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Blood. 2009 Mar 5;113(10):2256-64. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-03-148809. Epub 2008 Oct 23.

A critical role for direct TLR2-MyD88 signaling in CD8 T-cell clonal expansion and memory formation following vaccinia viral infection.

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Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.


Recent advances have suggested a crucial role of the innate immunity in shaping adaptive immune responses. How activation of innate immunity promotes adaptive T-cell responses to pathogens in vivo is not fully understood. It has been thought that Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated control of adaptive T-cell responses is mainly achieved by the engagement of TLRs on antigen-presenting cells to promote their maturation and function. In this study, we showed that direct TLR2-myeloid differentiating factor 88 (MyD88) signaling in CD8 T cells was also required for their efficient clonal expansion by promoting the survival of activated T cells on vaccinia viral infection in vivo. Effector CD8 T cells that lacked direct TLR2-MyD88 signaling did not survive the contraction phase to differentiate into long-lived memory cells. Furthermore, we observed that direct TLR2 ligation on CD8 T cells promoted CD8 T-cell proliferation and survival in vitro in a manner dependent on the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt pathway activation and that activation of Akt controlled memory cell formation in vivo. These results identify a critical role for intrinsic TLR2-MyD88 signaling and PI3K-Akt pathway activation in CD8 T-cell clonal expansion and memory formation in vivo and could lead to the development of new vaccine approaches.

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