Highly competent, non-exhausted CD8+ T cells continue to tightly control pathogen load throughout chronic <i>Trypanosoma cruzi</i> infection

by Angela D. Pack, Matthew H. Collins, Charles S. Rosenberg, Rick L. Tarleton

Trypanosoma cruzi infection is characterized by chronic parasitism of non-lymphoid tissues and is rarely eliminated despite potent adaptive immune responses. This failure to cure has frequently been attributed to a loss or impairment of anti-T. cruzi T cell responses over time, analogous to the T cell dysfunction described for other persistent infections. In this study, we have evaluated the role of CD8+ T cells during chronic T. cruzi infection (>100 dpi), with a focus on sites of pathogen persistence. Consistent with repetitive antigen exposure during chronic infection, parasite-specific CD8+ T cells from multiple organs expressed high levels of KLRG1, but exhibit a preferential accumulation of CD69+ cells in skeletal muscle, indicating recent antigen encounter in a niche for T. cruzi persistence. A significant proportion of CD8+ T cells in the muscle also produced IFNγ, TNFα and granzyme B in situ, an indication of their detection of and functional response to T. cruzi in vivo. CD8+ T cell function was crucial for the control of parasite burden during chronic infection as exacerbation of parasite load was observed upon depletion of this population. Attempts to improve T cell function by blocking PD-1 or IL-10, potential negative regulators of T cells, failed to increase IFNγ and TNFα production or to enhance T. cruzi clearance. These results highlight the capacity of the CD8+ T cell population to retain essential in vivo function despite chronic antigen stimulation and support a model in which CD8+ T cell dysfunction plays a negligible role in the ability of Trypanosoma cruzi to persist in mice.

Tratto da: www.plos.org
Note sul Copyright: Articles and accompanying materials published by PLOS on the PLOS Sites, unless otherwise indicated, are licensed by the respective authors of such articles for use and distribution by you subject to citation of the original source in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.