In vivo antigen expression regulates CD4 T cell differentiation and vaccine efficacy against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Helena Strand ClemmensenRasmus Mortensen


New vaccines are urgently needed against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), which kills more than 1.4 million people each year. CD4 T cell differentiation is a key determinant of protective immunity against Mtb, but it is not fully understood how host-pathogen interactions shape individual antigen-specific T cell populations and their protective capacity. Here, we investigated the immunodominant Mtb antigen, MPT70, which is upregulated in response to IFN-γ or nutrient/oxygen deprivation of in vitro infected macrophages. Using a murine aerosol infection model, we compared the in vivo expression kinetics of MPT70 to a constitutively expressed antigen, ESAT-6, and analysed their corresponding CD4 T cell phenotype and vaccine-protection. For wild-type Mtb, we found that in vivo expression of MPT70 was delayed compared to ESAT-6. This delayed expression was associated with induction of less differentiated MPT70-specific CD4 T cells but, compared to ESAT-6, also reduced protection after vaccination. In contrast, infection with an MPT70-overexpressing Mtb strain promoted highly differentiated KLRG1 + CX3CR1 + CD4 T cells with limited lung-homing capacity. Importantly, this differentiated phenotype could be prevented by vaccination and,...Continue Reading

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flow cytometry

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