Effect of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Ageing on T-Bet and Eomes Expression on T-Cell Subsets
Solana Lara, Rafael
Pera Rojas, Alejandra
Campos Fernández, Carmen
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The differential impact of ageing and cytomegalovirus (CMV) latent infection on human T-cell subsets remains to some extent controversial. The purpose of this study was to analyse the expression of the transcription factors T-bet and Eomes and CD57 on CD4+, CD4hiCD8lo and CD8+ T-cell subsets in healthy individuals, stratified by age and CMV serostatus. The percentage of CD4+ T-cells expressing T-bet or Eomes was very low, in particular in CD4+ T-cells from young CMV-seronegative individuals, and were higher in CMV-seropositive older individuals, in both CD57− and CD57+ CD4+ T-cells. The study of the minor peripheral blood double-positive CD4hiCD8lo T-cells showed that the percentage of these T-cells expressing both Eomes and T-bet was higher compared to CD4+ T-cells. The percentage of CD4hiCD8lo T-cells expressing T-bet was also associated with CMV seropositivity and the coexpression of Eomes, T-bet and CD57 on CD4hiCD8lo T-cells was only observed in CMV-seropositive donors, supporting the hypothesis that these cells are mature effector memory cells. The percentage of T-cells expressing Eomes and T-bet was higher in CD8+ T-cells than in CD4+ T-cells. The percentages of CD8+ T-cells expressing Eomes and T-bet increased with age in CMV-seronegative and -seropositive individuals and the percentages of CD57− CD8+ and CD57+ CD8+ T-cells coexpressing both transcription factors were similar in the different groups studied. These results support that CMV chronic infection and/or ageing are associated to the expansion of highly differentiated CD4+, CD4hiCD8lo and CD8+ T-cells that differentially express T-bet and Eomes suggesting that the expression of these transcription factors is essential for the generation and development of an effector-memory and effector T lymphocytes involved in conferring protection against chronic CMV infection.