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AbstractThe differentiation of effector CD8+ T cells is a dynamically regulated process that varies during different infections and is influenced by the inflammatory milieu of the host. In this study, we define three signals regulating CD8+ T cell responses during tuberculosis by focusing on cytokines known to affect disease outcome: IL-12, type I IFN, and IL-27. Using mixed bone marrow chimeras, we compared wild-type and cytokine receptor knockout CD8+ T cells within the same mouse following aerosol infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Four weeks postinfection, IL-12, type 1 IFN, and IL-27 were all required for efficient CD8+ T cell expansion in the lungs. We next determined if these cytokines directly promote CD8+ T cell priming or are required only for expansion in the lungs. Using retrogenic CD8+ T cells specific for the M. tuberculosis Ag TB10.4 (EsxH), we observed that IL-12 is the dominant cytokine driving both CD8+ T cell priming in the lymph node and expansion in the lungs; however, type I IFN and IL-27 have nonredundant roles supporting pulmonary CD8+ T cell expansion. Thus, IL-12 is a major signal promoting priming in the lymph node, but a multitude of inflammatory signals converge in the lung to promote continued expansion. Furthermore, these cytokines regulate the differentiation and function of CD8+ T cells during tuberculosis. These data demonstrate distinct and overlapping roles for each of the cytokines examined and underscore the complexity of CD8+ T cell regulation during tuberculosis.

Original publication





The Journal of Immunology


The American Association of Immunologists

Publication Date





1822 - 1831