Long-term survivors after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation are at high risk of infection, which accounts for one-third of all deaths related to stem cell transplantation. Little is known about the cause of inferior host defense after immune cell reconstitution. Here, we exploited a murine syngeneic BM transplantation (BMT) model of late infection with murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) to determine the role of conventional DC (cDC) trafficking in adaptive immunity in BMT mice. After infection, the expression of chemokine Ccl21 in the lung is reduced and the migration of cDCs into lung draining lymph nodes (dLNs) is impaired in BMT mice, limiting the opportunity for cDCs to prime Th cells in the dLNs. While cDC subsets are redundant in priming Th1 cells, Notch2 functions in cDC2s are required for priming increased Th17 responses in BMT mice, and cDC1s can lessen this activity. Importantly, Th17 cells can be primed both in the lungs and dLNs, allowing for increased Th17 responses without optimum cDC trafficking in BMT mice. Taken together, impaired cDC trafficking in BMT mice reduces protective Th1 responses and allows increased pathogenic Th17 responses. Thus, we have revealed a previously unknown mechanism for BMT procedures to cause long-term inferior immune responses to herpes viral infection.
Carol A. Wilke, Mathew M. Chadwick, Paul R. Chan, Bethany B. Moore, Xiaofeng Zhou