Introduction: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and human adenovirus (ADV) infections are causes of morbidity after stem cell transplantation. Antigen (Ag)-specific T cells are essential for the control of viral infections. However, in vivo expansion potential of T-cell subpopulations is hardly predictable in humans. Furthermore, ex vivo identification of human T cells with repopulating capacity for adoptive T-cell transfer has been difficult.
Methods: We analyzed Ag-specific T-cell populations, subdivided according to the expression of different THELPER- 1 (Th1) cytokines. Isolation by flow cytometry was based on interferon-gamma (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-2, or tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) secretion of T cells after ex vivo stimulation with the Ags hexon (for ADV) and pp65 (for CMV). Isolated T cells were expanded and examined for functional characteristics, expansion/differentiation potential, and naïve, effector memory, central memory, and late effector phenotypes.
Results: Isolation based on IFN-γ production provides a T-cell population with a mixture of early, central memory, and effector memory T cells, high expansion potential, and effective cytokine production. Selection of T cells with Ag-specific expression of IL-2 or TNF-α, however, results in a T-cell population with reduced proliferation and lower effector potential after expansion.
Conclusion: We conclude that the exclusive secretion of IFN-γ in the human antiviral T-cell responses preferentially leads to higher repopulation capacities of antiviral T cells, compared to IL-2 or TNF-α secreting T-cell populations.
Keywords: Th1 cytokines; adenovirus; adoptive T-cell transfer; cytomegalovirus.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.