Th1 cells can be activated by TCR-independent stimuli, but the importance of this pathway in vivo and the precise mechanisms involved require further investigation. Here, we used a simple model of non-cognate Th1 cell stimulation in Salmonella-infected mice to examine these issues. CD4 Th1 cell expression of both IL-18R and DR3 was required for optimal IFN-γ induction in response to non-cognate stimulation, while IL-15R expression was dispensable. Interestingly, effector Th1 cells generated by immunization rather than live infection had lower non-cognate activity despite comparable IL-18R and DR3 expression. Mice lacking T cell intrinsic expression of MyD88, an important adapter molecule in non-cognate T cell stimulation, exhibited higher bacterial burdens upon infection with Salmonella, Chlamydia or Brucella, suggesting that non-cognate Th1 stimulation is a critical element of efficient bacterial clearance. Thus, IL-18R and DR3 are critical players in non-cognate stimulation of Th1 cells and this response plays an important role in protection against intracellular bacteria.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology