Fungal infections have skyrocketed in immune-compromised patients lacking CD4+ T cells, underscoring the need for vaccine prevention. An understanding of the elements that promote vaccine immunity in this setting is essential. We previously demonstrated that vaccine-induced IL-17A+ CD8+ T cells (Tc17) are required for resistance against lethal fungal pneumonia in CD4+ T cell-deficient hosts, whereas the individual type I cytokines IFN-γ, TNF-α and GM-CSF, are dispensable. Here, we report that T cell-intrinsic MyD88 signals are crucial for these Tc17 cell responses and vaccine immunity against lethal fungal pneumonia in mice. In contrast, IFN-γ+ CD8+ cell (Tc1) responses are largely normal in the absence of intrinsic MyD88 signaling in CD8+ T cells. The poor accumulation of MyD88-deficient Tc17 cells was not linked to an early onset of contraction, nor to accelerated cell death or diminished expression of anti-apoptotic molecules Bcl-2 or Bcl-xL. Instead, intrinsic MyD88 was required to sustain the proliferation of Tc17 cells through the activation of mTOR via Akt1. Moreover, intrinsic IL-1R and TLR2, but not IL-18R, were required for MyD88 dependent Tc17 responses. Our data identify unappreciated targets for augmenting adaptive immunity against fungi. Our findings have implications for designing fungal vaccines and immune-based therapies in immune-compromised patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology