Steady-state, therapeutic, and helminth-induced IL-4 compromise protective CD8 T cell bystander activation

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Steady-state, therapeutic, and helminth-induced IL-4 compromise protective CD8 T cell bystander activation

Authors

Maurice, N. J.; Dalzell, T. S.; Jarjour, N. N.; DePauw, T. A.; Jameson, S. C.

Abstract

Memory CD8 T cells (Tmem) can be activated into innate-like killers by cytokines like IL-12, IL-15, and/or IL-18; but mechanisms regulating this phenomenon (termed bystander activation) are not fully resolved. We found strain-intrinsic deficiencies in bystander activation using specific pathogen-free mice, whereby basal IL-4 signals antagonize IL-18 sensing. We show that therapeutic and helminth-induced IL-4 impairs protective bystander-mediated responses against pathogens. However, this IL-4/IL-18 axis does not completely abolish bystander activation but rather tunes the expression of direct versus indirect mediators of cytotoxicity (granzymes and interferon-{gamma}, respectively). We show that antigen-experience overrides strain-specific deficiencies in bystander activation, leading to uniform IL-18 receptor expression and enhanced capacity for bystander activation/cytotoxicity. Our data highlight that bystander activation is not a binary process but tuned/deregulated by other cytokines that are elevated by contemporaneous infections. Further, our findings underscore the importance of antigen-experienced Tmem to dissect the contributions of bystander Tmem in health and disease.

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