Viral coinfection promotes tuberculosis immunopathogenesis by type I IFN signaling-dependent impediment of Th1 cell pulmonary influx

Tae Gun Kang, Kee Woong Kwon, Kyungsoo Kim, Insuk Lee, Myeong Joon Kim, Sang Jun Ha, Sung Jae Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), is often exacerbated upon coinfection, but the underlying immunological mechanisms remain unclear. Here, to elucidate these mechanisms, we use an Mtb and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus coinfection model. Viral coinfection significantly suppresses Mtb-specific IFN-γ production, with elevated bacterial loads and hyperinflammation in the lungs. Type I IFN signaling blockade rescues the Mtb-specific IFN-γ response and ameliorates lung immunopathology. Single-cell sequencing, tissue immunofluorescence staining, and adoptive transfer experiments indicate that viral infection-induced type I IFN signaling could inhibit CXCL9/10 production in myeloid cells, ultimately impairing pulmonary migration of Mtb-specific CD4+ T cells. Thus, our study suggests that augmented and sustained type I IFNs by virus coinfection prior to the pulmonary localization of Mtb-specific Th1 cells exacerbates TB immunopathogenesis by impeding the Mtb-specific Th1 cell influx. Our study highlights a negative function of viral coinfection-induced type I IFN responses in delaying Mtb-specific Th1 responses in the lung.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3155
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (2019R1A2C2003204 to S.J.S.; 2017R1A5A1014560, 2019M3A9B6065221 to S.H.). This study was also supported by the Korean Health Technology R&D Project (HV20C0144 to S.J.S. and S.H.) through the Korean Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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