During acute infections, naive Ag-specific CD8 T cells are activated and differentiate into effector T cells, most of which undergo contraction after pathogen clearance. A small population of CD8 T cells persists as memory to protect against future infections.We investigated the role of adhesion- and degranulation-promoting adapter protein (ADAP) in promoting CD8 T cell responses to a systemic infection. Naive Ag-specific CD8 T cells lacking ADAP exhibited a modest expansion defect early after Listeria monocytogenes or vesicular stomatitis virus infection but comparable cytolytic function at the peak of response. However, reduced numbers of ADAP-deficient CD8 T cells were present in the spleen after the peak of the response. ADAP deficiency resulted in a greater frequency of CD127+ CD8 memory precursors in secondary lymphoid organs during the contraction phase. Reduced numbers of ADAP-deficient killer cell lectin-like receptor G12 CD8 resident memory T (TRM) cell precursors were present in a variety of nonlymphoid tissues at the peak of the immune response, and consequently the total numbers of ADAP-deficient TRM cells were reduced at memory time points. TRM cells that did form in the absence of ADAP were defective in effector molecule expression. ADAP-deficient TRM cells exhibited impaired effector function after Ag rechallenge, correlating with defects in their ability to form T cell-APC conjugates. However, ADAP-deficient TRM cells responded to TGF-b signals and recruited circulating memory CD8 T cells. Thus, ADAP regulates CD8 T cell differentiation events following acute pathogen challenge that are critical for the formation and selected functions of TRM cells in nonlymphoid tissues.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant R01 AI038474 (to Y.S.). Y.S. is also supported by the Harry Kay Chair in Biomedical Research at the University of Minnesota.