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Infect Immun. 2018 Apr 23;86(5). pii: e00117-18. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00117-18. Print 2018 May.

Interleukin-18 Is Critical for Mucosa-Associated Invariant T Cell Gamma Interferon Responses to Francisella Species In Vitro but Not In Vivo.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Mycobacterial Diseases and Cellular Immunology, Division of Bacterial, Parasitic and Allergenic Products, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.
2
Laboratory of Mycobacterial Diseases and Cellular Immunology, Division of Bacterial, Parasitic and Allergenic Products, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA siobhan.cowley@fda.hhs.gov.

Abstract

Mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are a subset of innate T cells that express a semi-invariant Vα chain paired with limited Vβ chains. MAIT cells are activated by riboflavin metabolite derivatives presented by the nonpolymorphic major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I)-like molecule MR1. The precise mechanisms required to activate MAIT cells are an area of intense interest. Here we used two closely related intracellular pathogens with distinct inflammasome activation phenotypes to probe the role of innate cytokines in MAIT cell activation. Using an in vitro assay containing transgenic murine MAIT cells, we show that macrophages infected with Francisella novicida, a strong inflammasome activator, released high levels of interleukin-18 (IL-18) and stimulated high levels of MAIT cell gamma interferon (IFN-γ) through a partially MR1-independent pathway. In contrast, macrophages infected with Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS), a weak inflammasome activator, generated little IL-18 and stimulated low MAIT cell IFN-γ through an MR1-dependent pathway. By manipulating the quantities of IL-18 in these cultures, we show that the IL-18 concentration is sufficient to influence the magnitude of MAIT cell IFN-γ production. Correspondingly, infected IL-18-deficient macrophages failed to induce substantial MAIT cell IFN-γ. In contrast, we found that MAIT cell IFN-γ production in the lungs of IL-18-deficient mice was not significantly different from that in WT mice during F. tularensis LVS pulmonary infection. Overall, we demonstrate that while IL-18 is essential for the MAIT cell IFN-γ response in vitro, it is not essential for MAIT cell IFN-γ production during in vivo LVS pulmonary infection, suggesting that additional signals can drive MAIT cell IFN-γ production in vivo.

KEYWORDS:

Francisella; MAIT cells

PMID:
29507084
PMCID:
PMC5913842
DOI:
10.1128/IAI.00117-18
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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