Naive T cells respond to antigen stimulation by exiting from quiescence and initiating clonal expansion and functional differentiation, but the control mechanism is elusive. Here we describe that Raptor-mTORC1-dependent metabolic reprogramming is a central determinant of this transitional process. Loss of Raptor abrogated T cell priming and T helper 2 (Th2) cell differentiation, although Raptor function is less important for continuous proliferation of actively cycling cells. mTORC1 coordinated multiple metabolic programs in T cells including glycolysis, lipid synthesis, and oxidative phosphorylation to mediate antigen-triggered exit from quiescence. mTORC1 further linked glucose metabolism to the initiation of Th2 cell differentiation by orchestrating cytokine receptor expression and cytokine responsiveness. Activation of Raptor-mTORC1 integrated T cell receptor and CD28 costimulatory signals in antigen-stimulated T cells. Our studies identify a Raptor-mTORC1-dependent pathway linking signal-dependent metabolic reprogramming to quiescence exit, and this in turn coordinates lymphocyte activation and fate decisions in adaptive immunity.
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