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.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)
DFG Research Classification Scheme
- 204-05 Immunology