Antitumor activity of recombinant Bacille Calmette-Guérin secreting interleukin-15-Ag85B fusion protein against bladder cancer.
Whether cytokines can influence the adaptive immune response by antigen-specific γδ T cells during infections or vaccinations remains unknown. We previously demonstrated that, during BCG/Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infections, Th17-related cytokines markedly upregulated when phosphoantigen-specific Vγ2Vδ2 T cells expanded. In this study, we examined the involvement of Th17-related cytokines in the recall-like responses of Vγ2Vδ2 T cells following Mtb infection or vaccination against TB. Treatment with IL-17A/IL-17F or IL-22 expanded phosphoantigen 4-hydroxy-3-methyl-but-enyl pyrophosphate (HMBPP)-stimulated Vγ2Vδ2 T cells from BCG-vaccinated macaques but not from naïve animals, and IL-23 induced greater expansion than the other Th17-related cytokines. Consistently, Mtb infection of macaques also enhanced the ability of IL-17/IL-22 or IL-23 to expand HMBPP-stimulated Vγ2Vδ2 T cells. When evaluating IL-23 signaling as a prototype, we found that HMBPP/IL-23-expanded Vγ2Vδ2 T cells from macaques infected with Mtb or vaccinated with BCG or Listeria ΔactA prfA*-ESAT6/Ag85B produced IL-17, IL-22, IL-2, and IFN-γ. Interestingly, HMBPP/IL-23-induced production of IFN-γ in turn facilitated IL-23-induced expansion of HMBPP-activated Vγ2Vδ2 T cells. Furthermore, HMBPP/IL-23-induced proliferation of Vγ2Vδ2 T cells appeared to require APC contact and involve the conventional and novel protein kinase C signaling pathways. These findings suggest that Th17-related cytokines can contribute to recall-like expansion and effector function of Ag-specific γδ T cells after infection or vaccination.