T cell antigen-presenting cell (APC) interactions early during chronic viral infection are crucial for determining viral set point and disease outcome, but how and when different APC subtypes contribute to these outcomes is unclear. The TNF receptor superfamily (TNFRSF) member GITR is important for CD4+ T cell accumulation and control of chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). We found that type I interferon (IFN-I) induced TNFSF ligands GITRL, 4-1BBL, OX40L, and CD70 predominantly on monocyte-derived APCs and CD80 and CD86 predominantly on classical dendritic cells (cDCs). Mice with hypofunctional GITRL in Lyz2+ cells had decreased LCMV-specific CD4+ T cell accumulation and increased viral load. GITR signals in CD4+ T cells occurred after priming to upregulate OX40, CD25, and chemokine receptor CX3CR1. Thus IFN-I (signal 3) induced a post-priming checkpoint (signal 4) for CD4+ T cell accumulation, revealing a division of labor between cDCs and monocyte-derived APCs in regulating T cell expansion.
The virulence factors of pathogenic microbes often have single functions that permit immune suppression. However, a proportion possess multiple activities and are considered moonlighting proteins. By examining secreted virulence factors of Staphylococcus aureus, we determine that the bacterial lipoic acid synthetase LipA suppresses macrophage activation. LipA is known to modify the E2 subunit of the metabolic enzyme complex pyruvate dehydrogenase (E2-PDH) with a fatty acid derivative, lipoic acid, yielding the metabolic protein lipoyl-E2-PDH. We demonstrate that lipoyl-E2-PDH is also released by S. aureus and moonlights as a macrophage immunosuppressant by reducing Toll-like receptor 1/2 (TLR1/2) activation by bacterial lipopeptides. A LipA-deficient strain induces heightened pro-inflammatory cytokine production, which is diminished in the absence of TLR2. During murine systemic infection, LipA suppresses pro-inflammatory macrophage activation, rendering these cells inefficient at controlling infection. These observations suggest that bacterial metabolism and immune evasion are linked by virtue of this moonlighting protein.
Granulocyte-monocyte progenitors (GMPs) and monocyte-dendritic cell progenitors (MDPs) produce monocytes during homeostasis and in response to increased demand during infection. Both progenitor populations are thought to derive from common myeloid progenitors (CMPs), and a hierarchical relationship (CMP-GMP-MDP-monocyte) is presumed to underlie monocyte differentiation. Here, however, we demonstrate that mouse MDPs arose from CMPs independently of GMPs, and that GMPs and MDPs produced monocytes via similar but distinct monocyte-committed progenitors. GMPs and MDPs yielded classical (Ly6Chi) monocytes with gene expression signatures that were defined by their origins and impacted their function. GMPs produced a subset of "neutrophil-like" monocytes, whereas MDPs gave rise to a subset of monocytes that yielded monocyte-derived dendritic cells. GMPs and MDPs were also independently mobilized to produce specific combinations of myeloid cell types following the injection of microbial components. Thus, the balance of GMP and MDP differentiation shapes the myeloid cell repertoire during homeostasis and following infection.