CD8α - conventional dendritic cells control Vβ T-cell immunity in response to Staphylococcus aureus infection in mice

Immunology. 2020 Apr;159(4):404-412. doi: 10.1111/imm.13171. Epub 2020 Jan 21.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent immune cells that control innate and adaptive immune responses. Previous studies have shown that the DCs are required for protection against Staphylococcus aureus infection. However, the role of conventional DC (cDC) subsets during S. aureus infection in vivo has not been well investigated. In this study, we examined the function of spleen DC subsets in the activation of immunity against S. aureus infection. C57BL/6 mice were infected intravenously with S. aureus and DC and T-cell activation were analyzed in vivo. We found that the spleen CD8α- cDCs phagocytosed S. aureus more efficiently than type-1 conventional DCs (cDC1s) did. Moreover, the CD8α- cDCs contributed to the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to S. aureus infection, whereas the cDC1s did not. In addition, infection with S. aureus promoted an increase in the number of Vβ T cells. The CD4+ and CD8+ Vβ T cells up-regulated the production of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-17 (IL-17) in response to S. aureus infection. Importantly, the induction of IFN-γ and IL-17 production in CD4+ and CD8+ Vβ T cells was mediated by S. aureus-stimulated CD8α- cDCs, whereas cDC1s failed to promote IFN-γ and IL-17 production in the cells. Therefore, these data suggested that the spleen CD8α- cDCs are the main DC subsets for induction of S. aureus superantigen-specific immunity.

Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; CD8α− dendritic cells; Vβ T cells; interferon-γ; interleukin-17.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / microbiology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • CD8 Antigens / deficiency
  • CD8 Antigens / genetics
  • CD8 Antigens / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / microbiology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Cell Lineage / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / microbiology
  • Gene Expression
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interleukin-17 / genetics
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phagocytosis
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / immunology*
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Spleen / microbiology
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / pathology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / immunology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity


  • CD8 Antigens
  • CD8 antigen, alpha chain
  • Il17a protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-17
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Interferon-gamma