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The primary immune response to Vaccinia virus vaccination includes cells with a distinct cytotoxic effector CD4 T-cell phenotype


BACKGROUND: Smallpox was eradicated by a global program of inoculation with Vaccinia virus (VV). Robust VV-specific CD4 T-cell responses during primary infection are likely essential to controlling VV replication. Although there is increasing interest in cytolytic CD4 T-cells across many viral infections, the importance of these cells during acute VV infection is unclear. METHODS: We undertook a detailed functional and genetic characterization of CD4 T-cells during acute VV-infection of humans. VV-specific T-cells were identified by up-regulation of activation markers directly ex vivo and through cytokine and co-stimulatory molecule expression. At day-13-post primary inoculation with VV, CD38highCD45RO+ CD4 T-cells were purified by cell sorting, RNA isolated and analysed by microarray. Differential expression of up-regulated genes in activated CD4 T-cells was confirmed at the mRNA and protein levels. We compared analyses of VV-specific CD4 T-cells to studies on 12 subjects with primary HIV infection (PHI). VV-specific T-cells lines were established from PBMCs collected post vaccination and checked for cytotoxicity potential. RESULTS: A median 11.9% CD4 T-cells were CD38highCD45RO+ at day-13 post-VV inoculation, compared to 3.0% prior and 10.4% during PHI. Activated CD4 T-cells had an up-regulation of genes related to cytolytic function, including granzymes K and A, perforin, granulysin, TIA-1, and Rab27a. No difference was seen between CD4 T-cell expression of perforin or TIA-1 to VV and PHI, however granzyme k was more dominant in the VV response. At 25:1 effector to target ratio, two VV-specific T-cell lines exhibited 62% and 30% cytotoxicity respectively and CD107a degranulation. CONCLUSIONS: We show for the first time that CD4 CTL are prominent in the early response to VV. Understanding the role of CD4 CTL in the generation of an effective anti-viral memory may help develop more effective vaccines for diseases such as HIV.

Type Journal
ISBN 1873-2518 (Electronic) 0264-410X (Linking)
Authors Munier, C. M. ; van Bockel, D. ; Bailey, M. ; Ip, S. ; Xu, Y. ; Alcantara, S. ; Liu, S. M. ; Denyer, G. ; Kaplan, W. ; group, Phiido Study ; Suzuki, K. ; Croft, N. ; Purcell, A. ; Tscharke, D. ; Cooper, D. A. ; Kent, S. J. ; Zaunders, J. J. ; Kelleher, A. D.;
Publisher Name VACCINE
Published Date 2016-01-01
Published Volume 34
Published Issue 44
Published Pages 5251-5261
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version