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Immunity. 2013 Nov 14;39(5):939-48. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.09.013.

Lung airway-surveilling CXCR3(hi) memory CD8(+) T cells are critical for protection against influenza A virus.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Inducing memory CD8(+) T cells specific for conserved antigens from influenza A virus (IAV) is a potential strategy for broadly protective vaccines. Here we show that memory CD8(+) T cells in the airways played an important role in early control of IAV. Expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR3 was critical for memory CD8(+) T cells to populate the airways during the steady state and vaccination approaches were designed to favor the establishment of memory CD8(+) T cells in the airways. Specifically, we found that interleukin-12 (IL-12) signaling shortly after immunization limited CXCR3 expression on memory CD8(+) T cells. Neutralization of IL-12 or adjuvants that did not induce high amounts of IL-12 enhanced CXCR3 expression, sustained airway localization of memory CD8(+) T cells, and resulted in superior protection against IAV.

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