Recent work suggests that IL-2 and IL-15 induce distinctive levels of signaling through common receptor subunits and that such varied signaling directs the fate of Ag-activated CD8 + T cells. In this study, we directly examined proximal signaling by IL-2 and IL-15 and CD8 + T cell primary and memory responses as a consequence of varied CD122-dependent signaling. Initially, IL-2 and IL-15 induced similar p-STAT5 and p-S6 activation, but these activities were only sustained by IL-2. Transient IL-15-dependent signaling is due to limited expression of IL-15Rα. To investigate the outcome of varied CD122 signaling for CD8 + T cell responses in vivo, OT-I T cells were used from mouse models where CD122 signals were attenuated by mutations within the cytoplasmic tail of CD122 or intrinsic survival function was provided in the absence of CD122 expression by transgenic Bcl-2. In the absence of CD122 signaling, generally normal primary response occurred, but the primed CD8 + T cells were not maintained. In marked contrast, weak CD122 signaling supported development and survival of T central-memory (T CM) but not T effector-memory (T EM) cells. Transgenic expression of Bcl-2 in CD122 -/- CD8 + T cells also supported the survival and persistence of T CM cells but did not rescue T EM development. These data indicate that weak CD122 signals readily support T CM development largely through providing survival signals. However, stronger signals, independent of Bcl-2, are required for T EM development. Our findings are consistent with a model whereby low, intermediate, and high CD122 signaling support T CM memory survival, T EM programming, and terminal T effector cell differentiation, respectively.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy