CXCR3 Signaling Is Required for Restricted Homing of Parenteral Tuberculosis Vaccine–Induced T Cells to Both the Lung Parenchyma and Airway
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Although most novel tuberculosis (TB) vaccines are designed for delivery via the muscle or skin for enhanced protection in the lung, it has remained poorly understood whether systemic vaccine-induced memory T cells can readily home to the lung mucosa prior to and shortly after pathogen exposure. We have investigated this issue by using a model of parenteral TB immunization and intravascular immunostaining. We find that systemically induced memory T cells are restricted to the blood vessels in the lung, unable to populate either the lung parenchymal tissue or the airway under homeostatic conditions. We further find that after pulmonary TB infection, it still takes many days before such T cells can enter the lung parenchymal tissue and airway. We have identified the acquisition of CXCR3 expression by circulating T cells to be critical for their entry to these lung mucosal compartments. Our findings offer new insights into mucosal T cell biology and have important implications in vaccine strategies against pulmonary TB and other intracellular infections in the lung.
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