The magnitude of the T cell response to a clinically significant dose of influenza virus is regulated by TRAIL

Erik L. Brincks, Prajwal Gurung, Ryan A. Langlois, Emily A. Hemann, Kevin L. Legge, Thomas S. Griffith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


An immune response of appropriate magnitude should be robust enough to control pathogen spread but not simultaneously lead to immunopathology. Primary infection with influenza A virus (IAV) results in a localized pulmonary infection and inflammation and elicits an IAV-specific CD8 T cell immune response necessary for viral clearance. Clearance of IAV-infected cells, and recovery from infection, is mediated by perforin/granzyme B- and Fas/FasL-mediated mechanisms. We recently reported that TRAIL is another means by which IAV-specific CD8 T cells can kill IAV-infected cells. The current study examined the role of TRAIL in the pulmonary CD8 T cell response to a clinically significant IAV [A/PR/8/34 (PR8; H1N1)] infection (i.e., leads to observable, but limited, morbidity and mortality in wild-type [WT] mice). Compared with WT mice, IAV-infected Trail -/- mice experienced increased morbidity and mortality despite similar rates of viral clearance from the lungs. The increased morbidity and mortality in Trail -/- mice correlated with increased pulmonary pathology and inflammatory chemokine production. Analysis of lung-infiltrating lymphocytes revealed increased numbers of IAV-specific CD8 T cells in infected Trail -/- mice, which correlated with increased pulmonary cytotoxic activity and increased pulmonary expression of MIG and MIP-1α. In addition, there was decreased apoptosis and increased proliferation of IAV-specific CD8 T cells in the lungs of Trail -/- mice compared with WT mice. Together, these data suggest that TRAIL regulates the magnitude of the IAV-specific CD8 T cell response during a clinically significant IAV infection to decrease the chance for infection-induced immunopathology. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4581-4588
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

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