Cyclic dinucleotides modulate human T-cell response through monocyte cell death

Tosolini M, Pont F, Verhoeyen E, Fournié JJ

Eur. J. Immunol. 2015 Dec;45(12):3313-23


PMID: 26460927

Cyclic dinucleotides, a class of microbial messengers, have been recently identified in bacteria, but their activity in humans remains largely unknown. Here, we have studied the function of cyclic dinucleotides in humans. We found that c-di-AMP and cGAMP, two adenosine-based cyclic dinucleotides, activated T lymphocytes in an unusual manner through monocyte cell death. c-di-AMP and cGAMP induced the selective apoptosis of human monocytes, and T lymphocytes were activated by the direct contact with these dying monocytes. The ensuing T-cell response comprised cell-cycle exit, phenotypic maturation into effector memory cells and proliferation arrest, but not cell death. This quiescence was transient since T cells remained fully responsive to further restimulation. Together, our results depict a novel activation pattern for human T lymphocytes: a transient quiescence induced by c-di-AMP- or cGAMP-primed apoptotic monocytes.