DataSheet_1_Impact of BCG vaccination on the repertoire of human γδ T cell receptors.docx (3.05 MB)
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DataSheet_1_Impact of BCG vaccination on the repertoire of human γδ T cell receptors.docx

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posted on 2023-03-28, 04:19 authored by Mei Xia, Azra Blazevic, Andrew Fiore-Gartland, Daniel F. Hoft

Tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection is a serious threat to human health. Vaccination with BCG prevents the development of the most severe forms of TB disease in infants and was recently shown to prevent Mtb infection in previously uninfected adolescents. γδ T cells play a major role in host defense at mucosal sites and are known to respond robustly to mycobacterial infection. However, our understanding of the effects of BCG vaccination on γδ T cell responses is incomplete.


In this study we performed γδ T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire sequencing of samples provided pre- and post-BCG vaccination from 10 individuals to identify specific receptors and TCR clones that are induced by BCG.


Overall, there was no change in the diversity of γTCR or δTCR clonotypes in post- vs pre-BCG samples. Furthermore, the frequencies of TCR variable and joining region genes were minimally modulated by BCG vaccination at either the γTCR or δTCR loci. However, the γTCR and δTCR repertoires of individuals were highly dynamic; a median of ~1% of γTCR and ~6% of δTCR in the repertoire were found to significantly expand or contract in post- vs pre-BCG comparisons (FDR-q < 0.05). While many of the clonotypes whose frequency changed after BCG vaccination were not shared among multiple individuals in the cohort, several shared (i.e., “public”) clonotypes were identified with a consistent increase or decrease in frequency across more than one individual; the degree of sharing of these clonotypes was significantly greater than the minimal sharing that would be expected among γTCR and δTCR repertoires. An in vitro analysis of Mtb antigen-reactive γδ T cells identified clonotypes that were similar or identical to the single-chain γTCRs and δTCRs that changed consistently after BCG vaccination; pairings of γTCRs and δTCRs that increased after BCG vaccination were significantly over-represented among the Mtb-reactive γδ T cells (p = 1.2e-6).


These findings generate hypotheses about specific γδTCR clonotypes that may expand in response to BCG vaccination and may recognize Mtb antigens. Future studies are required to validate and characterize these clonotypes, with an aim to better understand the role of γδ T cells in Mtb immunity.