Regulatory T cells shape the resident memory T cell response to virus infection in the tissues.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), Volume 192, Issue 2, p.683-90 (2014)


2013, 2014, Center-Authored Paper, Comparative Medicine Core Facility, Immune Monitoring Core Facility, January 2014, Shared Resources, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division


Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are well known for their role in dampening the immune responses to self-Ags and, thereby, limiting autoimmunity. However, they also must permit immune responses to occur against foreign infectious agents. Using a mouse model of West Nile virus infection, we examined the role of Tregs in the generation of effector and memory T cell responses in the secondary lymphoid organs, as well as the infected tissues. We found that Treg numbers and activation increased in both the secondary lymphoid organs and CNS postinfection. Using Foxp3(DTR) knock-in mice, we found that Treg-deficient mice had increased Ag-driven production of IFN-γ from both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells in the spleen and CNS during the effector phase. In mice lacking Tregs, there were greater numbers of short-lived effector CD8(+) T cells in the spleen during the peak of the immune response, but the memory CD8(+) T cell response was impaired. Specifically, we demonstrate that Treg-dependent production of TGF-β results in increased expression of CD103 on CD8(+) T cells, thereby allowing for a large pool of resident memory T cells to be maintained in the brain postinfection.