The ability of CDS+ T cells to kill intracellular pathogens depends upon their capacity to attract infected cells as well as their secretion of cytolytic and antimicrobial effector molecules. We examined the Ag-induced expression of three immune effector molecules contained within cytoplasmic granules of human CD8+ T cells: the chemokine CCL5, the cytolytic molecule perforin, and the antimicrobial protein granulysin. Macrophages infected with virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis triggered the expression of CCL5 in CD8+ T cells only in donors with previous exposure to the tuberculosis bacteria, not in naive donors. Functionally, CCL5 efficiently attracted M. tuberculosis-infected macrophages, but failed to exert direct antibacterial activity. Infected macrophages also triggered the expression of granulysin in CD8+ T cells, and granulysin was found to be highly active against drug-susceptible and drug-resistant M. tuberculosis clinical isolates. The vast majority of CCL5-positive cells coexpressed granulysin and perforin. Taken together, this report provides evidence that a subset of CD8+ T cells coordinately expresses CCL5, perform and granulysin, thereby providing a host mechanism to attract M. tuberculosis-infected macrophages and kill the intracellular pathogen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy