The yellow fever virus vaccine induces a broad and polyfunctional human memory CD8+ T cell response.

Emory Vaccine Center and the Hope Clinic, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30022, USA.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.36). 11/2009; 183(12):7919-30. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.0803903
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The live yellow fever vaccine (YF-17D) offers a unique opportunity to study memory CD8(+) T cell differentiation in humans following an acute viral infection. We have performed a comprehensive analysis of the virus-specific CD8(+) T cell response using overlapping peptides spanning the entire viral genome. Our results showed that the YF-17D vaccine induces a broad CD8(+) T cell response targeting several epitopes within each viral protein. We identified a dominant HLA-A2-restricted epitope in the NS4B protein and used tetramers specific for this epitope to track the CD8(+) T cell response over a 2 year period. This longitudinal analysis showed the following. 1) Memory CD8(+) T cells appear to pass through an effector phase and then gradually down-regulate expression of activation markers and effector molecules. 2) This effector phase was characterized by down-regulation of CD127, Bcl-2, CCR7, and CD45RA and was followed by a substantial contraction resulting in a pool of memory T cells that re-expressed CD127, Bcl-2, and CD45RA. 3) These memory cells were polyfunctional in terms of degranulation and production of the cytokines IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, IL-2, and MIP-1beta. 4) The YF-17D-specific memory CD8(+) T cells had a phenotype (CCR7(-)CD45RA(+)) that is typically associated with terminally differentiated cells with limited proliferative capacity (T(EMRA)). However, these cells exhibited robust proliferative potential showing that expression of CD45RA may not always associate with terminal differentiation and, in fact, may be an indicator of highly functional memory CD8(+) T cells generated after acute viral infections.

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    ABSTRACT: The attenuated yellow fever (YF) vaccine (YF-17D) was developed in the 1930s, yet little is known about the protective mechanisms underlying its efficiency. In this study, we analyzed the relative contribution of cell-mediated and humoral immunity to the vaccine-induced protection in a murine model of YF-17D infection. Using different strains of knockout mice, we found that CD4(+) T cells, B cells, and Abs are required for full clinical protection of vaccinated mice, whereas CD8(+) T cells are dispensable for long-term survival after intracerebral challenge. However, by analyzing the immune response inside the infected CNS, we observed an accelerated T cell influx into the brain after intracerebral challenge of vaccinated mice, and this T cell recruitment correlated with improved virus control in the brain. Using mice deficient in B cells we found that, in the absence of Abs, YF vaccination can still induce some antiviral protection, and in vivo depletion of CD8(+) T cells from these animals revealed a pivotal role for CD8(+) T cells in controlling virus replication in the absence of a humoral response. Finally, we demonstrated that effector CD8(+) T cells also contribute to viral control in the presence of circulating YF-specific Abs. To our knowledge, this is the first time that YF-specific CD8(+) T cells have been demonstrated to possess antiviral activity in vivo. Copyright © 2014 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is transferred to humans by ticks. The virus causes tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) with symptoms such as meningitis and meningoencephalitis. About one third of the patients suffer from long-lasting sequelae after clearance of the infection. Studies of the immune response during TBEV-infection are essential to the understanding of host responses to TBEV-infection and for the development of therapeutics. Here, we studied in detail the primary CD8 T cell response to TBEV in patients with acute TBE. Peripheral blood CD8 T cells mounted a considerable response to TBEV-infection as assessed by Ki67 and CD38 co-expression. These activated cells showed a CD45RA-CCR7-CD127- phenotype at day 7 after hospitalization, phenotypically defining them as effector cells. An immunodominant HLA-A2-restricted TBEV epitope was identified and utilized to study the characteristics and temporal dynamics of the antigen-specific response. The functional profile of TBEV-specific CD8 T cells was dominated by variants of mono-functional cells as the effector response matured. Antigen-specific CD8 T cells predominantly displayed a distinct Eomes+Ki67+T-bet+ effector phenotype at the peak of the response, which transitioned to an Eomes-Ki67-T-bet+ phenotype as the infection resolved and memory was established. These transcription factors thus characterize and discriminate stages of the antigen-specific T cell response during acute TBEV-infection. Altogether, CD8 T cells responded strongly to acute TBEV infection and passed through an effector phase, prior to gradual differentiation into memory cells with distinct transcription factor expression-patterns throughout the different phases.
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