Lung-resident antigen-presenting macrophages promote tolerance to inhaled antigens via the induction of regulatory T cells.
Airway tolerance is the usual outcome of inhalation of harmless antigens. Although T cell deletion and anergy are likely components of tolerogenic mechanisms in the lung, increasing evidence indicates that antigen-specific regulatory T cells (inducible Treg cells [iTreg cells]) that express Foxp3 are also critical. Several lung antigen-presenting cells have been suggested to contribute to tolerance, including alveolar macrophages (MØs), classical dendritic cells (DCs), and plasmacytoid DCs, but whether these possess the attributes required to directly promote the development of Foxp3+ iTreg cells is unclear. Here, we show that lung-resident tissue MØs coexpress TGF-β and retinal dehydrogenases (RALDH1 and RALDH 2) under steady-state conditions and that their sampling of harmless airborne antigen and presentation to antigen-specific CD4 T cells resulted in the generation of Foxp3+ Treg cells. Treg cell induction in this model depended on both TGF-β and retinoic acid. Transfer of the antigen-pulsed tissue MØs into the airways correspondingly prevented the development of asthmatic lung inflammation upon subsequent challenge with antigen. Moreover, exposure of lung tissue MØs to allergens suppressed their ability to generate iTreg cells coincident with blocking airway tolerance. Suppression of Treg cell generation required proteases and TLR-mediated signals. Therefore, lung-resident tissue MØs have regulatory functions, and strategies to target these cells might hold promise for prevention or treatment of allergic asthma.
Rationale: Epidemiologic studies have shown that exacerbation of asthma is modulated by environmental endotoxin. High levels of endotoxin are associated with asthma symptoms and the current use of asthma medication. However, the underlying mechanisms by which endotoxin modulates asthma are not completely understood.
Objectives: The aim of the study was to test whether endotoxin enhances the response of individuals with allergic asthma to allergen, and to determine if this interaction is associated with increased numbers of antigen-presenting cells in the airways.
Methods: Seventeen subjects with mild allergic asthma underwent segmental challenge with allergen, endotoxin, and the combination of both in three different lung segments via bronchoscopy. The cellular influx including monocytes, myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs), and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), as well as the level of cytokines, were assessed in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid obtained 24 hours after segmental challenge. Monocytes, mDCs, and pDCs were isolated and their capacity to induce T cell proliferation was determined.
Measurements and Main Results: Endotoxin enhanced the cellular response to allergen. The combination of allergen and endotoxin resulted in increased numbers of total cells, lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, monocytes, and mDCs, as well as increased levels of lipopolysaccharide-binding protein, IL-1α, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor–α in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid compared with allergen alone. Isolated mDCs but not pDCs induced a strong T cell proliferation in vitro.
Conclusions: Endotoxin augments the allergic inflammation in the lungs of individuals with asthma, and induces an enhanced influx of monocytes and functionally active antigen-presenting mDCs into the respiratory tract.
dendritic cells; monocytes; bronchoalveolar lavage; endobronchial allergen challenge; mixed lymphocyte culture test
Allergic asthma is caused by inhaled allergens and it is characterized by airway eosinophilia as well as mucus hypersecretion which can lead to airflow obstruction. Despite the association of increased IL-6 levels with human atopic asthma, the contribution of IL-6 to the development of allergic airway inflammation triggered by inhaled allergens remains unclear. In this study, we examined the role of IL-6 in a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation induced by direct airway exposure to extracts of Aspergillus fumigatus, a common allergen in humans. We show here that inhaled A. fumigatus extracts rapidly triggers the production of IL-6 in the airways. IL-6 appears to be dispensable for the recruitment of eosinophils to the lung during the development of allergic airway inflammation. However, IL-6 is essential for mucus hypersecretion by airway epithelial cells triggered in response to inhaled A. fumigatus antigens. Impaired mucus production caused by IL-6 deficiency correlates with a severe reduction in the levels of IL-13, a major inducer of mucin glycoproteins. Thus, IL-6 is a key regulator of specific hallmark features of allergic airway inflammation, and it could be a potential target for pulmonary diseases that are associated with goblet cell metaplasia and mucus hypersecretion.
Lung; Allergy; Fungal; Rodent; Cytokines
Oral tolerance prevents oral sensitization to dietary antigens (Ags), including proteins and haptens, and development of delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses. We showed here that plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) prevented oral T cell priming and were responsible for systemic tolerance to CD4+ and CD8+ T cell-mediated DTH responses induced by Ag feeding. Systemic depletion of pDCs prevented induction of tolerance by antigen feeding. Transfer of oral Ag-loaded liver pDCs to naive recipient mice induced Ag-specific suppression of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses to protein and hapten, respectively. Liver is a site of oral Ag presentation, and pDCs appeared to induce anergy or deletion of Ag-specific T cells in the liver relatively rapidly via a CD4+ T cell-independent mechanism. These data demonstrate that oral tolerance relies on Ag presentation by pDC to T cells and suggest that pDC could represent a key therapeutic target for intestinal and systemic inflammatory diseases.
Respiratory exposure to allergens can lead to airway tolerance. Factors that antagonize tolerance mechanisms in the lung might result in susceptibility to diseases such as asthma. We show that inhalation of endotoxin/LPS with antigen prevented airway tolerance and abolished protection from T cell-driven asthmatic lung inflammation. Under conditions leading to tolerance, adaptive antigen-specific CD4+Foxp3+ Treg were generated following exposure to intranasal antigen and outnumbered IL-4- and IFN-γ-producing CD4 T cells by 100:1 or greater. Inhaled LPS altered the ratio of Treg to IL-4+ or IFN-γ+ T cells by concomitantly suppressing Treg generation and promoting effector T cell generation. LPS induced OX40L expression on dendritic cells and B cells that resulted in a synergistic activity between TLR4 and OX40 signals, leading to production of IL-4, IFN-γ, and IL-6, that blocked Treg development. Furthermore, inhibiting OX40/OX40L interactions prevented LPS from suppressing tolerance, and resulted in the generation of greater numbers of adaptive Treg. Thus, co-operation between TLR4 and OX40 control susceptibility to developing airway disease via modulating the balance between adaptive Treg and IL-4+ or IFN-γ+ T cells. Targeting OX40L then has the potential to improve the efficacy of antigen immunotherapy to promote tolerance.
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are a particular subset of DCs that link innate and adaptive immunity. They are responsible for the substantial production of type 1 interferon (IFN-I) in response to viral RNA or DNA through activation of TLR7 and 9. Furthermore, pDCs present antigens (Ag) and induce naïve T cell differentiation. It has been demonstrated that pDCs can induce immunogenic T cell responses through differentiation of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells and effector CD4+ T cells. Conversely, pDCs exhibit strong tolerogenic functions by inducing CD8+ T cell deletion, CD4+ T cell anergy, and Treg differentiation. However, since IFN-I produced by pDCs efficiently activates and recruits conventional DCs, B cells, T cells, and NK cells, pDCs also indirectly affect the nature and the amplitude of adaptive immune responses. As a consequence, the precise role of Ag-presenting functions of pDCs in adaptive immunity has been difficult to dissect in vivo. Additionally, different experimental procedures led to conflicting results regarding the outcome of T cell responses induced by pDCs. During the development of autoimmunity, pDCs have been shown to play both immunogenic and tolerogenic functions depending on disease, disease progression, and the experimental conditions. In this review, we will discuss the relative contribution of innate and adaptive pDC functions in modulating T cell responses, particularly during the development of autoimmunity.
plasmacytoid dendritic cells; type-I IFNs; antigen-presentation; tolerance; autoimmunity
Allergic asthma is an inflammatory lung disease initiated and directed by T helper cells type 2 (Th2). The mechanism involved in generation of Th2 responses to inert inhaled antigens, however, is unknown. Epidemiological evidence suggests that exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or other microbial products can influence the development and severity of asthma. However, the mechanism by which LPS influences asthma pathogenesis remains undefined. Although it is known that signaling through Toll-like receptors (TLR) is required for adaptive T helper cell type 1 (Th1) responses, it is unclear if TLRs are needed for Th2 priming. Here, we report that low level inhaled LPS signaling through TLR4 is necessary to induce Th2 responses to inhaled antigens in a mouse model of allergic sensitization. The mechanism by which LPS signaling results in Th2 sensitization involves the activation of antigen-containing dendritic cells. In contrast to low levels, inhalation of high levels of LPS with antigen results in Th1 responses. These studies suggest that the level of LPS exposure can determine the type of inflammatory response generated and provide a potential mechanistic explanation of epidemiological data on endotoxin exposure and asthma prevalence.
asthma; Toll-like receptor; T cell; dendritic cell; lung
Dendritic cells (DCs) control the balance between protection against pathogens and tolerance to innocuous or self-antigens. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that mouse plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) can be segregated into three distinct populations, exhibiting phenotypic and functional differences, according to their surface expression of CD8α or CD8β as CD8α−β−, CD8α+β− or CD8α+β+. In a mouse model of lung inflammation, adoptive transfer of CD8α+β− or CD8α+β+ pDCs prevents the development of airway hyperreactivity. The tolerogenic features of these subsets are associated with increased production of retinoic acid, which leads to the enhanced induction of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells compared to CD8α−β− pDCs. Our data thus identify subsets of pDCs with potent tolerogenic functions that may contribute to the maintenance of tolerance in mucosal sites such as the lungs.
To determine the role of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) and myeloid dendritic cells (mDC) in priming effector T cells to induce allergy, and to evaluate the effect of immunostimulatory sequences (ISS, TLR9 agonist) on dendritic cells.
Cultured mDC and pDC with/without ISS were injected intratracheally into sensitized Balb/C mice. Mice were sacrificed, and then pulmonary function tests, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), cell counts, and cytokine levels were evaluated. Migration of dendritic cells was also evaluated after ISS administration.
In mice injected with mDC, airway hyperresponsiveness, eosinophil counts, and Th2 cytokine levels in BAL increased with increasing numbers of mDC injected. However, in mice injected with pDC, none of these changed, suggesting poor priming of T cells by pDC. In addition, mDC pulsed with ISS inhibited asthmatic reactions, and ISS administration inhibited migration of DC to the lung.
We suggest that pDC played a limited role in priming T cells in this asthma model and that mDC played a major role in inducing asthma. In addition, ISS inhibited migration of DC to the lung.
Plasmacytoid dendritic cell; myeloid dendritic cell; allergy; immunostimulatory sequence; TLR9; migration
Dendritic cells (DC), considered as immunological sentinels of the organism since they are antigen presenting cells, create the link between innate and adaptive immunity. DC include myeloid dendritic cells (MDC) and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC). The presence of PDC, cells capable of producing large quantities of interferon alpha (IFN-α) in response to pathogenic agents or danger signals, seem to be tightly related to pathological conditions. Thereby, PDC have been observed in inflammatory immunoallergic dermatological disorders, in malignant cutaneous tumours and in cutaneous lesions of infectious origin. They seem to play a crucial role in the initiation of the pathological process of autoimmune diseases such as lupus or psoriasis. Their function within a tumour context is not as well known and is controversial. They could have a tolerogenic role towards tumour cells in the absence of activator but they also have the capacity to become activated in response to Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands and could therefore be usefull for therapeutic purposes.
Autoimmune Diseases; immunology; Dendritic Cells; immunology; secretion; Humans; Interferon-alpha; immunology; secretion; Skin Diseases; immunology; Skin Neoplasms; immunology; Interferon alpha; Lupus; Melanoma; Plasmacytoid dendritic cell; Psoriasis; Toll-like receptor ligand
Placental Plasmodium falciparum infection affects birth outcomes and sensitizes fetal lymphocytes to parasite antigens. We assessed the influence of maternal P. falciparum infection on fetal myeloid dendritic cells (mDC) and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC), analyzing the cord blood of offspring of Gabonese mothers with different infection histories. Cord blood from newborns of mothers with malarial infection at delivery had significantly more mDC than that from nonexposed newborns (P = 0.028) but mDC and pDC HLA-DR expression was unrelated to maternal infection history. Independently of these findings, cord blood mDC and pDC numbers declined significantly as a function of increasing maternal age (P = 0.029 and P = 0.033, respectively). The inducible antigen-specific interleukin-10-producing regulatory-type T-cell population that we have previously detected in cord blood of newborns with prolonged in utero exposure to P. falciparum may directly reflect the altered DC numbers in such neonates, while the maintenance of cord blood DC HLA-DR expression contrasts with that of DC from P. falciparum malaria patients.
Children with allergic asthma have more frequent and severe human rhinovirus (HRV)-induced wheezing and asthma exacerbations through unclear mechanisms.
To determine whether increased high-affinity IgE receptor (FcεRI) expression and cross-linking impairs innate immune responses to HRV, particularly in allergic asthmatic children.
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were obtained from 44 children and surface expression of FcεRI on plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs), monocytes, and basophils was assessed using flow cytometry. Cells were also incubated with rabbit anti-human IgE to cross-link FcεRI, followed by stimulation with HRV-16, and interferon (IFN)-α and -λ1 were measured by Luminex. The relationships among FcεRI expression and cross-linking, HRV-induced IFN-α and -λ1 production, and childhood allergy and asthma were subsequently analyzed.
FcεRIα expression on pDCs was inversely associated with HRV-induced IFN- α and IFN-λ1 production. Cross-linking FcεRI prior to HRV stimulation further reduced PBMC IFN-α (47% relative reduction, 95% confidence interval [CI], 32–62%, p<0.0001) and IFN-λ1 (81% relative reduction, 95% CI, 69–93%, p<0.0001) secretion. Allergic asthmatic children had higher surface expression of FcεRIα on pDCs and mDCs when compared to non-allergic non-asthmatic children. Further, after FcεRI cross-linking, allergic asthmatic children had significantly lower HRV-induced IFN responses than allergic non-asthmatics (IFN-α, p=0.004; IFN-λ1, p=0.02) and non-allergic non-asthmatics (IFN-α, p=0.002; IFN-λ1, p=0.01).
Allergic asthmatic children have impaired innate immune responses to HRV that correlate with increased FcεRI expression on pDCs and are reduced by FcεRI cross-linking. These effects likely increase susceptibility to HRV-induced wheezing and asthma exacerbations.
asthma; allergic; rhinovirus; interferon; FcεRI; IgE receptor; plasmacytoid dendritic cells
The respiratory tract is continuously exposed to both innocuous airborne antigens and immunostimulatory molecules of microbial origin, such as LPS. At low concentrations, airborne LPS can induce a lung DC–driven Th2 cell response to harmless inhaled antigens, thereby promoting allergic asthma. However, only a small fraction of people exposed to environmental LPS develop allergic asthma. What prevents most people from mounting a lung DC–driven Th2 response upon exposure to LPS is not understood. Here we have shown that lung interstitial macrophages (IMs), a cell population with no previously described in vivo function, prevent induction of a Th2 response in mice challenged with LPS and an experimental harmless airborne antigen. IMs, but not alveolar macrophages, were found to produce high levels of IL-10 and to inhibit LPS-induced maturation and migration of DCs loaded with the experimental harmless airborne antigen in an IL-10–dependent manner. We further demonstrated that specific in vivo elimination of IMs led to overt asthmatic reactions to innocuous airborne antigens inhaled with low doses of LPS. This study has revealed a crucial role for IMs in maintaining immune homeostasis in the respiratory tract and provides an explanation for the paradox that although airborne LPS has the ability to promote the induction of Th2 responses by lung DCs, it does not provoke airway allergy under normal conditions.
Asthma is caused by memory Th2 cells that often arise early in life and persist after repeated encounters with allergen. Although much is known regarding how Th2 cells develop, there is little information about the molecules that regulate memory Th2 cells after they have formed. Here we show that the costimulatory molecule OX40 is expressed on memory CD4 cells. In already sensitized animals, blocking OX40–OX40L interactions at the time of inhalation of aerosolized antigen suppressed memory effector accumulation in lung draining lymph nodes and lung, and prevented eosinophilia, airway hyperreactivity, mucus secretion, and Th2 cyto-kine production. Demonstrating that OX40 signals directly regulate memory T cells, antigen-experienced OX40-deficient T cells were found to divide initially but could not survive and accumulate in large numbers after antigen rechallenge. Thus, OX40–OX40L interactions are pivotal to the efficiency of recall responses regulated by memory Th2 cells.
OX40; asthma; memory T cells; Th2; allergy
Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) has been reported to activate myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) to induce Th2 T lymphocyte responses. Its effect on plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) with TLR ligands has not yet been studied. We investigated the effects of TSLP and TLR ligands on mDCs and pDCs subsets.
Myeloid dendritic cells (mDC) and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) were stimulated by TLR ligands (mDC with TLR1/2 LTA, TLR2 PGN, TLR3 poly I: C, TLR4 LPS, TLR5 Flagellin) (pDC with TLR9 CpG2006, CpG 2216, TLR7 loxoribine) in the presence or absence of TSLP. Supernatants from mDCs and pDCs were analyzed for cytokine production. mDCs and pDCs were collected and cultured with allogeneic naïve T cells and after 7 days of co-culture. DC-primed CD4+ T cells were washed and restimulated with PMA and ionomycin. Cytokine production in supernatants from restimulated cells - IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-13, TNF-α was analyzed by Luminex.
TSLP alone induced the expression of maturation markers on mDCs and increased their ability to polarize lymphocytes into the Th2 phenotype. We demonstrated that pDCs also have the capacity to become even more potent inducers of Th2 immune responses, but only after combined treatment with TSLP and TLR ligands, particularly with TLR9 ligand CpG 2006.
TSLP plays a major role in Th2 polarization of immune response mediated by myeloid DCs. Here, we demonstrate that plasmacytoid DCs, exposed to TSLP together with TLR ligands, acquire significant potential towards Th2 polarization.
dendritic cell; T cell; allergy; TLR ligand
Dendritic cells (DCs) play a central role in innate immunity and antiviral responses. In this study, we investigated the production of alpha interferon (IFN-α) and inducible chemokines by human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (mDCs) and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) infected with West Nile virus (WNV), an emergent pathogen whose infection can lead to severe cases of encephalitis in the elderly, children, and immunocompromised individuals. Our experiments demonstrated that WNV grown in mammalian cells (WNVVero) was a potent inducer of IFN-α secretion in pDCs and, to a lesser degree, in mDCs. The ability of WNVVero to induce IFN-α in pDCs did not require viral replication and was prevented by the treatment of cells with bafilomycin A1 and chloroquine, suggesting that it was dependent on endosomal Toll-like receptor recognition. On the other hand, IFN-α production in mDCs required viral replication and was associated with the nuclear translocation of IRF3 and viral antigen expression. Strikingly, pDCs failed to produce IFN-α when stimulated with WNV grown in mosquito cells (WNVC7/10), while mDCs responded similarly to WNVVero or WNVC7/10. Moreover, the IFN-dependent chemokine IP-10 was produced in substantial amounts by pDCs in response to WNVVero but not WNVC7/10, while interleukin-8 was produced in greater amounts by mDCs infected with WNVC7/10 than in those infected with WNVVero. These findings suggest that cell-specific mechanisms of WNV recognition leading to the production of type I IFN and inflammatory chemokines by DCs may contribute to both the innate immune response and disease pathogenesis in human infections.
Dendritic cells (DC) are professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that modulate the outcome of the immune response toward immunity or tolerance. There are a large variety of DC subsets according to surface phenotype, function, and tissue distribution. Murine plasmacytoid DC (pDC) represent a distinctive DC population and are characterized by the expression of CD11c, B220, Gr-1, CD45RA, Ly49Q, BST2, and siglec-H on the cell surface. PDC act as immunogenic cell sentinels by secreting large amounts of type I interferon (IFN) in the lymph nodes in response to viral stimulation. PDC also act as tolerogenic cells when expressing the inducible tolerogenic enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), the inducible costimulator ligand (ICOS-L), and/or the programmed death 1 ligand (PD-L1), which mediate regulatory T-cell (Treg) development and suppression of self- and alloreactive cells. The PDC ability to induce Treg development is associated with capture and presentation of antigenic peptides associated with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and II. Here, we provide the tools to study PDC development from bone marrow cultures, their antigen presentation properties, and their interactions with Treg under a tolerogenic setting of sterile inflammation.
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells; Antigen presentation; Regulatory T cells
One mechanism contributing to immunologic unresponsiveness toward tumors may be presentation of tumor antigens by tolerogenic host APCs. We show that mouse tumor-draining LNs (TDLNs) contained a subset of plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) that constitutively expressed immunosuppressive levels of the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO). Despite comprising only 0.5% of LN cells, these pDCs in vitro potently suppressed T cell responses to antigens presented by the pDCs themselves and also, in a dominant fashion, suppressed T cell responses to third-party antigens presented by nonsuppressive APCs. Adoptive transfer of DCs from TDLNs into naive hosts created profound local T cell anergy, specifically toward antigens expressed by the transferred DCs. Anergy was prevented by targeted disruption of the IDO gene in the DCs or by administration of the IDO inhibitor drug 1-methyl-D-tryptophan to recipient mice. Within the population of pDCs, the majority of the functional IDO-mediated suppressor activity segregated with a novel subset of pDCs coexpressing the B-lineage marker CD19. We hypothesize that IDO-mediated suppression by pDCs in TDLNs creates a local microenvironment that is potently suppressive of host antitumor T cell responses.
Although dendritic cells (DCs) play an important role in sensitization to inhaled allergens, their function in ongoing T helper (Th)2 cell–mediated eosinophilic airway inflammation underlying bronchial asthma is currently unknown. Here, we show in an ovalbumin (OVA)-driven murine asthma model that airway DCs acquire a mature phenotype and interact with CD4+ T cells within sites of peribronchial and perivascular inflammation. To study whether DCs contributed to inflammation, we depleted DCs from the airways of CD11c-diphtheria toxin (DT) receptor transgenic mice during the OVA aerosol challenge. Airway administration of DT depleted CD11c+ DCs and alveolar macrophages and abolished the characteristic features of asthma, including eosinophilic inflammation, goblet cell hyperplasia, and bronchial hyperreactivity. In the absence of CD11c+ cells, endogenous or adoptively transferred CD4+ Th2 cells did not produce interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, and IL-13 in response to OVA aerosol. In CD11c-depleted mice, eosinophilic inflammation and Th2 cytokine secretion were restored by adoptive transfer of CD11c+ DCs, but not alveolar macrophages. These findings identify lung DCs as key proinflammatory cells that are necessary and sufficient for Th2 cell stimulation during ongoing airway inflammation.
Allergic asthma stems largely from the actions of T helper 2 (Th2) cells, but the pathways that initiate Th2 responses to inhaled allergens are not fully understood. In the lung, there are two major subsets of dendritic cells (DCs), displaying CD11b or CD103. We found that after taking up inhaled ovalbumin in vivo, purified CD103+ DCs from the lung or lung-draining lymph nodes primed Th2 differentiation ex vivo. Th2 induction by CD103+ DCs was also seen when cockroach or house dust mite allergens were used. In contrast, CD11bhi DCs primed Th1 differentiation. Moreover, mice lacking CD103+ DCs displayed diminished Th2 priming to various inhaled allergens and did not develop asthma-like responses following subsequent allergen challenge. Low-level antigen presentation by CD103+ DCs was necessary, but not sufficient for Th2 priming. Together, these findings show that CD103+ DCs have a significant role in priming Th2 responses to inhaled allergens.
Although there is evidence for distinct roles of myeloid dendritic cells (DCs [mDCs]) and plasmacytoid pre-DCs (pDCs) in regulating T cell–mediated adaptive immunity, the concept of functional DC subsets has been questioned because of the lack of a molecular mechanism to explain these differences. In this study, we provide direct evidence that maturing mDCs and pDCs express different sets of molecules for T cell priming. Although both maturing mDCs and pDCs upregulate the expression of CD80 and CD86, only pDCs upregulate the expression of inducible costimulator ligand (ICOS-L) and maintain high expression levels upon differentiation into mature DCs. High ICOS-L expression endows maturing pDCs with the ability to induce the differentiation of naive CD4 T cells to produce interleukin-10 (IL-10) but not the T helper (Th)2 cytokines IL-4, -5, and -13. These IL-10–producing T cells are T regulatory cells, and their generation by ICOS-L is independent of pDC-driven Th1 and Th2 differentiation, although, in the later condition, some contribution from endogenous IL-4 cannot be completely ruled out. Thus, in contrast to mDCs, pDCs are poised to express ICOS-L upon maturation, which leads to the generation of IL-10–producing T regulatory cells. Our findings demonstrate that mDC and pDCs are intrinsically different in the expression of costimulatory molecules that drive distinct types of T cell responses.
Cancer creates a peculiar inflammatory environment enriched for transcription factors with a negative influence on adaptive immunity. In this issue of the JCI, Watkins and colleagues identify Foxo3 as a master regulator of the tolerogenic program in tumor-associated, plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). Foxo3 enables pDCs to induce tolerance in tumor antigen-specific CD8+ T cells, turning them into regulatory lymphocytes capable of inhibiting nearby CD8+ T lymphocytes. Provision of tumor-specific CD4+ T helper cells interrupts this circuit by inhibiting Foxo3 expression and fully licensing the antigen-presenting ability of pDCs. These data identify a new target for therapeutic intervention and provide insight into the transcription factor interplay in myeloid cells recruited to the cancer microenvironment.
Rationale: There is conflicting information about the development and resolution of airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) after repeated airway exposure to allergen in sensitized mice.
Methods: Sensitized BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice were exposed to repeated allergen challenge on 3, 7, or 11 occasions. Airway function in response to inhaled methacholine was monitored; bronchoalveolar lavage fluid inflammatory cells were counted; and goblet cell metaplasia, peribronchial fibrosis, and smooth muscle hypertrophy were quantitated on tissue sections. Bone marrow–derived dendritic cells were generated after differentiation of bone marrow cells in the presence of growth factors.
Results: Sensitization to ovalbumin (OVA) in alum, followed by three airway exposures to OVA, induced lung eosinophilia, goblet cell metaplasia, mild peribronchial fibrosis, and peribronchial smooth muscle hypertrophy; increased levels of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-13, granulocyte-macrophage colony–stimulating factor, transforming growth factor-β1, eotaxin-1, RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted), and OVA-specific IgG1 and IgE; and resulted in AHR. After seven airway challenges, development of AHR was markedly decreased as was the production of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13. Levels of IL-10 in both strains and the level of IL-12 in BALB/c mice increased. After 11 challenges, airway eosinophilia and peribronchial fibrosis further declined and the cytokine and chemokine profiles continued to change. At this time point, the number of myeloid dendritic cells and expression of CD80 and CD86 in lungs were decreased compared with three challenges. After 11 challenges, intratracheal instillation of bone marrow–derived dendritic cells restored AHR and airway eosinophilia.
Conclusions: These data suggest that repeated allergen exposure leads to progressive decreases in AHR and allergic inflammation, through decreases in myeloid dendritic cell numbers.
airway hyperresponsiveness; chronic asthma; cytokine; dendritic cells; eosinophil
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are innate immune cells that are specialized to produce interferon-alpha (IFNα) and participate in activating adaptive immune responses. Although IFNα inhibits HIV-1 (HIV) replication in vitro, pDCs may act as inflammatory and immunosuppressive dendritic cells (DCs) rather than classical antigen-presenting cells during chronic HIV infection in vivo, contributing more to HIV pathogenesis than to protection. Improved understanding of HIV–pDC interactions may yield potential new avenues of discovery to prevent HIV transmission, to blunt chronic immune activation and exhaustion, and to enhance beneficial adaptive immune responses. In this chapter we discuss pDC biology, including pDC development from progenitors, trafficking and localization of pDCs in the body, and signaling pathways involved in pDC activation. We focus on the role of pDCs in HIV transmission, chronic disease progression and immune activation, and immu-nosuppression through regulatory T cell development. Lastly, we discuss potential future directions for the field which are needed to strengthen our current understanding of the role of pDCs in HIV transmission and pathogenesis.
Dendritic cells control pulmonary immune reactions. Characteristics of dendritic cells in human bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) after allergen challenge are unknown.
7 patients with allergic asthma (median 23 years, range 19–25 years) underwent segmental challenge and were lavaged 10 min and 24 h after challenge. Dendritic cell subsets and surface markers in BALF and in peripheral blood were analysed using four‐colour flow cytometry.
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs, median 0.06%, range 0.01–0.08%) and myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs, median 0.47%, range 0.27–0.87%) were detectable in BALF from control segments. CD1a‐positive dendritic cells in BALF were identified as a subpopulation of mDCs. Both pDCs (median 0.56%, range 0.09–1.83%) and mDCs (median 1.82%, range 0.95–2.29%) increased significantly in BALF 24 h (p = 0.018 compared with the control segments for pDCs and mDCs), but not 10 min, after allergen challenge. The percentage increase in pDCs was higher than that of mDCs after allergen challenge, as reflected by an enhanced pDC:mDC ratio after allergen challenge. In peripheral blood, there was a significant decrease in mDCs (p = 0.038) and a trend to a decrease in pDCs (p = 0.068) 24 h after allergen challenge. Analysis of dendritic cell surface molecules showed that after allergen challenge, BALF dendritic cells have a less mature phenotype compared with BALF dendritic cells from control segments.
Using a comprehensive strategy to analyse dendritic cell subsets in human BALF, we have shown for the first time that both myeloid and plasmacytoid dendritic cells accumulate in the airway lumen after allergen challenge in patients with asthma.