T cell costimulation is important for T cell activation. The CD27/CD70 pathway contributes to effector and memory T cell development and is involved in T cell and B cell activation. CD27/CD70 is known for having opposing roles during different models of antigenic challenges. During primary T cell responses to influenza virus infection or during tumor challenges, CD27/CD70 costimulation has a positive role on T cell responses. However, during some chronic infections, constitutive triggering of this signaling pathway has a negative role on T cell responses. It is currently unclear what specific characteristic of an antigen determines the outcome of CD27/CD70 costimulation. We investigated the effect of a transient CD70 blockade during an acute or a chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection in mice. Blockade of this pathway during acute LCMV infection (Armstrong strain) resulted in delayed T cell responses and decreased CD127 (interleukin-7 receptor α [IL-7Rα] chain) conversion. Upregulation of CD127 is an important event in T cell differentiation that heralds the passage of an effector T cell to a long-lived memory T cell. In contrast to the reduced CD8 T cell responses after CD70 blockade during acute infection, CD70 blockade during chronic LCMV infection resulted in increased CD8 T cell responses. Our data show the dual roles of this costimulatory pathway in acute versus persistent antigen challenge. Our findings suggest that antigen persistence may determine the effect of CD27/CD70 signaling on CD8 T cell responses. Tailored triggering or blockade of this costimulatory pathway may be important in vaccination regimens against acute or chronic pathogens.
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