CD8 + T Cells from Human Neonates Are Biased toward an Innate Immune Response

Ariel O Galindo-Albarrán, Oscar H López-Portales, Darely Y Gutiérrez-Reyna, Otoniel Rodríguez-Jorge, José Antonio Sánchez-Villanueva, Oscar Ramírez-Pliego, Aurélie Bergon, Béatrice Loriod, Hélène Holota, Jean Imbert, Armando Hernández-Mendoza, Pierre Ferrier, Enrique Carrillo-de Santa Pau, Alfonso Valencia, Salvatore Spicuglia, M Angélica Santana.
Cell Rep. 2016-11-15;17(8):2151-2160.
To better understand why human neonates show a poor response to intracellular pathogens, we compared gene expression and histone modification profiles of neonatal naive CD8+ T cells with that of their adult counterparts. We found that neonatal lymphocytes have a distinct epigenomic landscape associated with a lower expression of genes involved in T cell receptor (TCR) signaling and cytotoxicity and a higher expression of genes involved in the cell cycle and innate immunity. Functional studies corroborated that neonatal CD8+ T cells are less cytotoxic, transcribe antimicrobial peptides, and produce reactive oxygen species. Altogether, our results show that neonatal CD8+ T cells have a specific genetic program biased toward the innate immune response. These findings will contribute to better diagnosis and management of the neonatal immune response.