Author(s): Pedicord VA, Montalvo W, Leiner IM, Allison JP
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Abstract CTLA-4, an Ig superfamily molecule with homology to CD28, is one of the most potent negative regulators of T-cell responses. In vivo blockade of CTLA-4 exacerbates autoimmunity, enhances tumor-specific T-cell responses, and may inhibit the induction of T-cell anergy. Clinical trials of CTLA-4-blocking antibodies to augment T-cell responses to malignant melanoma are at an advanced stage; however, little is known about the effects of CTLA-4 blockade on memory CD8(+) T-cell responses and the formation and maintenance of long-term CD8(+) T-cell memory. In our studies, we show that during in vivo memory CD8(+) T-cell responses to Listeria monocytogenes infection, CTLA-4 blockade enhances bacterial clearance and increases memory CD8(+) T-cell expansion. This is followed by an accumulation of memory cells that are capable of producing the effector cytokines IFN-γ and TNF-α. We also demonstrate that in a vaccination setting, blocking CTLA-4 during CD8(+) T-cell priming leads to increased expansion and maintenance of antigen-specific memory CD8(+) T cells without adversely affecting the overall T-cell repertoire. This leads to an increase in memory cell effector function and improved protective immunity against further bacterial challenges. These results indicate that transient blockade of CTLA-4 enhances memory CD8(+) T-cell responses and support the possible use of CTLA-4-blocking antibodies during vaccination to augment memory formation and maintenance.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology