Clonal expansion of vaccine-elicited T cells is independent of aerobic glycolysis

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Science Immunology  07 Sep 2018:
Vol. 3, Issue 27, eaas9822
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aas9822

Mitochondria fuel vaccine-induced T cells

Effective T cell responses to subunit vaccines administered with an adjuvant depend on a different set of signals than natural T cell responses to infectious microbes. Klarquist et al. compared the cytokine and metabolic requirements for clonal expansion of mouse CD8+ T cells responding to adjuvanted subunit vaccination or infection. In contrast to T cells responding to infection, T cells responding to vaccination were compromised in the absence of either IL-27 or IL-15 signaling and used mitochondrial function rather than aerobic glycolysis to support proliferation. These results demonstrate the existence of fundamental metabolic differences in CD8+ T cell responses to vaccines versus infection that need to be considered as part of the process of designing new vaccines.