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Stochastic expansions maintain the clonal stability of CD8+ T cell populations undergoing memory inflation driven by murine cytomegalovirus

Smith, Corinne J., Venturi, Vanessa, Quigley, Maire F., Turula, Holly, Gostick, Emma, Ladell, Kristin, Hill, Brenna J., Himelfarb, Danielle, Quinn, Kylie M., Greenaway, Hui Yee, Dang, Thurston H. Y., Seder, Robert A., Douek, Daniel C., Hill, Ann B., Davenport, Miles P., Price, David A. and Snyder, Christopher M. 2020. Stochastic expansions maintain the clonal stability of CD8+ T cell populations undergoing memory inflation driven by murine cytomegalovirus. Journal of Immunology 204 (1) , pp. 112-121. 10.4049/jimmunol.1900455

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CMV is an obligate and persistent intracellular pathogen that continually drives the production of highly differentiated virus-specific CD8+ T cells in an Ag-dependent manner, a phenomenon known as memory inflation. Extensive proliferation is required to generate and maintain inflationary CD8+ T cell populations, which are counterintuitively short-lived and typically exposed to limited amounts of Ag during the chronic phase of infection. An apparent discrepancy therefore exists between the magnitude of expansion and the requirement for ongoing immunogenic stimulation. To address this issue, we explored the clonal dynamics of memory inflation. First, we tracked congenically marked OT-I cell populations in recipient mice infected with murine CMV (MCMV) expressing the cognate Ag OVA. Irrespective of numerical dominance, stochastic expansions were observed in each population, such that dominant and subdominant OT-I cells were maintained at stable frequencies over time. Second, we characterized endogenous CD8+ T cell populations specific for two classic inflationary epitopes, M38 and IE3. Multiple clonotypes simultaneously underwent Ag-driven proliferation during latent infection with MCMV. In addition, the corresponding CD8+ T cell repertoires were stable over time and dominated by persistent clonotypes, many of which also occurred in more than one mouse. Collectively, these data suggest that stochastic encounters with Ag occur frequently enough to maintain oligoclonal populations of inflationary CD8+ T cells, despite intrinsic constraints on epitope display at individual sites of infection with MCMV.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: American Association of Immunologists
ISSN: 0022-1767
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 January 2020
Date of Acceptance: 16 October 2019
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2020 14:56

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