The oral mucosa is a frontline for microbial exposure and juxtaposes several unique tissues and mechanical structures. Based on parabiotic surgery of mice receiving systemic viral infections or co-housing with microbially diverse pet shop mice, we report that the oral mucosa harbors CD8+ CD103+ resident memory T cells (TRM), which locally survey tissues without recirculating. Oral antigen re-encounter during the effector phase of immune responses potentiated TRM establishment within tongue, gums, palate, and cheek. Upon reactivation, oral TRM triggered changes in somatosensory and innate immune gene expression. We developed in vivo methods for depleting CD103+ TRM while sparing CD103neg TRM and recirculating cells. This revealed that CD103+ TRM were responsible for inducing local gene expression changes. Oral TRM putatively protected against local viral infection. This study provides methods for generating, assessing, and in vivo depleting oral TRM, documents their distribution throughout the oral mucosa, and provides evidence that TRM confer protection and trigger responses in oral physiology and innate immunity.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grants 5R01AI146032-03, 5R01AI084913-13, and 5R01AI150600-02 (D. Masopust), K99DE031014 and T90 DE 022732 (J.M. Stolley), and the Oral Mucosal Immunity Consortium Windsweep Farm pilot grant (J.M. Stolley and D. Masopust).
© 2023 Stolley et al.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural