DOCK8 is essential for T-cell survival and the maintenance of CD8+ T-cell memory

Teresa Lambe, Greg Crawford, Andy L Johnson, Tanya L Crockford, Tiphaine Bouriez-Jones, Aisling M Smyth, Trung H M Pham, Qian Zhang, Alexandra F Freeman, Jason G Cyster, Helen C Su, Richard J Cornall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deficiency in the guanine nucleotide exchange factor dedicator of cytokinesis 8 (DOCK8) causes a human immunodeficiency syndrome associated with recurrent sinopulmonary and viral infections. We have recently identified a DOCK8-deficient mouse strain, carrying an ethylnitrosourea-induced splice-site mutation that shows a failure to mature a humoral immune response due to the loss of germinal centre B cells. In this study, we turned to T-cell immunity to investigate further the human immunodeficiency syndrome and its association with decreased peripheral CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. Characterisation of the DOCK8-deficient mouse revealed T-cell lymphopenia, with increased T-cell turnover and decreased survival. Egress of mature CD4(+) thymocytes was reduced with increased migration of these cells to the chemokine CXCL12. However, despite the two-fold reduction in peripheral naïve T cells, the DOCK8-deficient mice generated a normal primary CD8(+) immune response and were able to survive acute influenza virus infection. The limiting effect of DOCK8 was in the normal survival of CD8(+) memory T cells after infection. These findings help to explain why DOCK8-deficient patients are susceptible to recurrent infections and provide new insights into how T-cell memory is sustained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3423-35
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


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