One long recognized feature of memory CD8 T cells is their continued, albeit slow, cytokine driven proliferation (so called "memory turnover"). Interestingly, memory CD8 T cell populations generated by experimental infection or vaccination can remain stable in numbers for long time periods in laboratory mice and recent evidence shows that memory populations are maintained for decades in humans. The stability of memory CD8 T cell populations is likely a key element of successful vaccination and much effort has been directed at understanding the cytokines (such as IL-7 and IL-15) that are essential for memory maintenance. However, these data also raise a conundrum-how are stable numbers of memory CD8 T cells maintained in the face of continued proliferation of this population? Clearly the host must have some way of "counting" memory cell numbers such that the proliferation of this population is balanced by equivalent death. A deeper understanding of the mechanisms controlling life and death during stable memory maintenance could not only reveal important new elements of immune system homeostasis but also provide means to enhance vaccine- induced memory or improve declining memory in the elderly. Despite the potential importance of this area, there are essentially no experimental data to address if, how and when CD8 T cells are selected for death to balance memory turnover. It seems apparent that this area of research has been stymied for lack of information identifying intermediates that are destined to die during memory turnover. Our long-term goal is to understand the molecular mediators resulting in balanced life and death during stable memory CD8 T cell maintenance. As detailed in the preliminary data we recently identified a novel CD8 T cell population representing ~20% of the memory pool. This population is characterized by the inability to produce effector cytokines such as IFN-3 in response to antigen- stimulation or to undergo substantial proliferation in response to in vivo antigen re-exposure. Importantly, we have direct evidence that this novel population can be generated from Tcm CD8 T cells during homeostatic proliferation in vivo. The immediate goal of this R21application is to test the hypothesis that this novel memory CD8 T cell population represents the T memory death intermediate (Tmdi). We will address this hypothesis through the following specific aims:
Specific Aim 1. Determine if CD62LloCD27lo cytokine non-producer populations are T memory death intermediates (Tmdi).
Specific Aim 2. Determine the molecular signature of putative T memory death intermediates (Tmdi).

Public Health Relevance

Memory T cells are generated after infections or vaccination and can protect the host from reinfection with the same pathogen. Interestingly, memory T cell populations undergo continual cell division but are maintained at stable numbers for long periods of time. The goal of this proposal is to understand how memory T cell populations are counted so that this information can be used to enhance immunity after vaccination.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
5R21AI096850-02
Application #
8416310
Study Section
Cellular and Molecular Immunology - A Study Section (CMIA)
Program Officer
Kelly, Halonna R
Project Start
2012-02-01
Project End
2014-01-31
Budget Start
2013-02-01
Budget End
2014-01-31
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$225,990
Indirect Cost
$75,990
Name
University of Iowa
Department
Microbiology/Immun/Virology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
062761671
City
Iowa City
State
IA
Country
United States
Zip Code
52242
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Starbeck-Miller, Gabriel R; Xue, Hai-Hui; Harty, John T (2014) IL-12 and type I interferon prolong the division of activated CD8 T cells by maintaining high-affinity IL-2 signaling in vivo. J Exp Med 211:105-20
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Rai, Deepa; Martin, Matthew D; Badovinac, Vladimir P (2014) The longevity of memory CD8 T cell responses after repetitive antigen stimulations. J Immunol 192:5652-9
Starbeck-Miller, Gabriel R; Badovinac, Vladimir P; Barber, Daniel L et al. (2014) Cutting edge: Expression of Fc?RIIB tempers memory CD8 T cell function in vivo. J Immunol 192:35-9
Richer, Martin J; Nolz, Jeffrey C; Harty, John T (2013) Pathogen-specific inflammatory milieux tune the antigen sensitivity of CD8(+) T cells by enhancing T cell receptor signaling. Immunity 38:140-52
Slutter, Bram; Pewe, Lecia L; Lauer, Peter et al. (2013) Cutting edge: rapid boosting of cross-reactive memory CD8 T cells broadens the protective capacity of the Flumist vaccine. J Immunol 190:3854-8