Transcriptional Memory-Like Imprints and Enhanced Functional Activity in γδ T Cells Following Resolution of Malaria Infection

Rasika Kumarasingha, Lisa J. Ioannidis, Waruni Abeysekera, Stephanie Studniberg, Dinidu Wijesurendra, Ramin Mazhari, Daniel P. Poole, Ivo Mueller, Louis Schofield, Diana S. Hansen, Emily M. Eriksson

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5 Citations (Scopus)


γδ T cells play an essential role in the immune response to many pathogens, including Plasmodium. However, long-lasting effects of infection on the γδ T cell population still remain inadequately understood. This study focused on assessing molecular and functional changes that persist in the γδ T cell population following resolution of malaria infection. We investigated transcriptional changes and memory-like functional capacity of malaria pre-exposed γδ T cells using a Plasmodium chabaudi infection model. We show that multiple genes associated with effector function (chemokines, cytokines and cytotoxicity) and antigen-presentation were upregulated in P. chabaudi-exposed γδ T cells compared to γδ T cells from naïve mice. This transcriptional profile was positively correlated with profiles observed in conventional memory CD8+ T cells and was accompanied by enhanced reactivation upon secondary encounter with Plasmodium-infected red blood cells in vitro. Collectively our data demonstrate that Plasmodium exposure result in “memory-like imprints” in the γδ T cell population and also promotes γδ T cells that can support antigen-presentation during subsequent infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number582358
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2020


  • chabaudi
  • memory
  • Plasmodium
  • RNA-Seq
  • γδ T cell

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