• Age-associated heterogeneity of Ty21A-induced T cell responses to HLA-E restricted Salmonella typhi antigen presentation

      Rudolph, Mark E.; McArthur, Monica A.; Magder, Laurence S.; Barnes, Robin S.; Chen, Wilbur H.; Sztein, Marcelo B. (Frontiers Media S.A., 2019-01-01)
      Human-restricted Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) is the causative agent of typhoid fever-a life-threatening disease of great global health significance, particularly in the developing world. Ty21a is an oral live-attenuated vaccine that protects against the development of typhoid disease in part by inducing robust T cell responses, among which multifunctional CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) play an important role. Following Ty21a vaccination, a significant component of adult CTL have shown to be targeted to S. Typhi antigen presented by the conserved major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class Ib molecule, human leukocyte antigen-E (HLA-E). S. Typhi challenge studies have shown that baseline, multifunctional HLA-E responsive T cells are associated with protection from, and delayed onset of, typhoid disease. However, despite the overwhelming burden of typhoid fever in school-aged children, and due to limited availability of pediatric samples, incomplete information is available regarding these important HLA-E-restricted responses in children, even though studies have shown that younger children may be less likely to develop protective cell mediated immune (CMI) responses than adults following vaccination. To address this gap, we have studied this phenomenon in depth by using mass cytometry to analyze pediatric and adult T cell responses to HLA-E-restricted S. Typhi antigen presentation, before and after Ty21a vaccination. Herein, we show variable responses in all age strata following vaccination among T effector memory (TEM) and T effector memory CD45RA+ (TEMRA) cells based on conventional gating analysis. However, by utilizing the dimensionality reduction tool tSNE (t-distributed Stochastic Neighbor Embedding), we are able to identify diverse, highly multifunctional gut-homing- TEM and TEMRA clusters of cells which are more abundant in adult and older pediatric participants than in younger children. These findings highlight a potential age-associated maturation of otherwise conserved HLA-E restricted T cell responses. Such insights, coupled with the marked importance of multifunctional T cell responses to combat infection, may better inform future pediatric vaccination strategies against S. Typhi and other infectious diseases. Copyright © 2019 the authors.
    • Differences between pediatric and adult T Cell Responses to in vitro staphylococcal enterotoxin B stimulation

      Rudolph, Mark E.; McArthur, Monica A.; Barnes, Robin S. (Frontiers Media S.A., 2018)
      Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is capable of inducing life-threatening fever, rash, and systemic organ failure, though the specific mechanisms behind these symptoms remain poorly understood. Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) and other superantigens have shown to be important factors in TSS, capable of promoting cross-linking between T cell receptors and major histocompatibility complexes which results in overwhelming T cell activation, proliferation, and cytokine production. The resulting proinflammatory cytokine cascade, often referred to as the "cytokine storm," seems to be critical to the development of disease. Interestingly, clinical studies have shown that children exhibit less severe TSS-associated morbidity than adults, though the mechanism behind this phenomenon has not been addressed. Indeed, despite the fact that most novel antigen exposure occurs early in life, be it from environmentally acquired pathogens or routine vaccination, normal pediatric T cell immune functions remain critically underexplored. This is largely due to difficulty in obtaining enough samples to explore more than a narrow sliver of the cell-mediated immune compartment. To address this limitation, we optimized a T effector (Teff)/circulating T follicular helper (cTFH) cell mass cytometry panel which allowed us to analyze a wide array of T cell populations and effector functions following in vitro SEB stimulation. We show that T cell activation-as measured by CD69 expression-following SEB stimulation is lower in pediatric participants, increasing throughout childhood, and reaching adult levels by around 15 years old. Further, while individual CD4+ effector memory T cell (TEM) effector molecules show limited age-associated differences following SEB stimulation, multifunctional CD4+ TEM are shown to positively correlate with increasing age through adolescence. Individual CD8+ TEM effectors and multifunctional phenotypes also show very strong age-associated increases following SEB stimulation. SEB stimulation has little impact on cTFH activation or functional cellular markers, regardless of age. These results, coupled with the fact that a robust proinflammatory cytokine response seems critical to developing severe TSS, suggest a possible connection between the significantly reduced T cell activation and multifunctional populations following in vitro SEB stimulation in our pediatric participants and clinical observations relating to reduced TSS mortality in children. Copyright 2018 Rudolph, McArthur, Barnes, Magder, Chen and Sztein.