Expression and role of VLA-1 in resident memory CD8 T cell responses to respiratory mucosal viral-vectored immunization against tuberculosis
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Lung resident memory T cells (TRM) characterized by selective expression of mucosal integrins VLA-1 (α1β1) and CD103 (αEβ7) are generated following primary respiratory viral infections. Despite recent progress, the generation of lung TRM and the role of mucosal integrins following viral vector respiratory mucosal immunization still remains poorly understood. Here by using a replication-defective viral vector tuberculosis vaccine, we show that lung Ag-specific CD8 T cells express both VLA-1 and CD103 following respiratory mucosal immunization. However, VLA-1 and CD103 are acquired in differential tissue sites with the former acquired during T cell priming in the draining lymph nodes and the latter acquired after T cells entered the lung. Once in the lung, Ag-specific CD8 T cells continue to express VLA-1 at high levels through the effector/expansion, contraction, and memory phases of T cell responses. Using a functional VLA-1 blocking mAb, we show that VLA-1 is not required for trafficking of these cells to the lung, but it negatively regulates them in the contraction phase. Furthermore, VLA-1 plays a negligible role in the maintenance of these cells in the lung. Our study provides new information on vaccine-inducible lung TRM and shall help develop effective viral vector respiratory mucosal tuberculosis vaccination strategies.
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