Identification of a CD4 T-cell epitope in the hemagglutinin stalk domain of pandemic H1N1 influenza virus and its antigen-driven TCR usage signature in BALB/c mice

I. Na Lu*, Sophie Farinelle, Aurélie Sausy, Claude P. Muller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The stalk region of the influenza virus hemagglutinin is relatively well conserved compared with the globular head domain, which makes it a potential target for use as a universal vaccine against influenza. However, the role of CD4 T cells in the hemagglutinin stalk-specific immune response is not clear. Here we identified a mouse CD4 T-cell epitope that encompasses residues HA2113-131 from the hemagglutinin stalk domain after a sub-lethal infection of influenza. In response to stimulation with the identified epitope, splenocytes derived from the infected mice showed significant polyfunctionality as shown by IL-2, TNF-α and IFN-γ production as well as degranulation. Moreover, mice immunized with the peptide corresponding to this CD4 T-cell epitope exhibited interindividual sharing of the CD4 T-cell receptor β sequences, and they had a higher survival rate following a challenge with a lethal dose of pandemic H1N1 influenza virus. Thus, our data demonstrated a crucial role of hemagglutinin stalk-specific CD4 T cells in the host immune response against influenza virus infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-520
Number of pages10
JournalCellular and Molecular Immunology
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • H1N1
  • T-cell receptor
  • hemagglutinin
  • influenza

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