Distinct Metabolic Requirements of Exhausted and Functional Virus-Specific CD8 T Cells in the Same Host

Schurich et al., Cell reports (2016) - PMID: 27452473

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Tcells undergo profound metabolic changes to meet the increased energy demands of maintaining an antiviral response. We postulated that differences in metabolic reprogramming would shape the efficacy of CD8T cells mounted against persistent viral infections. We found that the poorly functional PD-1(hi) T cell response against hepatitis B virus (HBV) had upregulated the glucose transporter, Glut1, an effect recapitulated by oxygen deprivation to mimic the intrahepatic environment. Glut1(hi) HBV-specific T cells were dependent on glucose supplies, unlike the more functional cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific T cells that could utilize oxidative phosphorylation in the absence of glucose. The inability of HBV-specific T cells to switch to oxidative phosphorylation was accompanied by increased mitochondrial size and lower mitochondrial potential, indicative of mitochondrial dysfunction. Interleukin (IL)-12, which recovers HBV-specific T cell effector function, increased their mitochondrial potential and reduced their dependence on glycolysis. Our findings suggest that mitochondrial defects limit the metabolic plasticity of exhausted HBV-specific T cells.

Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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