Shen H, Gonzalez-Juarbe N, Blanchette K, Crimmins G, Bergman MA, Isberg RR, Orihuela CJ, Dube PH
CD8(+) T cells specific to a single Yersinia pseudotuberculosis epitope restrict bacterial replication in the liver but fail to provide sterilizing immunity.
Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases. 2016-09-01; 43.289-96.
CD8(+) T cells use contact-dependent cytolysis of target cells to protect the host against intracellular pathogens. We have previously shown that CD8(+) T cells and perforin are required to protect against the extracellular pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Here we establish an experimental system where CD8(+) T cells specific to a single model antigen are the only memory response present at time of challenge. Using mice immunized with a vaccine strain of Listeria monocytogenes that expresses secreted ovalbumin (Lm-OVA), we show that OVA-specific CD8(+) T cells are generated and provide limited protection against challenge with virulent OVA(+)Y. pseudotuberculosis. Perforin expression by OVA-specific CD8(+) T cells was required, as Lm-OVA-immunized perforin-deficient mice showed higher bacterial burden as compared to Lm-OVA-immunized perforin-sufficient mice. Surprisingly, antigen-specific T cell protection waned over time, as Lm-OVA-immune mice eventually succumbed to Yersinia infection. Kinetic analysis of infection in mice with and without OVA-specific CD8(+) T cells revealed that bacterial numbers increased sharply in OVA-naïve mice until death, while OVA-immune mice held bacterial burden to a lower level throughout the duration of illness until death. Clonal analysis of bacterial populations in OVA-naïve and OVA-immune mice at distinct time points revealed equivalent and severe bottle-neck effects for bacteria in both sets of mice immediately after intravenous challenge, demonstrating a dominant role for other aspects of the immune system regardless of CD8(+) T cell status. These studies indicate that CD8(+) T cells against a single antigen can restrict Y. pseudotuberculosis colonization in a perforin-dependent manner, but ultimately are insufficient in their ability to provide sterilizing immunity and protect against death.
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