[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemokines have a central role in regulating processes essential to the immune function of T cells, such as their migration within lymphoid tissues and targeting of pathogens in sites of inflammation. Here we track T cells using multi-photon microscopy to demonstrate that the chemokine CXCL10 enhances the ability of CD8+ T cells to control the pathogen Toxoplasma gondii in the brains of chronically infected mice. This chemokine boosts T-cell function in two different ways: it maintains the effector T-cell population in the brain and speeds up the average migration speed without changing the nature of the walk statistics. Notably, these statistics are not Brownian; rather, CD8+ T-cell motility in the brain is well described by a generalized Lévy walk. According to our model, this unexpected feature enables T cells to find rare targets with more than an order of magnitude more efficiency than Brownian random walkers. Thus, CD8+ T-cell behaviour is similar to Lévy strategies reported in organisms ranging from mussels to marine predators and monkeys, and CXCL10 aids T cells in shortening the average time taken to find rare targets.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toxoplasma gondii is a major cause of ocular disease, which can lead to permanent vision loss in humans. T cells are critically involved in parasite control, but little is known about the molecules that promote T-cell trafficking and migration in the retina. Thus, the aim of this study was to image and dissect the T-cell response during chronic toxoplasmic retinochoroiditis.
C57BL/6 mice were infected with the Me49 strain of T. gondii, and T cells that infiltrated the eye were analyzed by flow cytometry and imaged using multiphoton microscopy. IFN-γ, CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCR3 mRNA levels were measured by real-time PCR. To investigate the role of CXCL10, mice were treated with anti-CXCL10 antibodies, and histopathology and immunohistochemistry were performed to monitor changes in pathology, cellular infiltration, and parasite burden in the eye.
Infection with T. gondii leads to the infiltration of highly activated motile T cells into the eye. These cells express CXCR3 and are capable of producing IFN-γ and TNF-α, and CD8+ T cells express granzyme B. The expression of CXCL9 and CXCL10 in the retina was significantly upregulated during chronic infection. Treatment of chronically infected mice with anti-CXCL10 antibodies led to decreases in the numbers of CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T cells and the amount of IFN-γ mRNA expression in the retina and an increase in replicating parasites and ocular pathology.
The maintenance of the T-cell response and the control of T. gondii in the eye during chronic infection is dependent on CXCL10.