Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a leading cause of chronic liver disease that can progress to liver fibrosis. Recent clinical advance suggests a reversibility of liver fibrosis, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying NASH resolution remain unclarified. Here, using a murine diet-induced NASH and the subsequent resolution model, we demonstrate direct roles of CD8+ tissue-resident memory CD8+ T (CD8+ Trm) cells in resolving liver fibrosis. Single-cell transcriptome analysis and FACS analysis revealed CD69+CD103−CD8+ Trm cell enrichment in NASH resolution livers. The reduction of liver CD8+ Trm cells, maintained by tissue IL-15, significantly delayed fibrosis resolution, while adoptive transfer of these cells protected mice from fibrosis progression. During resolution, CD8+ Trm cells attracted hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in a CCR5-dependent manner, and predisposed activated HSCs to FasL-Fas-mediated apoptosis. Histological assessment of patients with NASH revealed CD69+CD8+ Trm abundance in fibrotic areas, further supporting their roles in humans. These results highlight the undefined role of liver CD8+ Trm in fibrosis resolution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)