NK cell suppression of T cells is a key determinant of viral pathogenesis and vaccine efficacy. This process involves perforin-dependent elimination of activated CD4+ T cells during the first 3 days of infection. Although this mechanism requires cell-cell contact, NK cells and T cells typically reside in different compartments of lymphoid tissues at steady state. Here, we showed that NK cell suppression of T cells is associated with transient accumulation of NK cells within T cell–rich sites of the spleen during lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection. The chemokine receptor CXCR3 was required for this relocation and suppression of antiviral T cells. Accordingly, NK cell migration was mediated by type I IFN–dependent promotion of CXCR3 ligand expression. In contrast, adenoviral vectors that weakly induced type I IFN and did not stimulate NK cell inhibition of T cells also did not promote measurable redistribution of NK cells to T cell zones. Exogenous IFN rescued NK cell migration during adenoviral vector immunization. Thus, type I IFN and CXCR3 were critical for properly positioning NK cells to constrain antiviral T cell responses. Development of strategies to curtail migration of NK cells between lymphoid compartments may enhance vaccine-elicited immune responses.
Ayad Ali, Laura M. Canaday, H. Alex Feldman, Hilal Cevik, Michael T. Moran, Sanjeeth Rajaram, Nora Lakes, Jasmine A. Tuazon, Harsha Seelamneni, Durga Krishnamurthy, Eryn Blass, Dan H. Barouch, Stephen N. Waggoner