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1.  Ex Vivo Nicotine Stimulation Augments the Efficacy of Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell-Derived Dendritic Cell Vaccination via Activating Akt-S6 Pathway 
Our previous studies showed that α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAchR) agonist nicotine has stimulatory effects on murine bone marrow-derived semimature DCs, but the effect of nicotine on peripheral blood mononuclear cell- (PBMC-) derived human semimature dendritic cells (hu-imDCs) is still to be clarified. In the present study, hu-imDCs (cultured 4 days) were conferred with  ex vivo lower dose nicotine stimulation and the effect of nicotine on surface molecules expression, the ability of cross-presentation, DCs-mediated PBMC priming, and activated signaling pathways were determined. We could demonstrate that the treatment with nicotine resulted in increased surface molecules expression, enhanced hu-imDCs-mediated PBMC proliferation, upregulated release of IL-12 in the supernatant of cocultured DCs-PBMC, and augmented phosphorylation of Akt and ribosomal protein S6. Nicotine associated with traces of LPS efficiently enhanced endosomal translocation of internalized ovalbumin (OVA) and increased TAP-OVA colocalization. Importantly, the upregulation of nicotine-increased surface molecules upregulation was significantly abrogated by the inhibition of Akt kinase. These findings demonstrate that ex vivo nicotine stimulation augments hu-imDCs surface molecules expression via Akt-S6 pathway, combined with increased Ag-presentation result in augmented efficacy of DCs-mediated PBMC proliferation and Th1 polarization.
PMCID: PMC4550800  PMID: 26351626
2.  DC-Based Immunotherapy Combined with Low-Dose Methotrexate Effective in the Treatment of Advanced CIA in Mice 
Journal of Immunology Research  2015;2015:834085.
We have previously demonstrated that semimature dendritic cell- (smDC-) based immunotherapy is effective for the treatment of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) prior to disease onset. In the present study, we examined the efficacy of combination therapy with smDCs and methotrexate (MTX) in advanced CIA with a score of 2-3. Combination therapy with low-dose MTX and type II collagen- (CII-) pulsed smDCs (CII-smDCs) was more effective in inhibiting disease progression than high or low-dose MTX alone or a combination of high dose MTX and CII-smDCs. The effect of CII-smDCs alone was also comparable to the combination therapy. CD4+Foxp3+ Treg populations and IL-10 secretion markedly increased, and CII-specific autoreactive T cells decreased in mice treated with CII-smDCs alone or in combination with MTX. Combination therapy reduced the secretion of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and IL-17 with little influence on the IL-4 secretion in the mixed leukocyte reaction. These results imply that the combination therapy with low-dose MTX and smDCs is effective in controlling advanced CIA by enhancing Treg population and suppresses antigen-specific Th1/Th17 immunity, rather than initiating Th1 to Th2 immune deviation. Our findings provide a better understanding of the DC therapy in combination with MTX for the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
PMCID: PMC4499408  PMID: 26221616
3.  Comparative evaluation of techniques for the manufacturing of dendritic cell-based cancer vaccines 
Manufacturing procedures for cellular therapies are continuously improved with particular emphasis on product safety. We previously developed a dendritic cell (DC) cancer vaccine technology platform that uses clinical grade lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interferon (IFN)-y for the maturation of monocyte derived DCs. DCs are frozen after 6 hrs exposure at a semi-mature stage (smDCs) retaining the capacity to secret interleukin (IL)-12 and thus support cytolytic T-cell responses, which is lost at full maturation. We compared closed systems for monocyte enrichment from leucocyte apheresis products from healthy individuals using plastic adherence, CD14 selection, or CD2/19 depletion with magnetic beads, or counter flow centrifugation (elutriation) using a clinical grade in comparison to a research grade culture medium for the following DC generation. We found that elutriation was superior compared to the other methods showing 36 ± 4% recovery, which was approximately 5-fold higher as the most frequently used adherence protocol (8 ± 1%), and a very good purity (92 ± 5%) of smDCs. Immune phenotype and IL-12 secretion (adherence: 1.4 ± 0.4; selection: 20 ± 0.6; depletion: 1 ±0.5; elutriation: 3.6 ± 1.5 ng/ml) as well as the potency of all DCs to stimulate T cells in an allogeneic mixed leucocyte reaction did not show statistically significant differences. Research grade and clinical grade DC culture media were equally potent and freezing did not impair the functions of smDCs. Finally, we assessed the functional capacity of DC cancer vaccines manufactured for three patients using this optimized procedure thereby demonstrating the feasibility of manufacturing DC cancer vaccines that secret IL-12 (9.4 ± 6.4 ng/ml). We conclude that significant steps were taken here towards clinical grade DC cancer vaccine manufacturing.
PMCID: PMC3823041  PMID: 18363835
cancer vaccination; good manufacturing practice; in-line monocyte enrichment; dendritic cell manufacturing; quality control
4.  Flt3 Ligand Generates Morphologically Distinct Semimature Dendritic Cells in Ovalbumin-sensitized Mice 
Dendritic cells (DCs) are unique antigen presenting cells that are immature prior to their encounter with an antigen. Exposure to allergens induces the maturation of DCs with changes in morphology and presence of dendrites. Here, we demonstrate that the DCs in the lungs of ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized and challenged mice are more mature owing to their pronounced dendrites than the DCs in the lungs and spleen of PBS-treated mice, which are immature and possess cytoplasmic veils. Intermediate to these two groups are the DCs in the Flt3 ligand-treated group that exhibit comparatively fewer dendrites and cytoplasmic veils and hence are classified as semimature. Presence of large numbers of well developed mitochondria and rough endoplasmic reticulum in myeloid DCs from both lungs and spleen of OVA-sensitized and challenged mice indicate greater functional activity. Additionally, DCs from the OVA-sensitized and challenged mice also exhibit fat and glycogen stores, which are indicative of a mature population. In addition, treatment of the animals with Flt3 ligand attenuated airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine in OVA-sensitized and challenged mice. These data suggest that morphological features could be indicative of the maturation and distinct functional state of DCs, and this could be associated with underlying mechanisms of Flt3 ligand-induced immunomodulation in allergic asthma.
PMCID: PMC2745173  PMID: 17182033
Airway hyperresponsiveness; Allergy; Asthma; Cytoplasmic veils; Dendritic cells; Flt3 ligand; Immunomodulation; Morphology of dendritic cells
5.  α-1-Antitrypsin Gene Delivery Reduces Inflammation, Increases T-Regulatory Cell Population Size and Prevents Islet Allograft Rejection 
Molecular Medicine  2011;17(9-10):1000-1011.
Antiinflammatory clinical-grade, plasma-derived human α-1 antitrypsin (hAAT) protects islets from allorejection as well as from autoimmune destruction. hAAT also interferes with disease progression in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mouse models. hAAT increases IL-1 receptor antagonist expression in human mononuclear cells and T-regulatory (Treg) cell population size in animal models. Clinical-grade hAAT contains plasma impurities, multiple hAAT isoforms and various states of inactive hAAT. We thus wished to establish islet-protective activities and effect on Treg cells of plasmid-derived circulating hAAT in whole animals. Islet function was assessed in mice that received allogeneic islet transplants after mice were given hydrodynamic tail-vein injection with pEF-hAAT, a previously described Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) plasmid construct containing the EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) and the family of repeat EBNA1 binding site components (designated “EF”) alongside the hAAT gene. Sera collected from hAAT-expressing mice were added to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages to assess macrophage responsiveness. Also, maturation of peritoneal cells from hAAT-expressing mice was evaluated. hAAT-expressing mice accepted islet allografts (n = 11), whereas phosphate-buffered saline–injected animals (n = 11), as well as mice treated with truncated-hAAT-plasmid (n = 6) and untreated animals (n = 20) rapidly rejected islet allografts. In hAAT-expressing animals, local Treg cells were abundant at graft sites, and the IL-1 receptor antagonist was elevated in grafts and circulation. Sera from hAAT-expressing mice, but not control mice, inhibited macrophage responses. Finally, peritoneal cells from hAAT-expressing mice exhibited a semimature phenotype. We conclude that plasmid-derived circulating hAAT protects islet allografts from acute rejection, and human plasma impurities are unrelated to islet protection. Future studies may use this in vivo approach to examine the structure–function characteristics of the protective activities of AAT by manipulation of the hAAT plasmid.
PMCID: PMC3188864  PMID: 21670848
6.  Negative Selection in the Thymus Includes Semimature T Cells 
The thymic medulla plays a key role in negative selection (self-tolerance induction) and contains differentiated T cells en route to the extrathymic environment. However, being relatively mature, medullary T cells are thought to be beyond the stage of tolerance induction. This paradox is resolved by the finding that medullary T cells (CD4+8− thymocytes) comprise two distinct subsets. Medullary thymocytes expressing a fully mature (HSAlo) phenotype are strongly resistant to tolerance induction, whereas cells with a semimature (HSAhi) phenotype are tolerance susceptible. These findings suggest that the differentiated T cells reaching the medulla from the cortex remain sensitive to tolerance induction for a brief period before acquiring a fully mature tolerance-resistant phenotype. The semimature subset of medullary T cells displays unique requirements for tolerance induction; depending upon the conditions used, tolerizing these cells can involve either a Fas (CD95)-dependent or a Fas-independent pathway.
PMCID: PMC2196120  PMID: 9016875
7.  DC-derived IL-18 drives Treg differentiation, murine Helicobacter pylori–specific immune tolerance, and asthma protection  
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2012;122(3):1082-1096.
Persistent colonization with the gastric bacterial pathogen Helicobacter pylori causes gastritis and predisposes infected individuals to gastric cancer. Conversely, it is also linked to protection from allergic, chronic inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. We demonstrate here that H. pylori inhibits LPS-induced maturation of DCs and reprograms DCs toward a tolerance-promoting phenotype. Our results showed that DCs exposed to H. pylori in vitro or in vivo failed to induce T cell effector functions. Instead, they efficiently induced expression of the forkhead transcription factor FoxP3, the master regulator of Tregs, in naive T cells. Depletion of DCs in mice infected with H. pylori during the neonatal period was sufficient to break H. pylori–specific tolerance. DC depletion resulted in improved control of the infection but also aggravated T cell–driven immunopathology. Consistent with the mouse data, DCs infiltrating the gastric mucosa of human H. pylori carriers exhibited a semimature DC-SIGN+HLA–DRhiCD80loCD86lo phenotype. Mechanistically, the tolerogenic activity of H. pylori–experienced DCs was shown to require IL-18 in vitro and in vivo; DC-derived IL-18 acted directly on T cells to drive their conversion to Tregs. CD4+CD25+ Tregs from infected wild-type mice but not Il18–/– or Il18r1–/– mice prevented airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness in an experimental model of asthma. Taken together, our results indicate that tolerogenic reprogramming of DCs ensures the persistence of H. pylori and protects against allergic asthma in a process that requires IL-18.
PMCID: PMC3287234  PMID: 22307326
8.  Downregulation of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases by the Bordetella bronchiseptica Type III Secretion System Leads to Attenuated Nonclassical Macrophage Activation  
Infection and Immunity  2005;73(1):308-316.
Bordetella bronchiseptica utilizes a type III secretion system (TTSS) to establish a persistent infection of the murine respiratory tract. Previous studies have shown that the Bordetella TTSS mediated cytotoxicity in different cell types, inhibition of NF-κB in epithelial cells, and differentiation of dendritic cells into a semimature state. Here we demonstrate modulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways and altered cytokine production in macrophages and dendritic cells by the Bordetella TTSS. In macrophages, the MAPKs ERK and p38 were downregulated. This resulted in attenuated production of interleukin- (IL-)6 and IL-10. In contrast, the Th-1-polarizing cytokine IL-12 was produced at very low levels and remained unmodulated by the Bordetella TTSS. In dendritic cells, ERK was transiently activated, but this failed to alter cytokine profiles. These results suggest that the Bordetella TTSS modulates antigen-presenting cells in a cell type-specific manner and the secretion of high levels of IL-6 and IL-10 by macrophages might be important for pathogen clearance.
PMCID: PMC538969  PMID: 15618167
9.  Unconventional Maturation of Dendritic Cells Induced by Particles from the Laminated Layer of Larval Echinococcus granulosus 
Infection and Immunity  2014;82(8):3164-3176.
The larval stage of the cestode parasite Echinococcus granulosus causes hydatid disease in humans and livestock. This infection is characterized by the growth in internal organ parenchymae of fluid-filled structures (hydatids) that elicit surprisingly little inflammation in spite of their massive size and persistence. Hydatids are protected by a millimeter-thick layer of mucin-based extracellular matrix, termed the laminated layer (LL), which is thought to be a major factor determining the host response to the infection. Host cells can interact both with the LL surface and with materials that are shed from it to allow parasite growth. In this work, we analyzed the response of dendritic cells (DCs) to microscopic pieces of the native mucin-based gel of the LL (pLL). In vitro, this material induced an unusual activation state characterized by upregulation of CD86 without concomitant upregulation of CD40 or secretion of cytokines (interleukin 12 [IL-12], IL-10, tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], and IL-6). When added to Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists, pLL-potentiated CD86 upregulation and IL-10 secretion while inhibiting CD40 upregulation and IL-12 secretion. In vivo, pLL also caused upregulation of CD86 and inhibited CD40 upregulation in DCs. Contrary to expectations, oxidation of the mucin glycans in pLL with periodate did not abrogate the effects on cells. Reduction of disulfide bonds, which are known to be important for LL structure, strongly diminished the impact of pLL on DCs without altering the particulate nature of the material. In summary, DCs respond to the LL mucin meshwork with a “semimature” activation phenotype, both in vitro and in vivo.
PMCID: PMC4136206  PMID: 24842926
10.  In situ induction of dendritic cell–based T cell tolerance in humanized mice and nonhuman primates 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2011;208(12):2477-2488.
Administration of an ICAM-1–specific antibody arrests dendritic cells in a semi-immature state and facilitates antigen-specific T cell tolerance to islet allografts in humanized mice and Rhesus monkeys.
Induction of antigen-specific T cell tolerance would aid treatment of diverse immunological disorders and help prevent allograft rejection and graft versus host disease. In this study, we establish a method of inducing antigen-specific T cell tolerance in situ in diabetic humanized mice and Rhesus monkeys receiving porcine islet xenografts. Antigen-specific T cell tolerance is induced by administration of an antibody ligating a particular epitope on ICAM-1 (intercellular adhesion molecule 1). Antibody-mediated ligation of ICAM-1 on dendritic cells (DCs) led to the arrest of DCs in a semimature stage in vitro and in vivo. Ablation of DCs from mice completely abrogated anti–ICAM-1–induced antigen-specific T cell tolerance. T cell responses to unrelated antigens remained unaffected. In situ induction of DC-mediated T cell tolerance using this method may represent a potent therapeutic tool for preventing graft rejection.
PMCID: PMC3256968  PMID: 22025302
11.  Amplification of Autoimmune Response through Induction of Dendritic Cell Maturation in Inflamed Tissues1 
Dendritic cells (DCs) are essential in T cell-mediated destruction of insulin-producing β cells in the islets of Langerhans in type 1 diabetes. In this study, we investigated T cell induction of intra-islet DC maturation during the progression of the disease in both autoimmune-prone NOD and resistant C57BL/6 mice. We demonstrated steady-state capture and retention of unprocessed β cell-derived proteins by semimature intra-islet DCs in both mouse strains. T cell-mediated intra-islet inflammation induced an increase in CD40 and CD80 expression and processing of captured Ag by resident DCs without inducing the expression of the p40 subunit of IL-12/23. Some of the CD40high intra-islet DCs up-regulated CCR7, and a small number of CD40high DCs bearing unprocessed islet Ags were detected in the pancreatic lymph nodes in mice with acute intra-islet inflammation, demonstrating that T cell-mediated tissue inflammation augments migration of mature resident DCs to draining lymph nodes. Our results identify an amplification loop during the progression of autoimmune diabetes, in which initial T cell infiltration leads to rapid maturation of intra-islet DCs, their migration to lymph nodes, and expanded priming of more autoreactive T cells. Therapeutic interventions that intercept this process may be effective at halting the progression of type 1 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3057894  PMID: 19234153
12.  Systemic Administration of Tolerogenic Dendritic Cells Ameliorates Murine Inflammatory Arthritis 
The expression of various cell surface molecules and the production of certain cytokines are important mechanisms by which dendritic cells (DC) are able to bias immune responses. This paper describes the effects of the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α on DC phenotype and function. TNF-α treatment resulted in upregulation of MHC class II and CD86 in the absence of increased cell surface CD40 and CD80 or the production of IL-12. Additionally TNF-α treated cells were able to bias T cell responses towards an anti-inflammatory profile. On a note of caution this tolerogenic phenotype of the DC was not stable upon subsequent TLR-4 ligation as a 4 hour pulse of the TNF-α treated DC with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) resulted in the restoration of IL-12 production and an enhancement of their T cell stimulatory capacity which resulted in an increased IFN-γ production. However, TNF-α treated DC, when administered in vivo, were shown to ameliorate disease in collagen induced arthritis, an experimental model of inflammatory joint disease. Mice receiving TNF-α treated DC but not LPS matured DC had a delayed onset, and significantly reduced severity, of arthritis. Disease suppression was associated with reduced levels of collagen specific IgG2a and decreased inflammatory cell infiltration into affected joints. In summary the treatment of DC with TNF-α generates an antigen presenting cell with a phenotype that can reduce the pro-inflammatory response and direct the immune system towards a disease modifying, anti-inflammatory state.
PMCID: PMC2627532  PMID: 19156221
13.  Ligation of CD40 Stimulates the Induction of Nitric-oxide Synthase in Microglial Cells* 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2001;276(48):44527-44533.
The present study was undertaken to investigate the role of CD40 ligation in the expression of inducible nitric-oxide synthase (iNOS) in mouse BV-2 microglial cells and primary microglia. Ligation of CD40 alone by either cross-linking antibodies against CD40 or a recombinant CD40 ligand (CD154) was unable to induce the production of NO in BV-2 microglial cells. The absence of induction of NO production by CD40 ligation alone even in CD40-overexpressed BV-2 microglial cells suggests that a signal transduced by the ligation of CD40 alone is not sufficient to induce NO production. However, CD40 ligation markedly stimulated interferon-γ (IFN-γ)-mediated NO production. Ligation of CD40 in CD40-overexpressed cells further stimulated IFN-γ-induced production of NO. This stimulation of NO production was accompanied by stimulation of the iNOS protein and mRNA. In addition to BV-2 glial cells, CD40 ligation also stimulated IFN-γ-mediated NO production in mouse primary microglia and peritoneal macrophages. To understand the mechanism of induction/stimulation of iNOS, we investigated the roles of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ), transcription factors responsible for the induction of iNOS. IFN-γ alone was able to induce the activation of NF-κB as well as C/EBPβ. However, CD40 ligation alone induced the activation of only NF-κB but not of C/EBPβ, suggesting that the activation of NF-κB alone by CD40 ligation is not sufficient to induce the expression of iNOS and that the activation of C/EBPβ is also necessary for the expression of iNOS. Consistently, dominant-negative mutants of p65 (Δp65) and C/EBPβ (ΔC/EBPβ) inhibited the expression of iNOS in BV-2 microglial cells that were stimulated with the combination of IFN-γ and CD40 ligand. Stimulation of IFN-γ-mediated activation of NF-κB but not of C/EBPβ by CD40 ligation suggests that CD40 ligation stimulates the expression of iNOS in IFN-γ-treated BV-2 microglial cells through the stimulation of NF-κB activation. This study illustrates a novel role for CD40 ligation in stimulating the expression of iNOS in microglial cells, which may participate in the pathogenesis of neuroinflammatory diseases.
PMCID: PMC2041871  PMID: 11551948
14.  A Live and Inactivated Chlamydia trachomatis Mouse Pneumonitis Strain Induces the Maturation of Dendritic Cells That Are Phenotypically and Immunologically Distinct  
Infection and Immunity  2005;73(3):1568-1577.
The intracellular bacterial pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis is a major cause of sexually transmitted disease worldwide. While protective immunity does appear to develop following natural chlamydial infection in humans, early vaccine trials using heat-killed C. trachomatis resulted in limited and transient protection with possible enhanced disease during follow-up. Thus, immunity following natural infection with live chlamydia may differ from immune responses induced by immunization with inactivated chlamydia. To study this differing immunology, we used murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DC) to examine DC maturation and immune effector function induced by live and UV-irradiated C. trachomatis elementary bodies (live EBs and UV-EB, respectively). DC exposed to live EBs acquired a mature DC morphology; expressed high levels of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II, CD80, CD86, CD40, and ICAM-1; produced elevated amounts of interleukin-12 and tumor necrosis factor alpha; and were efficiently recognized by Chlamydia-specific CD4+ T cells. In contrast, UV-EB-pulsed DC expressed low levels of CD40 and CD86 but displayed high levels of MHC class II, ICAM-1, and CD80; secreted low levels of proinflammatory cytokines; and exhibited reduced recognition by Chlamydia-specific CD4+ T cells. Adoptive transfer of live EB-pulsed DC was more effective than that of UV-EB-pulsed DC at protecting mice against challenge with live C. trachomatis. The expression of DC maturation markers and immune protection induced by UV-EB could be significantly enhanced by costimulation of DC ex vivo with UV-EB and oligodeoxynucleotides containing cytosine phosphate guanosine; however, the level of protection was significantly less than that achieved by using DC pulsed ex vivo with viable EBs. Thus, exposure of DC to live EBs results in a mature DC phenotype which is able to promote protective immunity, while exposure to UV-EB generates a semimature DC phenotype with less protective potential. This result may explain in part the differences in protective immunity induced by natural infection and immunization with whole inactivated organisms and is relevant to rational chlamydia vaccine design strategies.
PMCID: PMC1064943  PMID: 15731055
15.  Evidence for defective transmembrane signaling in B cells from patients with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1992;90(4):1396-1405.
B lymphocytes from patients expressing the X chromosome-linked immune deficiency disorder, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS), fail to produce antibodies in response to stimulation with polysaccharides and other type-2 T cell-independent antigens. To investigate whether this abnormality reflects a defect in the signal transduction cascade normally triggered by ligation of surface immunoglobulin (sIg) on B cells, we have examined early signaling events induced by anti-Ig antibody stimulation of EBV B lymphoblastoid cell lines from WAS patients and healthy controls. Despite the expression of comparable levels of sIg and sIgM on WAS and control EBV B cells, WAS cells failed to manifest the increased proliferation in response to anti-Ig treatment observed in the control cell lines. WAS and control EBV B cells also differed in the magnitude of the change in cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]i) induced by sIg ligation; WAS cells showed either markedly diminished or no changes in [Ca2+]i levels whereas control EBV B cells consistently showed increases in [Ca2+]i. Anti-Ig-induced changes in inositol phosphate release were also markedly reduced in WAS compared with control cells. As protein tyrosine phosphorylation is thought to represent a proximal event in the activation of B cells, inducing increases in [Ca2+]i by virtue of tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C (PLC)-gamma, profiles of protein tyrosine phosphorylation and expression of tyrosine-phosphorylated PLC-gamma 1 were compared between WAS and normal EBV B cells before and after sIg cross-linking. These studies revealed that in addition to defective mobilization of Ca2+, the WAS cells manifested little or no increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of PLC-gamma 1 or other intracellular proteins after sIg ligation. Together these results indicate the association of WAS with a defect in the coupling of sIg to signal transduction pathways considered prerequisite for B cell activation, likely at the level of tyrosine phosphorylation. The abnormalities observed in these early transmembrane signaling events in WAS EBV B cells may play a role not only in the nonresponsiveness of WAS patient B cells to certain T independent antigens, but also in the genesis of some of the other cellular deficits exhibited by these patients.
PMCID: PMC443185  PMID: 1401074
16.  Porphyromonas gingivalis–dendritic cell interactions: consequences for coronary artery disease 
Journal of Oral Microbiology  2010;2:10.3402/jom.v2i0.5782.
An estimated 80 million US adults have one or more types of cardiovascular diseases. Atherosclerosis is the single most important contributor to cardiovascular diseases; however, only 50% of atherosclerosis patients have currently identified risk factors. Chronic periodontitis, a common inflammatory disease, is linked to an increased cardiovascular risk. Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent antigen presenting cells that infiltrate arterial walls and may destabilize atherosclerotic plaques in cardiovascular disease. While the source of these DCs in atherosclerotic plaques is presently unclear, we propose that dermal DCs from peripheral inflamed sites such as CP tissues are a potential source. This review will examine the role of the opportunistic oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis in invading DCs and stimulating their mobilization and misdirection through the bloodstream. Based on our published observations, combined with some new data, as well as a focused review of the literature we will propose a model for how P. gingivalis may exploit DCs to gain access to systemic circulation and contribute to coronary artery disease. Our published evidence supports a significant role for P. gingivalis in subverting normal DC function, promoting a semimature, highly migratory, and immunosuppressive DC phenotype that contributes to the inflammatory development of atherosclerosis and, eventually, plaque rupture.
PMCID: PMC3084565  PMID: 21523219
dendritic cells; periodontitis; atherosclerosis; Porphyromonas gingivalis; DC-SIGN
17.  Transmembrane activator and calcium modulator and cyclophilin ligand interactor (TACI) enhances CD40 driven plasma cell differentiation 
Transmembrane activator and calcium modulator and cyclophilin ligand (CAML) interactor (TACI) is a receptor used by B-cell activating factor of the TNF family (BAFF) and a proliferation inducing ligand (APRIL) to induce isotype switching independently of CD40 and is mutated in patients with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID).
To determine whether TACI and CD40 cooperate in inducing class switch recombination (CSR) and immunoglobulin production.
Naïve mouse B cells were stimulated with suboptimal concentrations of anti-CD40+IL-4 in the presence or absence of APRIL or anti-TACI. IgG1 and IgE production was measured by ELISA. mRNA for Cγ1 and Cε germ line transcripts, activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AICDA) and mature γ1 and ε transcripts were measured by RT-PCR. Plasmablasts were enumerated by syndecan-1/CD138 staining. Interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4), B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein 1 (Blimp1) and IL-6 mRNA expression was measured by quantitative PCR.
TACI ligation enhanced IgG1 and IgE secretion by naïve murine B cells stimulated by anti-CD40+IL-4, with little effect on B cell proliferation or CSR. In contrast, TACI ligation of anti-CD40+IL-4 stimulated B cells induced a significant increase in syndecan-1/CD138 positive cells. TACI ligation caused a modest, but significant increase in the expression of IRF4, with no detectable change in Blimp1 expression.
TACI and CD40 signaling converge to promote B cell differentiation into plasmabalsts.
Clinical implications
Our data suggest that TACI dysfunction could contribute to the impaired antibody response to T dependent antigens in CVID.
This work shows that CD40 and TACI cooperate to promote B cell differentiation into plasma cells and increase immunoglobulin production.
PMCID: PMC2121612  PMID: 17689597
CD40; TACI; CVID; plasma cell; Immunoglobulin; B cells
18.  Differential bone marrow stem cell mobilization by G-CSF injection or arterial ligation in baboons 
Bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) are mobilized in response to ischemic attacks, e.g. myocardial infarction, to repair the damage, or by cytokines, e.g. granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), which is used to harvest BMSCs for autologous transplantation. In order to optimize BMSC mobilization strategy for cardiovascular repair, we investigated whether BMSCs mobilized by G-CSF share the same subtype profile as that by ischemia in a nonhuman primate model.
Methods and results
We subjected 5 baboons to subcutaneous G-CSF injection and 5 baboons to femoral artery ligation. Blood BMSCs were measured by surface antigens; functional differentiation to endothelial cells (ECs) was assessed by colony forming capacity, expression of mature EC antigens and tube-like formation. The number of circulating CD34+/CD45RA- cells spiked on day 3 post-stimulation in both groups. While the number of CD34+ cells released by artery ligation was 2-fold lower by comparison with the number released by G-CSF administration, significantly more CD133+/KDR+/CXCR4+/CD31+ cells were detected in the baboons that underwent artery ligation. After culture in endothelial growth medium, mononuclear cells from baboons with artery ligation formed more EC colonies and more capillary-like tubes (p<0.05), expressed higher vWF and phagocytosed more Dil-Ac-LDL (p<0.05).
While G-CSF and artery ligation can mobilize BMSCs capable of differentiating into ECs, BMSCs mobilized by the artery ligation simulating in vivo ischemic attacks have higher potential for vascular differentiation. Our findings demonstrate that different mobilization forces release different sets of BMSCs that may have different capacity for cardiovascular differentiation.
PMCID: PMC3032010  PMID: 20187303
Bone marrow stem cells; nonhuman primate; endothelial progenitor cells
19.  CD34+-derived Langerhans cell-like cells are different from epidermal Langerhans cells in their response to thymic stromal lymphopoietin 
Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) endows human blood-derived CD11c+ dendritic cells (DCs) and Langerhans cells (LCs) obtained from human epidermis with the capacity to induce pro-allergic T cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of TSLP on umbilical cord blood CD34+-derived LC-like cells. These cells are often used as model cells for LCs obtained from epidermis. Under the influence of TSLP, both cell types differed in several ways. As defined by CD83, CD80 and CD86, TSLP did not increase maturation of LC-like cells when compared with freshly isolated LCs and epidermal émigrés. Differences were also found in the production of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand (CCL)17. LCs made this chemokine only when primed by TSLP and further stimulated by CD40 ligation. In contrast, LC-like cells released CCL17 in response to CD40 ligation, irrespective of a prior treatment with TSLP. Moreover, the CCL17 levels secreted by LC-like cells were at least five times higher than those from migratory LCs. After maturation with a cytokine cocktail consisting of tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and prostaglandin (PG)E2 LC-like cells released IL-12p70 in response to CD40 ligation. Most importantly and in contrast to LC, TSLP-treated LC-like cells did not induce a pro-allergic cytokine pattern in helper T cells. Due to their different cytokine secretion and the different cytokine production they induce in naïve T cells, we conclude that one has to be cautious to take LC-like cells as a paradigm for ‘real’ LCs from the epidermis.
PMCID: PMC3918041  PMID: 21054781
LC-like cells; TSLP; cytokine; naïve T cells; Langerhans cells; human
20.  IL-10-dependent partial refractoriness to Toll-like receptor stimulation modulates gut mucosal dendritic cell function 
European Journal of Immunology  2008;38(6):1533-1547.
The default response of the intestinal immune system to most antigens is the induction of immunological tolerance, which is difficult to reconcile with the constant exposure to ligands for TLR and other pattern recognition receptors. We showed previously that dendritic cells (DC) from the lamina propria of normal mouse intestine may be inherently tolerogenic and here we have explored how this might relate to the expression and function of Toll-like receptors (TLR). Lamina propria (LP) DC showed higher levels of TLR 2, 3, 4 and 9 protein expression than spleen and MLN DC, with most TLR-expressing DC in the gut being CD11clo, class II MHClo, CD103–, CD11b– and F4/80–. TLR expression by lamina propria DC was low in the upper small intestine and higher in distal small intestine and colon. Freshly isolated lamina propria DC expressed some CD40, CD80, CD86 and functional CCR7. These were up-regulated on CD11clo, but not on CD11chi LP DC by stimulation via TLR. However, there was little induction of IL-12 by either subset in response to TLR ligation. This was associated with constitutive IL-10 production and was reversed by blocking IL-10 function. Thus, IL-10 may maintain LP DC in a partially unresponsive state to TLR ligation, allowing them to have a critical role in immune homeostasis in the gut.
PMCID: PMC2988418  PMID: 18461564
Dendritic cells; Mucosa; Tolerance; IL-10; TLR
21.  CD40 activation in epithelial ovarian carcinoma cells modulates growth, apoptosis, and cytokine secretion 
Molecular Pathology  2002;55(2):110-120.
Background/Aims: CD40, a member of the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) receptor family, is expressed on a variety of haematopoietic cells and is crucial in orchestrating both humoral and cellular immune responses. CD40 is also expressed on some carcinoma cells, where its function remains largely unknown. This study investigated the effects of CD40 ligation on ovarian carcinoma cell growth and apoptosis and on cytokine production, in addition to the role of the NF-κB and JNK signalling pathways.
Methods: CD40 expression was measured in epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC) biopsies by immunohistochemistry and in EOC cell lines by flow cytometry. To examine the effects of CD40 ligation on cell growth recombinant soluble CD40 ligand was used to stimulate EOC cell lines and growth was measured by MMT assays. Cytokine production was measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assays interleukin 8 (IL-8) gene transcription was estimated by means of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. The integrity of the CD40 signalling pathway in those cell lines that did not produce cytokines in response to CD40 ligation was assessed by the detection of the transcription factor NF-κB by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay. To investigate the defect in the NF-κB pathway the phosphorylation status of IκBα was determined by an antibody specific to phosphorylated IκBα and dissociation of the IκBα–p65 complex was assessed by co-immunoprecipitation.
Results: CD40 is expressed in primary ovarian carcinoma biopsies and EOC cell lines. CD40 ligation resulted in growth inhibition in most of these carcinoma cell lines and was also found to promote apoptosis, with this last effect only being evident in early passage EOC cells. CD40 ligation also induced significant IL-6 and IL-8 production in most of the EOC cell lines examined and it was confirmed for IL-8 that this effect was regulated at the transcriptional level. NF-κB activation in response to CD40 ligation was found in three of the EOC cell lines and specific defects in the CD40 induced NF-κB pathway were identified in two cell lines. However, CD40 engagement induced JNK activation in all the EOC cell lines.
Conclusions: These data suggest that the CD40 pathway is functional in ovarian carcinoma cells and highlight the need for further studies to provide insight into the role of CD40 in the carcinogenic process and the possible exploitation of this pathway for novel therapeutic approaches.
PMCID: PMC1187159  PMID: 11950960
CD40; cytokines; ovarian carcinoma
22.  Differential Induction of Nuclear Factor-κB and Activator Protein-1 Activity after CD40 Ligation Is Associated with Primary Human Hepatocyte Apoptosis or Intrahepatic Endothelial Cell Proliferation 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2003;14(4):1334-1345.
CD40, a tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member, is up-regulated on intraheptatic endothelial cells (IHEC) and epithelial cells during inflammatory liver disease, and there is evidence that the functional outcome of CD40 ligation differs between cell types. Ligation of CD40 on cholangiocytes or hepatocytes results in induction of Fas-mediated apoptosis, whereas ligation of IHEC CD40 leads to enhanced chemokine secretion and adhesion molecule expression. We now report that differential activation of two transcription factors, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and activator protein-1 (AP-1), in primary human hepatocytes or IHEC, is associated with and may explain, in part, the different responses of these cell types to CD40 ligation. CD40 ligation induced a rise in NF-κB activity in hepatocytes ,which peaked at 2 h and returned to baseline by 24 h; however, IHEC CD40 ligation resulted in a sustained up-regulation of NF-κB (>24 h). In hepatocytes, CD40 ligation led to sustained up-regulation of AP-1 activity >24 h associated with increased protein levels of RelA (p65), c-Jun, and c-Fos, whereas no induction of AP-1 activity was observed in IHECs. Analysis of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation (phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and phospho-c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase 1/2) and expression of inhibitor κBα were entirely consistent, and thus confirmed the profiles of NF-κB and AP-1 signaling and the effects of the selective inhibitors assessed using electrophoretic mobility shift assay or Western immunoblotting. CD40 ligation resulted in induction of apoptosis in hepatocytes after 24 h, but on IHECs, CD40 ligation resulted in proliferation. Inhibition of (CD40-mediated) NF-κB activation prevented IHEC proliferation and led to induction of apoptosis. Selective extracellular signal-regulated kinase and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase inhibitors reduced levels of apoptosis in (CD40-stimulated) hepatocytes by ∼50%. We conclude that differential activation of these two transcription factors in response to CD40 ligation is associated with differences in cell fate. Transient activation of NF-κB and sustained AP-1 activation is associated with apoptosis in hepatocytes, whereas prolonged NF-κB activation and a lack of AP-1 activation in IHECs result in proliferation.
PMCID: PMC153104  PMID: 12686591
23.  IL-1β-driven ST2L expression promotes maturation resistance in rapamycin-conditioned dendritic cells1 
Maturation resistance and tolerogenic properties can be conferred on human and murine dendritic cells (DC), -crucial regulators of T cell responses, by exposure to rapamycin (RAPA), a ‘tolerance-sparing’ immunosuppressive agent. Mechanisms underlying this acquired unresponsiveness, typified by diminished functional responses to TLR or CD40 ligation, have not been identified. We report that in vitro and in vivo conditioning of murine myeloid (m) DC with RAPA elicits the de novo production of IL-1β by otherwise phenotypically immature DC. Interestingly, IL-1β production promotes overexpression of the transmembrane form of the IL-1R family member, IL-1R-like 1, also know as ST2 on RAPA-conditioned DC (RAPA-DC). ST2 is the recently-identified receptor for IL-33, a cytokine favoring Th type 2 (Th2) responses. In addition, transmembrane ST2, or ST2L, has been implicated as a potent negative regulator of TLR signaling. RAPA-DC generated from ST2−/− mice exhibited higher levels of costimulatory molecules (CD86) than wild-type RAPA-DC. Consistent with its regulatory function, IL-1β-induced ST2L expression suppressed the responsiveness of RAPA-DC to TLR or CD40 ligation. Thus, as a result of their de novo production of IL-1β, RAPA-DC upregulate ST2L and become refractory to pro-inflammatory, maturation-inducing stimuli. This work identifies a novel mechanism through which a clinically-important immunosuppressant impedes the capacity of DC to mature and consequently stimulate effector/adaptive T cell responses.
PMCID: PMC2796738  PMID: 18566370
Dendritic Cells; Cytokines Receptors; Cytokine; Tolerance/Suppression/Anergy; Signal Transduction
24.  CD40-Mediated Amplification of Local Immunity by Epithelial Cells Is Impaired by HPV 
The interaction between the transmembrane glycoprotein surface receptor CD40 expressed by skin epithelial cells (ECs) and its T-cell–expressed ligand CD154 was suggested to exacerbate inflammatory skin diseases. However, the full spectrum of CD40-mediated effects by ECs underlying this observation is unknown. Therefore, changes in gene expression after CD40 ligation of ECs were studied by microarrays. CD40-mediated activation for 2 hours stimulated the expression of a coordinated network of immune-involved genes strongly interconnected by IL8 and TNF, whereas after 24 hours anti-proliferative and anti-apoptotic genes were upregulated. CD40 ligation was associated with the production of chemokines and the attraction of lymphocytes and myeloid cells from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Thus, CD40-mediated activation of ECs resulted in a highly coordinated response of genes required for the local development and sustainment of adaptive immune responses. The importance of this process was confirmed by a study on the effects of human papilloma virus (HPV) infection to the EC's response to CD40 ligation. HPV infection clearly attenuated the magnitude of the response to CD40 ligation and the EC's capacity to attract PBMCs. The fact that HPV attenuates CD40 signaling in ECs indicates the importance of the CD40-CD154 immune pathway in boosting cellular immunity within epithelia.
PMCID: PMC4227541  PMID: 24945092
25.  TLK1B promotes repair of DSBs via its interaction with Rad9 and Asf1 Caroline Canfield, Justin Rains, and Arrigo De Benedetti 
BMC Molecular Biology  2009;10:110.
The Tousled-like kinases are involved in chromatin assembly, DNA repair, transcription, and chromosome segregation. Previous evidence indicated that TLK1B can promote repair of plasmids with cohesive ends in vitro, but it was inferred that the mechanism was indirect and via chromatin assembly, mediated by its interaction with the chromatin assembly factor Asf1. We recently identified Rad9 as a substrate of TLK1B, and we presented evidence that the TLK1B-Rad9 interaction plays some role in DSB repair. Hence the relative contribution of Asf1 and Rad9 to the protective effect of TLK1B in DSBs repair is not known. Using an adeno-HO-mediated cleavage system in MM3MG cells, we previously showed that overexpression of either TLK1B or a kinase-dead protein (KD) promoted repair and the assembly of Rad9 in proximity of the DSB at early time points post-infection. This established that it is a chaperone activity of TLK1B and not directly the kinase activity that promotes recruitment of 9-1-1 to the DSB. However, the phosphorylation of Rad9(S328) by TLK1B appeared important for mediating a cell cycle checkpoint, and thus, this phosphorylation of Rad9 may have other effects on 9-1-1 functionality.
Here we present direct evidence that TLK1B can promote repair of linearized plasmids with incompatible ends that require processing prior to ligation. Immunodepletion of Rad9 indicated that Rad9 was important for processing the ends preceding ligation, suggesting that the interaction of TLK1B with Rad9 is a key mediator for this type of repair. Ligation of incompatible ends also required DNA-PK, as addition of wortmannin or immunodepletion of Ku70 abrogated ligation. Depletion of Ku70 prevented the ligation of the plasmid but did not affect stimulation of the fill-in of the ends by added TLK1B, which was attributed to Rad9. From experiments with the HO-cleavage system, we now show that Rad17, a subunit of the "clamp loader", associates normally with the DSB in KD-overexpressing cells. However, the subsequent release of Rad17 and Rad9 upon repair of the DSB was significantly slower in these cells compared to controls or cells expressing wt-TLK1B.
TLKs play important roles in DNA repair, not only by modulation of chromatin assembly via Asf1, but also by a more direct function in processing the ends of a DSB via interaction with Rad9. Inhibition of Rad9 phosphorylation in KD-overexpressing cells may have consequences in signaling completion of the repair and cell cycle re-entry, and could explain a loss of viability from DSBs in these cells.
PMCID: PMC2803485  PMID: 20021694

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