Publication date: Dec 02, 2023
As SARS-CoV-2 variants continue evolving, testing updated vaccines in non-human primates remains important for guiding human clinical practice. To date, such studies have focused on antibody titers and antigen-specific B and T cell frequencies. Here, we extend our understanding by integrating innate and adaptive immune responses to mRNA-1273 vaccination in rhesus macaques. We sorted innate immune cells from a pre-vaccine time point, as well as innate immune cells and antigen-specific peripheral B and T cells two weeks after each of two vaccine doses and used single-cell sequencing to assess the transcriptomes and adaptive immune receptors of each cell. We show that a subset of S-specific T cells expresses cytokines critical for activating innate responses, with a concomitant increase in CCR5-expressing intermediate monocytes and a shift of natural killer cells to a more cytotoxic phenotype. The second vaccine dose, administered 4 weeks after the first, elicits an increase in circulating germinal center-like B cells 2 weeks later, which are more clonally expanded and enriched for epitopes in the receptor binding domain. Both doses stimulate inflammatory response genes associated with elevated antibody production. Overall, we provide a comprehensive picture of bidirectional signaling between innate and adaptive components of the immune system and suggest potential mechanisms for the enhanced response to secondary exposure.
Open Access PDF