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A20 Curtails Primary but Augments Secondary CD8(+) T Cell Responses in Intracellular Bacterial Infection.Just, Sissy; Nishanth, Gopala; Buchbinder, Jörn H; Wang, Xu; Naumann, Michael; Lavrik, Inna; Schlüter, Dirk; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7., 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-12-22)The ubiquitin-modifying enzyme A20, an important negative feedback regulator of NF-κB, impairs the expansion of tumor-specific CD8(+) T cells but augments the proliferation of autoimmune CD4(+) T cells. To study the T cell-specific function of A20 in bacterial infection, we infected T cell-specific A20 knockout (CD4-Cre A20(fl/fl)) and control mice with Listeria monocytogenes. A20-deficient pathogen-specific CD8(+) T cells expanded stronger resulting in improved pathogen control at day 7 p.i. Imaging flow cytometry revealed that A20-deficient Listeria-specific CD8(+) T cells underwent increased apoptosis and necroptosis resulting in reduced numbers of memory CD8(+) T cells. In contrast, the primary CD4(+) T cell response was A20-independent. Upon secondary infection, the increase and function of pathogen-specific CD8(+) T cells, as well as pathogen control were significantly impaired in CD4-Cre A20(fl/fl) mice. In vitro, apoptosis and necroptosis of Listeria-specific A20-deficient CD8(+) T cells were strongly induced as demonstrated by increased caspase-3/7 activity, RIPK1/RIPK3 complex formation and more morphologically apoptotic and necroptotic CD8(+) T cells. In vitro, A20 limited CD95L and TNF-induced caspase3/7 activation. In conclusion, T cell-specific A20 limited the expansion but reduced apoptosis and necroptosis of Listeria-specific CD8(+) T cells, resulting in an impaired pathogen control in primary but improved clearance in secondary infection.