Circulating rotavirus-specific T cells have a poor functional profile.

PMID 25238642


Frequencies of circulating T cells producing IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-2, and percentages of T cells proliferating after stimulation with rotavirus (RV), tetanus toxoid, and influenza were evaluated in PBMC derived from healthy adults and children. In addition, the potential anergic state of RV-specific T cells was analyzed by stimulation of PBMC with RV antigen in the presence of three anergy inhibitors (rIL-2, rIL-12, or DGKα-i). The quality and magnitude of RV-T cell responses were significantly lower than those of tetanus toxoid and influenza antigens. RV-CD4 T cell response was enriched in monofunctional IFN-γ(+) cells, while influenza-CD4 and tetanus toxoid-CD4 T cell responses were enriched in multifunctional T cells. Moreover, rIL-2--unlike rIL-12 or DGKα-i--increased the frequencies of RV-CD4 TNF-α(+), CD4 IFN-γ(+), and CD8 IFN-γ(+) cells. Thus, circulating RV-T cells seem to have a relatively poor functional profile that may be partially reversed in vitro by the addition of rIL-2.