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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Autoimmunity ensues upon breakdown of tolerance mechanism and priming of self-reactive T cells. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) constitute a unique cell subset that participates in the activation of autoreactive T cells but also has been shown to be critically involved in the induction of self-tolerance. However, their functional importance during the priming phase of an organ-specific autoimmune response remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that absence of pDCs during myelin antigenic challenge resulted in amelioration of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and reduced disease severity. This was accompanied by significantly decreased frequency of myelin-specific T cells in the draining lymph nodes and inhibition of Th1 and Th17 immune responses. Unexpectedly, in vivo ablation of pDCs increased myelopoiesis in the bone marrow and specifically induced the generation of CD11bhiGr1+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Furthermore, we demonstrate that pDC depletion enhanced the mobilization of MDSCs in the spleen, and that sorted MDSCs could potently suppress CD4+ T cell responses in vitro. Importantly, pDC-depleted mice showed increased levels of MCP-1 in the draining lymph nodes, and in vivo administration of MCP-1 increased the frequency and absolute numbers of MDSCs in the periphery of treated mice. Together, our results reveal that absence of pDCs during the priming of an autoimmune response leads to increased mobilization of MDSCs in the periphery in an MCP-1–dependent manner and subsequent amelioration of autoimmunity.
Dendritic cells are professional antigen-presenting cells that play a key role in the regulation of immune responses. Here we characterize a unique subset of tolerogenic DCs that expressed the chemokine receptor CCR9 and migrated to the CCR9 ligand CCL25, a chemokine implicated in T cell and DC homing to the gut. CCR9+ DCs were of the plasmacytoid DC lineage, possessed an immature phenotype and rapidly downregulated CCR9 in response to maturation-inducing pDC-restricted Toll-like receptor ligands. CCR9+ pDCs were potent inducers of regulatory T cell function and suppressed antigen-specific immune responses both in vitro and in vivo, including inhibition of acute graft-versus-host disease induced by allogeneic CD4+ donor T cells in irradiated recipients. The results identify a highly immunosuppressive population of pDCs present in lymphoid tissues.
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells; CCR9; CCL25; tolerance; graft-versus-host disease; toll-like receptor ligands; regulatory T cells
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) contribute to innate antiviral immune responses by producing type I interferons. Although human pDCs can induce T cell responses upon viral infection, it remains unclear if pDCs can present exogenous antigens. Here, we show that human pDCs exploit FcγRII (CD32) to internalize antigen–antibody complexes, resulting in the presentation of exogenous antigen to T cells. pDCs isolated from melanoma patients vaccinated with autologous monocyte-derived peptide- and keyhold limpet hemocyanin (KLH)–loaded dendritic cells, but not from nonvaccinated patients or patients that lack a humoral response against KLH, were able to stimulate KLH-specific T cell proliferation. Interestingly, we observed that internalization of KLH by pDCs depended on the presence of serum from vaccinated patients that developed an anti-KLH antibody response. Anti-CD32 antibodies inhibited antigen uptake and presentation, demonstrating that circulating anti-KLH antibodies binding to CD32 mediate KLH internalization. We conclude that CD32 is an antigen uptake receptor on pDCs and that antigen presentation by pDCs is of particular relevance when circulating antibodies are present. Antigen presentation by pDCs may thus modulate the strength and quality of the secondary phase of an immune response.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are capable of inducing immunity or tolerance. Previous studies have suggested plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) are pathogenic in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, the functional characteristics of directly isolated peripheral circulating blood pDCs in SLE have not been evaluated previously.
Peripheral blood pDCs from 62 healthy subjects and 58 SLE patients were treated with apoptotic cells derived from polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs). Antigen loaded or unloaded pDCs were then co-cultured with autologous or allogenous T cells. Changes in T cell proliferation, cell surface CD25 expression, intracellular Foxp3 expression and cytokine production were evaluated. pDCs that had captured apoptotic PMNs (pDCs + apoPMNs were also studied for their cytokine production (interferon (IFN)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-18) and toll like receptor (TLR) expression.
Circulating pDCs from SLE patients had an increased ability to stimulate T cells when compared with control pDCs. Using allogenous T cells as responder cells, SLE pDCs induced T cell proliferation even in the absence of apoptotic PMNs. In addition, healthy pDCs + apoPMNs induced suppressive T regulatory cell features with increased Foxp3 expression in CD4 + CD25 + cells while SLE pDCs + apoPMNs did not. There were differences in the cytokine profile of pDCs that had captured apoptotic PMNs between healthy subjects and patients with SLE. Healthy pDCs + apoPMNs showed decreased production of IL-6 but no significant changes in IL-10 and IL-18. These pDCs + apoPMNs also showed increased mRNA transcription of TLR9. On the other hand, while SLE pDCs + apoPMNs also had decreased IL-6, there was decreased IL-18 mRNA expression and persistent IL-10 protein synthesis. In addition, SLE pDCs lacked TLR9 recruitment.
We have demonstrated that peripheral circulating pDCs in patients with SLE were functionally abnormal. They lacked TLR9 expression, were less capable of inducing regulatory T cell differentiation and had persistent IL-10 mRNA expression following the capture of apoptotic PMNs. We suggest circulating pDCs may be pathogenically relevant in SLE.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells that play a crucial role in the initiation and modulation of immune responses. Human circulating blood DCs are divided into two major subsets: myeloid DCs (mDCs); and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). Furthermore, mDCs are subdivided into two subsets: Th1-promoting mDCs (mDC1s); and Th2-promoting mDCs (mDC2s). Although CD1a, CD1c, and CD141 are generally used for classifying mDC subsets, their adequacy as a specific marker remains unclear. We performed this study to compare circulating mDC, pDC, mDC1, and mDC2 subsets between Th1- and Th2-mediated diseases using CD1a and CD141, and to analyze the adequacy of CD1a and CD141 as a marker for mDC1s and mDC2s, respectively.
Thirty patients with sarcoidosis, 23 patients with atopic diseases, such as atopic bronchial asthma, and 23 healthy subjects as controls were enrolled in this study. Peripheral blood DC subsets were analyzed with flow cytometry according to expressions of CD11c, CD123, CD1a, and CD141. For functional analysis, we measured interleukin (IL) 12p40 levels produced by the sorted mDC subsets.
The sarcoidosis group showed decreased total DC (P < 0.05) and mDC counts (P < 0.05) compared to controls. The atopy group showed decreased CD1a+mDC count (P < 0.05), and increased CD1a-mDC count (P < 0.05) compared to controls. CD141+mDC count in the atopy group was higher than controls (P < 0.05). Sorted CD1a+mDCs produced higher levels of IL-12p40 than CD1a-mDCs (P = 0.025) and CD141+mDCs (P = 0.018).
We conclude that decreased count of CD1a+mDC and increased count of CD141+mDC may reflect the Th2-skewed immunity in atopic diseases. The results of IL-12 levels produced by the sorted mDC subsets suggested the adequacy of CD1a and CD141 as a marker for mDC1 and mDC2, respectively, in vivo.
Dendritic cells; Peripheral blood; Sarcoidosis; Myeloid DC (mDC); CD1a; CD141
Antiviral cell–mediated immunity is initiated by the dendritic cell (DC) network in lymph nodes (LNs). Plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) are known to migrate to inflamed LNs and produce interferon (IFN)-α, but their other roles in antiviral T cell immunity are unclear. We report that LN-recruited pDCs are activated to create local immune fields that generate antiviral cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in association with LNDCs, in a model of cutaneous herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection. Although pDCs alone failed to induce CTLs, in vivo depletion of pDCs impaired CTL-mediated virus eradication. LNDCs from pDC-depleted mice showed impaired cluster formation with T cells and antigen presentation to prime CTLs. Transferring circulating pDC precursors from wild-type, but not CXCR3-deficient, mice to pDC-depleted mice restored CTL induction by impaired LNDCs. In vitro co-culture experiments revealed that pDCs provided help signals that recovered impaired LNDCs in a CD2- and CD40L-dependent manner. pDC-derived IFN-α further stimulated the recovered LNDCs to induce CTLs. Therefore, the help provided by pDCs for LNDCs in primary immune responses seems to be pivotal to optimally inducing anti-HSV CTLs.