STIM1 controls T cell-mediated immune regulation and inflammation in chronic infection.

The Journal of clinical investigation (2015-05-06)
Ludovic Desvignes, Carl Weidinger, Patrick Shaw, Martin Vaeth, Theo Ribierre, Menghan Liu, Tawania Fergus, Lina Kozhaya, Lauren McVoy, Derya Unutmaz, Joel D Ernst, Stefan Feske
RESUMO

Chronic infections induce a complex immune response that controls pathogen replication, but also causes pathology due to sustained inflammation. Ca2+ influx mediates T cell function and immunity to infection, and patients with inherited mutations in the gene encoding the Ca2+ channel ORAI1 or its activator stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) are immunodeficient and prone to chronic infection by various pathogens, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Here, we demonstrate that STIM1 is required for T cell-mediated immune regulation during chronic Mtb infection. Compared with WT animals, mice with T cell-specific Stim1 deletion died prematurely during the chronic phase of infection and had increased bacterial burdens and severe pulmonary inflammation, with increased myeloid and lymphoid cell infiltration. Although STIM1-deficient T cells exhibited markedly reduced IFN-γ production during the early phase of Mtb infection, bacterial growth was not immediately exacerbated. During the chronic phase, however, STIM1-deficient T cells displayed enhanced IFN-γ production in response to elevated levels of IL-12 and IL-18. The lack of STIM1 in T cells was associated with impaired activation-induced cell death upon repeated TCR engagement and pulmonary lymphocytosis and hyperinflammation in Mtb-infected mice. Chronically Mtb-infected, STIM1-deficient mice had reduced levels of inducible regulatory T cells (iTregs) due to a T cell-intrinsic requirement for STIM1 in iTreg differentiation and excessive production of IFN-γ and IL-12, which suppress iTreg differentiation and maintenance. Thus, STIM1 controls multiple aspects of T cell-mediated immune regulation to limit injurious inflammation during chronic infection.

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