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Immunity. 2006 Oct;25(4):665-75. Epub 2006 Oct 5.

Innate immune activation and CD4+ T cell priming during respiratory fungal infection.

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Infectious Diseases Service, Immunology Program, Sloan Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, Box 9, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Aspergillus fumigatus is a mold that causes a spectrum of diseases, including lethal lung infections in immunocompromised humans and allergic asthma in atopic individuals. T helper 1 (Th1) CD4(+) T cells protect against invasive A. fumigatus infections whereas Th2 CD4(+) T cells exacerbate asthma upon inhalation of A. fumigatus spores. Herein, we demonstrate that A. fumigatus-specific T cells were rapidly primed in lymph nodes draining the lung and fully differentiated into interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-producing Th1 CD4(+) T cells upon arrival in the airways. T-bet induction in A. fumigatus-specific CD4(+) T cells was enhanced by MyD88-mediated signals in draining lymph nodes, but T cell proliferation, trafficking, and Th1 differentiation in the airways were Toll-like receptor (TLR) and MyD88 independent. Our studies demonstrate that CD4(+) T cell differentiation during respiratory fungal infection occurs incrementally, with TLR-mediated signals in the lymph node enhancing the potential for IFN-gamma production whereas MyD88-independent signals promote Th1 differentiation in the lung.

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