Salvioni A, Belloy M, Lebourg A, Bassot E, Cantaloube-Ferrieu V, Vasseur V, Blanié S, Liblau RS, Suberbielle E, Robey EA, Blanchard N.

CD8 T cells play an important role in controlling pathogens that infect the central nervous system. Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic parasite that persists chronically in the brain in 30% of the world population and can cause encephalitis in immunodeficient individuals.

In this study, we have elucidated the mechanisms that underlie the detection of the parasite by CD8 T cells infiltrating the brain. We have shown that excitatory neurons of the central nervous system are capable of presenting parasite antigens to CD8 T lymphocytes and that this mechanism is required for the control of the parasite in the brain. Knowing that no treatment exists against the persistent intracerebral forms of Toxoplasma gondii (cysts), CD8 T cells may be harnessed to try to eliminate the parasite.

Cell Rep. 2019 Jun 11;27(11):3254-3268.e8.

Correspondant :