In our group, we have been developing 2 projects aim to investigate the phenotypic and functional characterize of a particular population of CD8+ T cells named as “innate CD8+ T cells”. These cells are known to play an important role in the early control of certain pathogens in murine infectious models.

Innate CD8+ T cells give rise in the thymus as a different lineage of conventional CD8+ T cells and we are currently investigating how their normal development could be altered under infectious/inflammatory immune processes.

It has been reported that these cells posses a high antitumor capacity mainly mediated by innate type of receptors rather by their own TCR. Part of our project is to evaluate the citotoxic activity of Innate CD8+ T cells in different murine models of cancer.

Interestingly, it has been reported in 2015 for the first time that a certain type of CD8+ T cells found in human blood share characteristic similar to the murine innate CD8+ T cells. This finding encouraged us to continue our studies to better understand the role of these cells during the control of different pathological situations like infectious processes and tumor growth in humans.

Publications by our group in this area

Barrios B, Baez, NS, Reynolds D, Iribarren P, Cejas H, Young HA, Rodriguez-Galan MC. Abrogation of TNFα production during cancer immunotherapy is crucial for suppressing side effects due to the systemic expression of IL-12. PLoS One 9(2):e90116. (2014).

Hodge D, Reynolds D, Cerbán F, Correa SG, Baez NS, Young HA and Rodriguez-Galan MC. MCP-1/CCR2 interactions direct migration of peripheral B and T lymphocytes to the thymus during acute infectious/inflammatory processes. Eur. J. Immunol. 42(10):2644-54. (2012).

Rodriguez-Galán MC, Reynolds D, Correa SG, Pablo Iribarren, Watanabe M, Young HA. Co-expression of IL-18 strongly attenuates IL-12-induced systemic toxicity through a rapid induction of IL-10 without affecting its anti-tumor capacity. J. Immunol. 183(1):740-748. (2009).

Rodriguez-Galán MC, Bream J, Farr A and Young HA. Synergistic effect of IL-2, IL-12 and IL-18 on thymocyte apoptosis and Th1/Th2 cytokine expression. J. Immunol. 174:2796-2804 . (2005).