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J Virol. 2009 Sep;83(18):9068-78. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00141-09. Epub 2009 Jul 15.

Upregulation of interleukin 7 receptor alpha and programmed death 1 marks an epitope-specific CD8+ T-cell response that disappears following primary Epstein-Barr virus infection.

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  • 1CRUK Institute for Cancer Studies, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom.

Abstract

In immunocompetent individuals, the stability of the herpesvirus-host balance limits opportunities to study the disappearance of a virus-specific CD8(+) T-cell response. However, we noticed that in HLA-A 0201-positive infectious mononucleosis (IM) patients undergoing primary Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, the initial CD8 response targets three EBV lytic antigen-derived epitopes, YVLDHLIVV (YVL), GLCTLVAML (GLC), and TLDYKPLSV (TLD), but only the YVL and GLC reactivities persist long-term; the TLD response disappears within 10 to 27 months. While present, TLD-specific cells remained largely indistinguishable from YVL and GLC reactivities in many phenotypic and functional respects but showed unique temporal changes in two markers of T-cell fate, interleukin 7 receptor alpha (IL-7Ralpha; CD127) and programmed death 1 (PD-1). Thus, following the antigen-driven downregulation of IL-7Ralpha seen on all populations in acute IM, in every case, the TLD-specific population recovered expression unusually quickly post-IM. As well, in four of six patients studied, TLD-specific cells showed very strong PD-1 upregulation in the last blood sample obtained before the cells' disappearance. Our data suggest that the disappearance of this individual epitope reactivity from an otherwise stable EBV-specific response (i) reflects a selective loss of cognate antigen restimulation (rather than of IL-7-dependent signals) and (ii) is immediately preceded, and perhaps mediated, by PD-1 upregulation to unprecedented levels.

PMID:
19605492
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2738242
Free PMC Article
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