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Linda S Cauley
Posters-Accepted Abstracts: Virol-mycol
Influenza viruses are a leading cause of respiratory disease-associated morbidity and mortality. Although virus-specific CTLs can provide cross-protection between related viruses, eliciting memory populations with the properties that are required for immunity is a major challenge for vaccination. We have previously shown that optimal protection requires a combination of circulating memory CD8 T cells which use the bloodstream to move around the body, as well as tissue-resident memory CD8 T cells which mount rapid responses to reinfection by remaining near the site of inoculation. The signaling pathways that permit individual memory CD8 T cell subsets to adopt specialized characteristics are poorly defined. We are currently analyzing the molecular pathways that support memory CD8 T cell differentiation. Our data show that Smad4, a signaling-intermediate that acts downstream of the TGFβreceptor, plays an essential role during the differentiation of some circulating virus-specific memory CD8 T cells, while CD103+ tissue-resident memory CD8 T cells are Smad4-independent. Perturbation of these virusspecific CTL populations has important implications for long term immunity.