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Journal Article

Memory-like HCV-specific CD8 T cells retain a molecular scar after cure of chronic HCV infection

MPS-Authors

Sagar,  Sagar
Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;
External Organizations;

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Grün,  Dominic
Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Hensel et al..pdf
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Citation

Hensel, N., Gu, Z., Sagar, S., Wieland, D., Jechow, K., Kemming, J., et al. (2021). Memory-like HCV-specific CD8<sup<+</sup> T cells retain a molecular scar after cure of chronic HCV infection. Nature Immunology. doi: 10.1038/s41590-020-00817-w.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-AB2D-7
Abstract
In chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, exhausted HCV-specific CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells comprise memory-like and terminally exhausted subsets. However, little is known about the molecular profile and fate of these two subsets after the elimination of chronic antigen stimulation by direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy. Here, we report a progenitor-progeny relationship between memory-like and terminally exhausted HCV-specific CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells via an intermediate subset. Single-cell transcriptomics implicated that memory-like cells are maintained and terminally exhausted cells are lost after DAA-mediated cure, resulting in a memory polarization of the overall HCV-specific CD8<sup>+</sup> T cell response. However, an exhausted core signature of memory-like CD8<sup>+<sup> T cells was still detectable, including, to a smaller extent, in HCV-specific CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells targeting variant epitopes. These results identify a molecular signature of T cell exhaustion that is maintained as a chronic scar in HCV-specific CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells even after the cessation of chronic antigen stimulation.