Control of CNS pathogens by CD8 T cells is key to avoid fatal neuroinflammation. Yet, the modalities of MHC I presentation in the brain are poorly understood. Here, we analyze the antigen presentation mechanisms underlying CD8 T cell-mediated control of the Toxoplasma gondii parasite in the CNS. We show that MHC I presentation of an efficiently processed model antigen (GRA6-OVA), even when not expressed in the bradyzoite stage, reduces cyst burden and dampens encephalitis in C57BL/6 mice. Antigen presentation assays with infected primary neurons reveal a correlation between lower MHC I presentation of tachyzoite antigens by neurons and poor parasite control in vivo. Using conditional MHC I-deficient mice, we find that neuronal MHC I presentation is required for robust restriction of T. gondii in the CNS during chronic phase, showing the importance of MHC I presentation by CNS neurons in the control of a prevalent brain pathogen.
Keywords: CD8 T cell; Toxoplasma gondii; antigen presentation; brain infection; encephalitis; neuroinflammation; neuron; parasite.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.