Mucosal immunity to reinfection with a highly virulent virus requires the accumulation and persistence of memory CD8 T cells at the site of primary infection. These cells may derive from memory precursor effector cells (MPECs), which are distinct from shortlived effector cells that provide acute protection but are often destined to die. Using respiratory virus infection, we show that herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM; TNFRSF14), a member of the TNF receptor superfamily, provides key signals for MPEC persistence. HVEM-deficient CD8 T cells expanded normally but were skewed away from MPECs with resultant poor development of circulating and lung-resident memory cells. HVEM was selectively expressed on MPECs whereas MPECs deficient in HVEM failed to survive in adoptive transfer recipients. As a consequence, HVEM-deficient recipients failed to afford protection against respiratory reinfection with influenza virus. HVEM therefore represents a critical signal for MPECs and development of protective mucosal CD8 T cell memory.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy