Amplifying IFN-{gamma} Signaling in Dendritic Cells by CD11c-Specific Loss of SOCS1 Increases Innate Immunity to Infection while Decreasing Adaptive Immunity [INFECTIOUS DISEASE AND HOST RESPONSE]


Although prophylactic vaccines provide protective humoral immunity against infectious agents, vaccines that elicit potent CD8 T cell responses are valuable tools to shape and drive cellular immunity against cancer and intracellular infection. In particular, IFN-γ–polarized cytotoxic CD8 T cell immunity is considered optimal for protective immunity against intracellular Ags. Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)1 is a cross-functional negative regulator of TLR and cytokine receptor signaling via degradation of the receptor–signaling complex. We hypothesized that loss of SOCS1 in dendritic cells (DCs) would improve T cell responses by accentuating IFN-γ–directed immune responses. We tested this hypothesis using a recombinant Listeria monocytogenes vaccine platform that targets CD11c+ DCs in mice in which SOCS1 is selectively deleted in all CD11c+ cells. Unexpectedly, in mice lacking SOCS1 expression in CD11c+ cells, we observed a decrease in CD8+ T cell response to the L. monocytogenes vaccine. NK cell responses were also decreased in mice lacking SOCS1 expression in CD11c+ cells but did not explain the defect in CD8+ T cell immunity. We found that DCs lacking SOCS1 expression were functional in driving Ag-specific CD8+ T cell expansion in vitro but that this process was defective following infection in vivo. Instead, monocyte-derived innate TNF-α and inducible NO synthase–producing DCs dominated the antibacterial response. Thus, loss of SOCS1 in CD11c+ cells skewed the balance of immune response to infection by increasing innate responses while decreasing Ag-specific adaptive responses to infectious Ags.


  • This work was supported by Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs Grant W81XWH-11-PRCRP-DA (to K.S.B.) and National Institutes of Health Grants R01CA182311 (to M.J.G.) and R21AI126151 (to M.R.C.).

  • The online version of this article contains supplemental material.

  • Abbreviations used in this article:

    ΔactA ActA-QV
    brain–heart infusion
    bone marrow–derived DC
    dendritic cell
    intracellular cytokine staining
    inducible NO synthase
    MHC class II
    quantitative real-time PCR
    suppressor of cytokine signaling
    stimulator of IFN genes
    TNF-α and inducible NO synthase–producing DC
  • Received June 22, 2017.
  • Accepted October 23, 2017.

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