Support our work
Decorative header background

Distinct Effector Programs of Brain-Homing CD8+ T Cells in Multiple Sclerosis

Publication year 2022
Published in Cells
Authors Steven C Koetzier, Jamie van Langelaar, Marie-José Melief, Annet F Wierenga-Wolf, Cato E A Corsten, Katelijn M Blok, Cindy Hoeks, Bieke Broux, Beatrijs Ha Wokke, Marvin M van Luijn, J Smolders

The effector programs of CD8+ memory T cells are influenced by the transcription factors RUNX3, EOMES and T-bet. How these factors define brain-homing CD8+ memory T cells in multiple sclerosis (MS) remains unknown. To address this, we analyzed blood, CSF and brain tissues from MS patients for the impact of differential RUNX3, EOMES and T-bet expression on CD8+ T cell effector phenotypes. The frequencies of RUNX3- and EOMES-, but not T-bet-expressing CD8+ memory T cells were reduced in the blood of treatment-naïve MS patients as compared to healthy controls. Such reductions were not seen in MS patients treated with natalizumab (anti-VLA-4 Ab). We found an additional loss of T-bet in RUNX3-expressing cells, which was associated with the presence of MS risk SNP rs6672420 (RUNX3). RUNX3+EOMES+T-bet- CD8+ memory T cells were enriched for the brain residency-associated markers CCR5, granzyme K, CD20 and CD69 and selectively dominated the MS CSF. In MS brain tissues, T-bet coexpression was recovered in CD20dim and CD69+ CD8+ T cells, and was accompanied by increased coproduction of granzyme K and B. These results indicate that coexpression of RUNX3 and EOMES, but not T-bet, defines CD8+ memory T cells with a pre-existing brain residency-associated phenotype such that they are prone to enter the CNS in MS.

Support our work!

The Friends Foundation facilitates groundbreaking brain research. You can help us with that.

Support our work