CD8+ tissue-resident memory T (TRM) cells provide frontline immunity in mucosal tissues. The mechanisms regulating CD8+ TRM maintenance, heterogeneity, and protective and pathological functions are largely elusive. Here, we identify a population of CD8+ TRM cells that is maintained by major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) signaling, and CD80 and CD86 costimulation after acute influenza infection. These TRM cells have both exhausted-like phenotypes and memory features and provide heterologous immunity against secondary infection. PD-L1 blockade after the resolution of primary infection promotes the rejuvenation of these exhausted-like TRM cells, restoring protective immunity at the cost of promoting postinfection inflammatory and fibrotic sequelae. Thus, PD-1 serves to limit the pathogenic capacity of exhausted-like TRM cells at the memory phase. Our data indicate that TRM cell exhaustion is the result of a tissue-specific cellular adaptation that balances fibrotic sequelae with protective immunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy