Immune requirements for protective Th17 recall responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis challenge

L. Monin, K. L. Griffiths, S. Slight, Y. Lin, J. Rangel-Moreno, S. A. Khader

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57 Scopus citations


Tuberculosis (TB) vaccine development has focused largely on targeting T helper type 1 (Th1) cells. However, despite inducing Th1 cells, the recombinant TB vaccine MVA85A failed to enhance protection against TB disease in humans. In recent years, Th17 cells have emerged as key players in vaccine-induced protection against TB. However, the exact cytokine and immune requirements that enable Th17-induced recall protection remain unclear. In this study, we have investigated the requirements for Th17 cell-induced recall protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) challenge by utilizing a tractable adoptive transfer model in mice. We demonstrate that adoptive transfer of Mtb-specific Th17 cells into naive hosts, and upon Mtb challenge, results in Th17 recall responses that confer protection at levels similar to vaccination strategies. Importantly, although interleukin (IL)-23 is critical, IL-12 and IL-21 are dispensable for protective Th17 recall responses. Unexpectedly, we demonstrate that interferon-γ (IFN-γ) produced by adoptively transferred Th17 cells impairs long-lasting protective recall immunity against Mtb challenge. In contrast, CXCR5 expression is crucial for localization of Th17 cells near macrophages within well-formed B-cell follicles to mediate Mtb control. Thus, our data identify new immune characteristics that can be harnessed to improve Th17 recall responses for enhancing vaccine design against TB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1109
Number of pages11
JournalMucosal Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 19 2015


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