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Distinct functions of tissue-resident and circulating memory Th2 cells in allergic airway disease

By Rod A. Rahimi, Keshav Nepal, Murat Cetinbas, Ruslan Sadreyev, Andrew D. Luster

Posted 27 Mar 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.25.006858 (published DOI: 10.1084/jem.20190865)

Memory CD4+ T helper type 2 (Th2) cells are critical in driving allergic asthma pathogenesis, yet the mechanisms whereby tissue-resident memory Th2 cells (Th2 Trm) and circulating memory Th2 cells collaborate in vivo remain unclear. Here, using a house dust mite (HDM) model of allergic asthma and parabiosis, we demonstrate that Th2 Trm and circulating memory Th2 cells perform non-redundant functions in vivo. Upon HDM re-challenge, circulating memory Th2 cells trafficked into the lung parenchyma and ignited perivascular inflammation to promote eosinophil and CD4+ T cell recruitment. In contrast, Th2 Trm proliferated near airways and promoted mucus metaplasia, airway hyper-responsiveness, and airway eosinophil activation. Transcriptional analysis revealed that Th2 Trm and circulating memory Th2 cells share a core Th2 gene signature, but also exhibit distinct transcriptional profiles. Specifically, Th2 Trm express a tissue adaptation signature, including genes involved in regulating and interacting with extracellular matrix. Our findings demonstrate that Th2 Trm and circulating memory Th2 cells are functionally and transcriptionally distinct subsets with unique roles in promoting allergic airway disease.

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