Autocrine and paracrine IL-2 signals collaborate to regulate distinct phases of CD8 T cell memory

Cell Rep. 2022 Apr 12;39(2):110632. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110632.


Differential interleukin-2 (IL-2) signaling and production are associated with disparate effector and memory fates. Whether the IL-2 signals perceived by CD8 T cells come from autocrine or paracrine sources, the timing of IL-2 signaling and their differential impact on CD8 T cell responses remain unclear. Using distinct models of germline and conditional IL-2 ablation in post-thymic CD8 T cells, this study shows that paracrine IL-2 is sufficient to drive optimal primary expansion, effector and memory differentiation, and metabolic function. In contrast, autocrine IL-2 is uniquely required during primary expansion to program robust secondary expansion potential in memory-fated cells. This study further shows that IL-2 production by antigen-specific CD8 T cells is largely independent of CD4 licensing of dendritic cells (DCs) in inflammatory infections with robust DC activation. These findings bear implications for immunizations and adoptive T cell immunotherapies, where effector and memory functions may be commandeered through IL-2 programming.

PMID:35417685 | DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110632