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Mucosal Immunol. 2017 Jan;10(1):260-270. doi: 10.1038/mi.2016.28. Epub 2016 Apr 6.

Vaccine-induced Th17 cells are established as resident memory cells in the lung and promote local IgA responses.

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Department of Infectious Disease Immunology, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen S, Denmark.


The ability to mount accelerated and efficient mucosal immune responses is critically important to prevent the establishment of many infections. Secretion of immunoglobulin A (IgA) is a key component in this first line of defense, but the underlying cellular mechanisms are still not completely understood. We have evaluated different routes of immunization and examined the requirements for IgA induction in the airway mucosa. We demonstrate that subcutaneous priming with a recombinant antigen in a T helper (Th)17-inducing adjuvant followed by airway boosting promotes high and sustained levels of IgA in the lungs. This response is associated with germinal center formation in the lung-draining lymph nodes. The lung IgA response is dependent on Th17 cells and absent if interleukin (IL)-17 is depleted or when priming with vaccines inducing only Th1 or Th2 responses. We used intravascular staining to demonstrate that IgA+ B cells and chemokine receptor 6 (CCR6)+Th17 cells are recruited to the lung parenchyma after the airway booster immunization. Once recruited to the lung parenchyma, the Th17 cells transform into resident lymphocytes that persist in the lung tissue for at least 10 weeks. Here, they facilitate the accelerated recruitment of T and B cells resulting in an accelerated IgA recall response to a second airway booster immunization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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