Loss of CD4+ T cell-intrinsic arginase 1 accelerates Th1 response kinetics and reduces lung pathology during influenza infection

Erin E. West*, Nicolas S. Merle, Marcin M. Kamiński, Gustavo Palacios, Dhaneshwar Kumar, Luopin Wang, Jack A. Bibby, Kirsten Overdahl, Alan K. Jarmusch, Simon Freeley, Duck Yeon Lee, J. Will Thompson, Zu Xi Yu, Naomi Taylor, Marc Sitbon, Douglas R. Green, Andrea Bohrer, Katrin D. Mayer-Barber, Behdad Afzali, Majid KazemianSabine Scholl-Buergi, Daniela Karall, Martina Huemer, Claudia Kemper*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Arginase 1 (Arg1), the enzyme catalyzing the conversion of arginine to ornithine, is a hallmark of IL-10-producing immunoregulatory M2 macrophages. However, its expression in T cells is disputed. Here, we demonstrate that induction of Arg1 expression is a key feature of lung CD4+ T cells during mouse in vivo influenza infection. Conditional ablation of Arg1 in CD4+ T cells accelerated both virus-specific T helper 1 (Th1) effector responses and its resolution, resulting in efficient viral clearance and reduced lung pathology. Using unbiased transcriptomics and metabolomics, we found that Arg1-deficiency was distinct from Arg2-deficiency and caused altered glutamine metabolism. Rebalancing this perturbed glutamine flux normalized the cellular Th1 response. CD4+ T cells from rare ARG1-deficient patients or CRISPR-Cas9-mediated ARG1-deletion in healthy donor cells phenocopied the murine cellular phenotype. Collectively, CD4+ T cell-intrinsic Arg1 functions as an unexpected rheostat regulating the kinetics of the mammalian Th1 lifecycle with implications for Th1-associated tissue pathologies.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)2036-2053.e12
Publication statusPublished - 12.09.2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 204-05 Immunology

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