The role of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) in the innate immune response to infection has been well studied. However, less is known about IRF3 signaling in shaping the adaptive T cell response. To determine the role of IRF3 in the generation and maintenance of effective antiviral T cell responses, mice deficient in IRF3 were infected with a potentially persistent virus, Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) or with a model acute infection, influenza A virus (IAV). IRF3 was required to prevent TMEV persistence and induce robust TMEV specific effector T cell responses at the site of infection. This defect was more pronounced in the memory phase with an apparent lack of TMEV-specific memory T cells expressing granzyme B (GrB) in IRF3 deficient mice. In contrast, IRF3 had no effect on antigen specific T cell responses at the effector stage during IAV infection. However, memory T cell responses to IAV were also impaired in IRF3 deficient mice. Furthermore, addition of cytokines during peptide restimulation could not restore GrB expression in IRF3 deficient memory T cells. Taken together, IRF3 plays an important role in the maintenance of effective anti-viral T cell memory responses.
- Influenza A virus
- Interferon regulatory factor-3
- T cell memory
- T cells
- Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases