestive of MAIT cell identity. These findings demonstrate enrichment of TRAV1-2+ CD8+ T cells with MAIT or MAIT-like features in the airways during active TB and suggest a role for these cells in the human pulmonary immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Project description:Mucosal associated invariant T cells (MAIT) are innate T lymphocytes that detect a large variety of bacteria and yeasts. This recognition depends on the detection of microbial compounds presented by the evolutionarily conserved major-histocompatibility-complex (MHC) class I molecule, MR1. Here we show that MAIT cells display cytotoxic activity towards MR1 overexpressing non-hematopoietic cells cocultured with bacteria. The NK receptor, CD161, highly expressed by MAIT cells, modulated the cytokine but not the cytotoxic response triggered by bacteria infected cells. MAIT cells are also activated by and kill epithelial cells expressing endogenous levels of MRI after infection with the invasive bacteria Shigella flexneri. In contrast, MAIT cells were not activated by epithelial cells infected by Salmonella enterica Typhimurium. Finally, MAIT cells are activated in human volunteers receiving an attenuated strain of Shigella dysenteriae-1 tested as a potential vaccine. Thus, in humans, MAIT cells are the most abundant T cell subset able to detect and kill bacteria infected cells.