Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

CD8 T Cells Enter the Splenic T Cell Zones Independently of CCR7, but the Subsequent Expansion and Trafficking Patterns of Effector T Cells after Infection Are Dysregulated in the Absence of CCR7 Migratory Cues.

PMID 26500349


CCR7 is an important chemokine receptor that regulates T cell trafficking and compartmentalization within secondary lymphoid organs. However, the T cell-intrinsic role of CCR7 during infection in the spleen is not well understood. This study was designed to understand how CCR7-dependent localization and migration of CD8(+) T cells in different compartments of the spleen affected the primary and recall responses after infection. To this end, we used adoptive transfer of naive Ag-specific CD8 T cells (OT-I) that either lacked CCR7 or constitutively expressed CCR7 (CD2-CCR7) in mice that were subsequently infected i.v. with Listeria monocytogenes. We show that naive CCR7(-/-)CD8(+) T cells failed to enter the T cell zone, whereas CD2-CCR7 OT-I cells were exclusively confined to the T cell zones of the spleen. Surprisingly, however, CCR7(-/-) OT-I cells entered the T cell zones after infection, but the entry and egress migratory pattern of these cells was dysregulated and very distinct compared with wild-type OT-I cells. Moreover, CCR7-deficient OT-I cells failed to expand robustly when compared with wild-type OT-I cells and were preferentially skewed toward a short-lived effector cell differentiation pattern. Interestingly, CCR7(-/-), CD2-CCR7, and wild-type OT-I memory cells responded equally well to rechallenge infection. These results highlight a novel role of CCR7 in regulating effector CD8 T cell migration in the spleen and demonstrate differential requirement of CCR7 for primary and secondary CD8 T cell responses to infection.