Mechanisms of Mucosal and Parenteral Tuberculosis Vaccinations: Adenoviral-Based Mucosal Immunization Preferentially Elicits Sustained Accumulation of Immune Protective CD4 and CD8 T Cells within the Airway Lumen
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The mechanisms underlying better immune protection by mucosal vaccination have remained poorly understood. In our current study we have investigated the mechanisms by which respiratory virus-mediated mucosal vaccination provides remarkably better immune protection against pulmonary tuberculosis than parenteral vaccination. A recombinant adenovirus-based tuberculosis (TB) vaccine expressing Mycobacterium tuberculosis Ag85A (AdAg85A) was administered either intranasally (i.n.) or i.m. to mice, and Ag-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell responses, including frequency, IFN-gamma production, and CTL, were examined in the spleen, lung interstitium, and airway lumen. Although i.m. immunization with AdAg85A led to activation of T cells, particularly CD8 T cells, in the spleen and, to a lesser extent, in the lung interstitium, it failed to elicit any T cell response in the airway lumen. In contrast, although i.n. immunization failed to effectively activate T cells in the spleen, it uniquely elicited higher numbers of Ag-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells in the airway lumen that were capable of IFN-gamma production and cytolytic activities, as assessed by an intratracheal in vivo CTL assay. These airway luminal T cells of i.n. immunized mice or splenic T cells of i.m. immunized mice, upon transfer locally to the lungs of naive SCID mice, conferred immune protection against M. tuberculosis challenge. Our study has demonstrated that the airway luminal T cell population plays an important role in immune protection against pulmonary TB, thus providing mechanistic insights into the superior immune protection conferred by respiratory mucosal TB vaccination.
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