Microbes Infect. 2012 Aug 1. [Epub ahead of print]
IL-7 and IL-15 does not synergize during CD8 T cell recall response against an obligate intracellular parasite
Bharda R, Khan IA.
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20037, USA.
Long-term protection against Toxoplasma gondii is dependent on robust CD8(+) T cell immunity. In the absence of this response, the host is unable to maintain chronicity, which results in recrudescence of infection and possible death. Factors needed for the persistence of protective CD8(+) T cells against the parasite need to be evaluated. Previous studies from our laboratory have reported that synergism between γ chain cytokines like IL-7 and IL-15 is critical for the generation of CD8(+) T cell response needed for protection during acute infection. In this study we report that the situation is different during the recall response where CD8(+) T cell response is almost entirely dependent on IL-15, with IL-7 at best playing a minor role. In the absence of IL-15, CD8(+) T cells fail to respond optimally to parasitic re-challenge and hosts are unable to control their replication, which leads to their death. Thus T. gondii infection may represent a unique situation where CD8(+) T cell response during secondary challenge is primarily dependent on IL-15 with other γ chain cytokines having nominal effect. These findings provide important information regarding factors involved in the generation of protective immunity against T. gondii with strong implications in developing immunotherapeutic agents against the pathogen.