Memory-like CD8+ T cells expressing eomesodermin are a subset of innate T cells initially identified in a number of genetically modified mice, and also exist in wild mice and human. The acquisition of memory phenotype and function by these T cells is dependent on IL–4 produced by PLZF+ innate T cells; however, their physiologic function is still not known. Here we found that these IL-4-induced innate CD8+ T cells are critical for accelerating the control of chronic virus infection. In CIITA-transgenic mice, which have a substantial population of IL-4-induced innate CD8+ T cells, this population facilitated rapid control of viremia and induction of functional anti-viral T-cell responses during infection with chronic form of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. Characteristically, anti-viral innate CD8+ T cells accumulated sufficiently during early phase of infection. They produced a robust amount of IFN-γ and TNF-α with enhanced expression of a degranulation marker. Furthermore, this finding was confirmed in wild-type mice. Taken together, the results from our study show that innate CD8+ T cells works as an early defense mechanism against chronic viral infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology