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Dendritic cell inhibition is connected to exhaustion of CD8+ T cell polyfunctionality during chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

Rodrigue-Gervais IG, Rigsby H, Jouan L, Sauvé D, Sékaly RP, Willems B, Lamarre D

Département de Microbiologie et Immunologie, Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Although chronic viral infections have evolved mechanisms to interfere with aspects of pathogen recognition by dendritic cells (DCs), the role that these APCs play in virus-specific T cell exhaustion is unclear. Herein we report that NS3-dependent suppression of Toll/IL-1 domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-beta- and IFN-beta promoter stimulator-1- but not MyD88-coupled pathogen-recognition receptor-induced synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-12 and TNF-alpha) from DCs by hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a distinctive feature of a subgroup of chronically infected patients. The result is decreased CD8(+) T cell polyfunctional capacities (production of IFN-gamma, IL-2, TNF-alpha, and CD107a mobilization) that is confined to HCV specificities and that relates to the extent to which HCV inhibits DC responses in infected subjects, despite comparable plasma viral load, helper T cell environments, and inhibitory programmed death 1 receptor/ligand signals. Thus, subjects in whom pathogen-recognition receptor signaling in DCs was intact exhibited enhanced polyfunctionality (i.e., IL-2-secretion and CD107a). In addition, differences between HCV-infected patients in the ability of CD8(+) T cells to activate multiple functions in response to HCV did not apply to CD8(+) T cells specific for other immune-controlled viruses (CMV, EBV, and influenza). Our findings identify reversible virus evasion of DC-mediated innate immunity as an additional important factor that impacts the severity of polyfunctional CD8(+) T cell exhaustion during a chronic viral infection.

J. Immunol. 2010;184(6):3134-44.

Pubmed ID: 20173023

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