• Defects in Antiviral T Cell Responses Inflicted by Aging-Associated miR-181a Deficiency

      Kim, Chulwoo; Jadhav, Rohit R; Gustafson, Claire E; Smithey, Megan J; Hirsch, Alec J; Uhrlaub, Jennifer L; Hildebrand, William H; Nikolich-Žugich, Janko; Weyand, Cornelia M; Goronzy, Jörg J; et al. (CELL PRESS, 2019-11-19)
      Generation of protective immunity to infections and vaccinations declines with age. Studies in healthy individuals have implicated reduced miR-181a expression in T cells as contributing to this defect. To understand the impact of miR-181a expression on antiviral responses, we examined LCMV infection in mice with miR-181ab1-deficient T cells. We found that miR-181a deficiency delays viral clearance, thereby biasing the immune response in favor of CD4 over CD8 T cells. Antigen-specific CD4 T cells in mice with miR-181a-deficient T cells expand more and have a broader TCR repertoire with preferential expansion of high-affinity T cells than in wild-type mice. Importantly, generation of antigen-specific miR-181a-deficient CD8 effector T cells is particularly impaired, resulting in lower frequencies of CD8 T cells in the liver even at time points when the infection has been cleared. Consistent with the mouse model, CD4 memory T cells in individuals infected with West Nile virus at older ages tend to be more frequent and of higher affinity.
    • The LCMV gp33-specific memory T cell repertoire narrows with age

      Bunztman, Adam; Vincent, Benjamin; Krovi, Harsha; Steele, Shaun; Frelinger, Jeffrey; Department of Immunobiology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 85724, USA; Departments of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA; Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA (BioMed Central, 2012)
      BACKGROUND:The memory response to LCMV in mice persists for months to years with only a small decrease in the number of epitope specific CD8 T cells. This long persistence is associated with resistance to lethal LCMV disease. In contrast to studies focused on the number and surface phenotype of the memory cells, relatively little attention has been paid to the diversity of TCR usage in these cells. CD8+ T cell responses with only a few clones of identical specificity are believed to be relatively ineffective, presumably due to the relative ease of virus escape. Thus, a broad polyclonal response is associated with an effective anti-viral CD8+ T cell response.RESULTS:In this paper we show that the primary CD8+ T cell response to the LCMV gp33-41 epitope is extremely diverse. Over time while the response remains robust in terms of the number of gp33-tetramer+ T cells, the diversity of the response becomes less so. Strikingly, by 26months after infection the response is dominated by a small number TCRbeta sequences. In addition, it is of note the gp33 specific CD8+ T cells sorted by high and low tetramer binding populations 15 and 22months after infection. High and low tetramer binding cells had equivalent diversity and were dominated by a small number of clones regardless of the time tested. A similar restricted distribution was seen in NP396 specific CD8+ T cells 26months after infection. The identical TCRVbeta sequences were found in both the tetramerhi and tetramerlo binding populations. Finally, we saw no evidence of public clones in the gp33-specific response. No CDR3 sequences were found in more than one mouse.CONCLUSIONS:These data show that following LCMV infection the CD8+ gp33-specific CD8 T cell response becomes highly restricted with enormous narrowing of the diversity. This narrowing of the repertoire could contribute to the progressively ineffective immune response seen in aging.