Antifungal Tc17 cells are durable and stable, persisting as long-lasting vaccine memory without plasticity towards IFNγ cells
by Som Gowda Nanjappa, Andrew J. McDermott, J. Scott Fites, Kevin Galles, Marcel Wüthrich, George S. Deepe Jr., Bruce S. KleinOur understanding of persistence and plasticity of IL-17A+ memory T cells is clouded by conflicting results in models analyzing T helper 17 cells. We studied memory IL-17A+ CD8+ T-cell (Tc17) homeostasis, persistence and plasticity during fungal vaccine immunity. We report that vaccine-induced memory Tc17 cells persist with high fidelity to the type 17 phenotype. Tc17 cells persisted durably for a year as functional IL-17A+ memory cells without converting to IFNγ+ (Tc1) cells, although they produced multiple type I cytokines in the absence of residual vaccine antigen. Memory Tc17 cells were canonical CD8+ T cells with phenotypic features distinct from Tc1 cells, and were Ror(γ)thi, TCF-1hi, T-betlo and EOMESlo. In investigating the bases of Tc17 persistence, we observed that memory Tc17 cells had much higher levels of basal homeostatic proliferation than did Tc1 cells. Conversely, memory Tc17 cells displayed lower levels of anti-apoptotic molecules Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL than Tc1 cells, yet were resistant to apoptosis. Tc1 cells required Bcl-2 for their survival, but Bcl-2 was dispensable for the maintenance of Tc17 cells. Tc17 and Tc1 cells displayed different requirements for HIF-1α during effector differentiation and sustenance and memory persistence. Thus, antifungal vaccination induces durable and stable memory Tc17 cells with distinct requirements for long-term persistence that distinguish them from memory Tc1 cells.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article
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