Respiratory syncytial virus induces phosphorylation of mTOR at ser2448 in CD8 T cells from nasal washes of infected infants

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SummaryRespiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-specific CD8+ T cell responses do not protect against reinfection. Activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) impairs memory CD8+ T cell differentiation. Our hypothesis was that RSV inhibits the formation of CD8+ T cells memory responses through mTOR activation. To explore this, human and mouse T cells were used. RSV induced mTOR phosphorylation at Ser2448 in CD8 T cells. mTOR activation by RSV was completely inhibited using rapamycin. RSV-infected children presented higher mTOR gene expression on nasal washes comparing to children infected with metapneumovirus and rhinovirus. In addition, RSV-infected infants presented a higher frequency of CD8+ pmTORser2448+ T cells in nasal washes compared to RSV-negative infants. Rapamycin treatment increased the frequency of mouse CD8 RSV-M282–90 pentamer-positive T cells and the frequency of RSV-specific memory T cells precursors. These data demonstrate that RSV is activating mTOR directly in CD8 T cells, indicating a role for mTOR during the course of RSV infection.

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