Differential expression of Ly6C and T-bet distinguish effector and memory Th1 CD4(+) cell properties during viral infection.

Department of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
Immunity (Impact Factor: 19.75). 10/2011; 35(4):633-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2011.08.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: eLife digest The influenza virus is thought to cause illness in up to 10% of adults and 30% of children each year worldwide. Most of these cases resolve on their own and don’t require treatment, but three to five million people are hospitalized and up to half a million people die each year. Unfortunately, the vaccines currently available to protect against influenza only target particular varieties or “strains” of the virus. The strains that circulate vary from year-to-year so it is necessary to develop new influenza vaccines every year. However, it is difficult to correctly predict which strains will circulate, so a more effective solution would be to develop a new vaccine that can help the body defend itself against many, or ideally any influenza strain. During a viral infection, a type of immune cell in the host can specialize into two different types of cells to help fight the virus: T helper 1 cells and CD4 T follicular helper cells. T helper 1 cells help to kill host cells that have become infected. CD4 T follicular helper cells promote the production of proteins called antibodies, which identify and neutralize the virus. Here, Marshall et al. studied how T helper 1 cells and CD4 T follicular helper cells form in mice suffering from a lung infection similar to influenza. It was already known that a protein called transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) helps the immune response to mount an effective defense against an infection without causing too much harm to the host. Marshall et al. show that TGF-β increases the number of CD4 T follicular helper cells in the mice by suppressing the production of another protein—called IL-2—on the surface of CD4 T cells. Treating mice lacking the ability to detect TGF-β with a drug that blocks a protein controlled by IL-2 also allows more CD4 T follicular helper cells to be produced. Marshall et al.’s findings reveal that TGF-β is involved in controlling the balance of T helper 1 cells and CD4 T follicular helper cells produced during viral infections of the respiratory tract. Since TGF-β also has other roles in immune responses against viruses, it is now an attractive target for the development of a vaccine that may protect us against all strains of the influenza virus. DOI:
    eLife Sciences 01/2015; 4. DOI:10.7554/eLife.04851 · 8.52 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: 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 γ-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-γ, 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-γ secretion. Marked heterogeneity was observed in the CD4(+) T cells, based on lymphocyte Ag 6C (Ly6C) expression. Ly6C expression positively correlated with IFN-γ, TNF-α, 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. Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: T follicular helper (Tfh) cells are the subset of CD4 T helper cells that are required for generation and maintenance of germinal center reactions and the generation of long-lived humoral immunity. This specialized T helper subset provides help to cognate B cells via their expression of CD40 ligand, IL-21, IL-4, and other molecules. Tfh cells are characterized by their expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR5, expression of the transcriptional repressor Bcl6, and their capacity to migrate to the follicle and promote germinal center B cell responses. Until recently, it remained unclear whether Tfh cells differentiated into memory cells and whether they maintain Tfh commitment at the memory phase. This review will highlight several recent studies that support the idea of Tfh-committed CD4 T cells at the memory stage of the immune response. The implication of these findings is that memory Tfh cells retain their capacity to recall their Tfh-specific effector functions upon reactivation to provide help for B cell responses and play an important role in prime and boost vaccination or during recall responses to infection. The markers that are useful for distinguishing Tfh effector and memory cells, as well as the limitations of using these markers will be discussed. Tfh effector and memory generation, lineage maintenance, and plasticity relative to other T helper lineages (Th1, Th2, Th17, etc.) will also be discussed. Ongoing discoveries regarding the maintenance and lineage stability versus plasticity of memory Tfh cells will improve strategies that utilize CD4 T cell memory to modulate antibody responses during prime and boost vaccination.
    Frontiers in Immunology 02/2015; 6. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2015.00016

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 19, 2014