Author(s): Bhadra R, Gigley JP, Khan IA
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Abstract We reported earlier that during chronic toxoplasmosis CD8(+) T cells become functionally exhausted with concomitant PD-1 upregulation, leading to eventual host mortality. However, how immune exhaustion specifically mediates attrition of CD8 polyfunctionality, a hallmark of potent T-cell response, during persistent infections has not been addressed. In this study, we demonstrate that PD-1 is preferentially expressed on polyfunctional memory CD8(+) T cells, which renders them susceptible to apoptosis. In vitro blockade of the PD-1-PD-L1 pathway dramatically reduces apoptosis of polyfunctional and interferon γ(+)/granzyme B(-) memory but not effector CD8(+) T cells. In summary, the present report underscores the critical role of the PD-1-PD-L1 pathway in mediating attrition of this important CD8(+) T-cell subset and addresses the mechanistic basis of how αPD-L1 therapy reinvigorates polyfunctional CD8 response during chronic infections. The conclusions of this study can have profound immunotherapeutic implications in combating recrudescent toxoplasmosis as well other chronic infections.
This article was published in J Infect Dis
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology