Naive CD4 and CD8 T cells are cornerstones of adaptive immunity, but the dynamics of their establishment early in life and how their kinetics change as they mature following release from the thymus are poorly understood. Further, due to the diverse signals implicated in naive T cell survival, it has been a long-held and conceptually attractive view that they are sustained by active homeostatic control as thymic activity wanes. Here we employ multiple experimental systems to identify a unified model of naive CD4 and CD8 T cell population dynamics in mice, across their lifespan. We infer that both subsets divide rarely and progressively increase their survival capacity with cell age. Strikingly, this simple model is able to describe naive CD4 T cell dynamics throughout life. In contrast, we find that newly generated naive CD8 T cells are lost more rapidly during the first 3-4 weeks of life, likely due to increased recruitment into memory. We find no evidence for elevated division rates in neonates, or for feedback regulation of naive T cell numbers at any age. We show how confronting mathematical models with diverse datasets can reveal a quantitative and remarkably simple picture of naive T cell dynamics in mice from birth into old age.
All code and data used in this study are available at https://github.com/sanketrane/T_cell_dynamics_birth-death
- Andrew J Yates
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All of the animals were handled according to UK home office regulations (licence PPL PP2330953) and institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols at University College London
- Gabrielle T Belz, The University of Queensland, Australia
© 2022, Rane et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The design of compounds that can discriminate between closely related target proteins remains a central challenge in drug discovery. Specific therapeutics targeting the highly conserved myosin motor family are urgently needed as mutations in at least 6 of its members cause numerous diseases. Allosteric modulators, like the myosin-II inhibitor blebbistatin, are a promising means to achieve specificity. However, it remains unclear why blebbistatin inhibits myosin-II motors with different potencies given that it binds at a highly conserved pocket that is always closed in blebbistatin-free experimental structures. We hypothesized that the probability of pocket opening is an important determinant of the potency of compounds like blebbistatin. To test this hypothesis, we used Markov state models (MSMs) built from over 2 milliseconds of aggregate molecular dynamics simulations with explicit solvent. We find that blebbistatin’s binding pocket readily opens in simulations of blebbistatin-sensitive myosin isoforms. Comparing these conformational ensembles reveals that the probability of pocket opening correctly identifies which isoforms are most sensitive to blebbistatin inhibition and that docking against MSMs quantitatively predicts blebbistatin binding affinities (R2=0.82). In a blind prediction for an isoform (Myh7b) whose blebbistatin sensitivity was unknown, we find good agreement between predicted and measured IC50s (0.67 mM vs. 0.36 mM). Therefore, we expect this framework to be useful for the development of novel specific drugs across numerous protein targets.
Epifluorescence miniature microscopes ('miniscopes') are widely used for in vivo calcium imaging of neural population activity. Imaging data is typically collected during a behavioral task and stored for later offline analysis, but emerging techniques for online imaging can support novel closed-loop experiments in which neural population activity is decoded in real time to trigger neurostimulation or sensory feedback. To achieve short feedback latencies, online imaging systems must be optimally designed to maximize computational speed and efficiency while minimizing errors in population decoding. Here we introduce DeCalciOn, an open-source device for real-time imaging and population decoding of in vivo calcium signals that is hardware compatible with all miniscopes that use the UCLA Data Acquisition (DAQ) interface. DeCalciOn performs online motion stabilization, neural enhancement, calcium trace extraction, and decoding of up to 1024 traces per frame at latencies of <50 ms after fluorescence photons arrive at the miniscope image sensor. We show that DeCalciOn can accurately decode the position of rats (n=12) running on a linear track from calcium fluorescence in the hippocampal CA1 layer, and can categorically classify behaviors performed by rats (n=2) during an instrumental task from calcium fluorescence in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). DeCalciOn achieves high decoding accuracy at short latencies using innovations such as field-programmable gate array (FPGA) hardware for real time image processing and contour-free methods to efficiently extract calcium traces from sensor images. In summary, our system offers an affordable plug-and-play solution for real-time calcium imaging experiments in behaving animals.