Regulation of CD4 T cells and their effects on immunopathological inflammation following viral infection

Mitra Bhattacharyya, Patrick Madden, Nathan Henning, Shana Gregory, Malika Aid, Amanda J. Martinot, Dan H. Barouch, Pablo Penaloza-MacMaster*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


CD4 T cells help immune responses, but knowledge of how memory CD4 T cells are regulated and how they regulate adaptive immune responses and induce immunopathology is limited. Using adoptive transfer of virus-specific CD4 T cells, we show that naive CD4 T cells undergo substantial expansion following infection, but can induce lethal T helper type 1-driven inflammation. In contrast, memory CD4 T cells exhibit a biased proliferation of T follicular helper cell subsets and were able to improve adaptive immune responses in the context of minimal tissue damage. Our analyses revealed that type I interferon regulates the expansion of primary CD4 T cells, but does not seem to play a critical role in regulating the expansion of secondary CD4 T cells. Strikingly, blockade of type I interferon abrogated lethal inflammation by primary CD4 T cells following viral infection, despite that this treatment increased the numbers of primary CD4 T-cell responses. Altogether, these data demonstrate important aspects of how primary and secondary CD4 T cells are regulated in vivo, and how they contribute to immune protection and immunopathology. These findings are important for rational vaccine design and for improving adoptive T-cell therapies against persistent antigens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-343
Number of pages16
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • CD4 T cell differentiation
  • CD4 T cell proliferation
  • T cell
  • gene regulation
  • inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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