Expression of CD9 on porcine lymphocytes and its relation to T cell differentiation and cytokine production

In this work, we report on two novel monoclonal antibodies, specific for porcine CD9. CD9 is a tetraspanin that is expressed on a wide variety of cells. We phenotyped porcine immune cell subsets and found that CD9 was expressed on all monocytes as well as a subset of B cells. CD9 was variably expressed on T cells, with CD4 T cells containing the highest frequency of CD9+ cells. CD9 expression positively correlated with the frequency of central memory CD4 T cells in ex vivo PBMC. Therefore, we proceeded to explore CD9 as a marker of T cell function. Here we observed that CD9 was expressed on the vast majority of long-lived influenza A virus-specific effector cells that retained the capacity for cytokine production in response to in vitro recall antigen. Therefore, the new antibodies enable the detection of a cell surface molecule with functional relevance to T cells. Considering the importance of CD9 in membrane remodelling across many cell types, they will also benefit the wider field of swine biomedical research.

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