Cytokine signaling control of naïve CD8⁺ T-cell homeostasis
Author(s)Palmer, Megan Joan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Biological Engineering.
Douglas A. Lauffenburger.
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Mounting effective adaptive immune responses requires a large naive T-cell population with a wide diversity of target specificity. Naive CD8⁺ T-cells depend on T-Cell Receptor (TCR) and ye cytokine signals for their homeostatic survival and proliferation, but differences in sensitivity to these homeostatic signals among T-cell clones have been generally attributed to differences in TCR specificity. This thesis describes the novel identification and characterization of intrinsic heterogeneity in the TCR-independent abilities of CD8⁺ T-cells to respond to homeostatic ye cytokines, and survive in their absence. These differences were predictably marked by expression of CD5, a surrogate marker of TCR:spMHC binding avidity. In vitro, CD5I T-cells proliferate more robustly to saturating levels of the y, interleukin (IL) cytokines IL-7, IL-2 and IL-15, while CD5" cells have prolonged survival in the absence of dedicated homeostatic cues. IL-7 is the most critical cytokine for naive T-cell homeostasis, and a detailed analysis of IL-7 signaling revealed that IL-7 responsiveness is primarily determined by IL-7 receptor (IL-7R) expression, which is correlated with CD5 expression. While T-cells share common relationships between IL-7-induced signaling and responses, the signaling network encodes distinct signaling requirements for survival, proliferation and CD8a induction responses. As a result, all T-cells survive when treated with high doses of IL-7, but only cells with a critically high level of IL-7R expression can induce sufficient signaling to proliferate. IL-7 depletion also scales with IL-7R expression, and the 'overconsumption' of IL-7 by CD5hiIL-7Rh T-cells can compromise their prolonged survival. In vivo, lymphoreplete mice preserve the homeostatic diversity of CD5 expression by maintaining physiological IL-7 levels that promote neither preferential proliferation nor survival of CD5hiIL-7Rh' and CD5'"IL-7R'" T-cells. However, elevated IL-7 levels in lymphopenic mice or lymphoreplete mice administered with exogenous IL-7 yield preferential expansion of CD5hiIL-7Rh T-cell subsets, elevating the mean CD5 expression of the T-cell repertoire. This demonstration of functional intrinsic heterogeneities in IL-7R expression between CD8⁺ T-cells supports a previously under-appreciated role for IL-7 in maintaining not only the size but also the diversity of the T-cell repertoire. Furthermore, the exemplified potential for preferential expansion of more auto-reactive CD5"I T-cells subsets has important implications for the design of cytokine therapies.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Biological Engineering, 2010.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 191-209).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Biological Engineering.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biological Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology