Selective accumulation of virus-specific CD8+ T cells with unique homing phenotype within the human bone marrow.
Palendira U., Chinn R., Raza W., Piper K., Pratt G., Machado L., Bell A., Khan N., Hislop AD., Steyn R., Rickinson AB., Buckley CD., Moss P.
The bone marrow plays a unique role within the immune system. We compared the phenotype and function of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells from matched samples of human peripheral blood and bone marrow. Analysis of virus-specific memory CD8(+) T cells showed widely divergent partition of antigen-specific populations between blood and bone marrow. T cells specific for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) lytic antigens were enriched 3-fold in marrow compared with blood, whereas the response to EBV latent epitopes was equivalent between the 2 compartments. No difference in EBV viral load or expression of the EBV lytic protein was observed between blood and bone marrow. In direct contrast, although cytomegalo-virus (CMV)-specific T cells were the largest virus-specific population within peripheral blood, they were reduced by 60% within marrow. Bone marrow T cells were found to exhibit a unique CCR5(+)CXCR6(+)CXCR3(-) homing phenotype which has not been observed on T cells from other secondary lymphoid organs or peripheral organs. Expression of CCR5 and CXCR6 was higher on EBV-specific T cells within peripheral blood compared with CMV-specific populations. These observations identify a novel bone marrow homing phenotype for CD8(+) memory T cells, which necessitates a reevaluation of the magnitude of antigen-specific populations within the lymphoid system.