Sjögren's syndrome (SjS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that mainly targets the salivary and lacrimal glands. It has been controversial whether anti-muscarinic type 3 receptor (α-M3R) autoantibodies in patients with SjS inhibit intracellular trafficking of aquaporin-5 (AQP5), water transport protein, leading to secretory dysfunction. To address this issue, GFP-tagged human AQP5 was overexpressed in human salivary gland cells (HSG-hAQP5) and monitored AQP5 trafficking to the plasma membrane following carbachol (CCh, M3R agonist) stimulation. AQP5 trafficking was indeed mediated by M3R stimulation, shown in partial blockage of trafficking by M3R-antagonist 4-DAMP. HSG-hAQP5 pre-incubated with SjS plasma for 24 hours significantly reduced AQP5 trafficking with CCh, compared with HSG-hAQP5 pre-incubated with healthy control (HC) plasma. This inhibition was confirmed by monoclonal α-M3R antibody and pre-absorbed plasma. Interestingly, HSG-hAQP5 pre-incubated with SjS plasma showed no change in cell volume, compared to the cells incubated with HC plasma showing shrinkage by twenty percent after CCh-stimulation. Our findings clearly indicate that binding of anti-M3R autoantibodies to the receptor, which was verified by immunoprecipitation, suppresses AQP5 trafficking to the membrane and contribute to impaired fluid secretion in SjS. Our current study urges further investigations of clinical associations between SjS symptoms, such as degree of secretory dysfunction, cognitive impairment, and/or bladder irritation, and different profiles (titers, isotypes, and/or specificity) of anti-M3R autoantibodies in individuals with SjS.
The protein tyrosine phosphatase LYP, a key regulator of TCR signaling, presents a single nucleotide polymorphism, C1858T, associated with several autoimmune diseases such as type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. This polymorphism changes an R by a W in the P1 Pro rich motif of LYP, which binds to CSK SH3 domain, another negative regulator of TCR signaling. Based on the analysis of the mouse homologue, Pep, it was proposed that LYP and CSK bind constitutively to inhibit LCK and subsequently TCR signaling. The detailed study of LYP/CSK interaction, here presented, showed that LYP/CSK interaction was inducible upon TCR stimulation, and involved LYP P1 and P2 motifs, and CSK SH3 and SH2 domains. Abrogating LYP/CSK interaction did not preclude the regulation of TCR signaling by these proteins.
TNFα-converting enzyme (TACE/ADAM17) is a membrane-bound proteolytic enzyme with a diverse set of target molecules. Most importantly, TACE is indispensable for the release and activation of pro-TNFα and the ligands for epidermal growth factor receptor in vivo. Previous studies suggested that the overproduction of TACE is causally related to the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases and cancers. To test this hypothesis, we generated a transgenic line in which the transcription of exogenous Tace is driven by a CAG promoter. The Tace-transgenic mice were viable and exhibited no overt defects, and the quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot analyses confirmed that the transgenically introduced Tace gene was highly expressed in all of the tissues examined. The Tace-transgenic mice were further crossed with Tace−/+ mice to abrogate the endogenous TACE expression, and the Tace-transgenic mice lacking endogenous Tace gene were also viable without any apparent defects. Furthermore, there was no difference in the serum TNFα levels after lipopolysaccharide injection between the transgenic mice and control littermates. These observations indicate that TACE activity is not necessarily dependent on transcriptional regulation and that excess TACE does not necessarily result in aberrant proteolytic activity in vivo.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease influenced by multiple genetic loci including Fas Ligand (FasL) and P2X7 receptor (P2X7R). The Fas/Fas Ligand apoptotic pathway is critical for immune homeostasis and peripheral tolerance. Normal effector T lymphocytes up-regulate the transmembrane tyrosine phosphatase B220 before undergoing apoptosis. Fas-deficient MRL/lpr mice (lpr mutation) exhibit lupus and lymphoproliferative syndromes due to the massive accumulation of B220+ CD4–CD8– (DN) T lymphocytes. The precise ontogeny of B220+ DN T cells is unknown. B220+ DN T lymphocytes could be derived from effector CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, which have not undergone activation-induced cell death due to inactivation of Fas, or from a special cell lineage. P2X7R is an extracellular ATP-gated cell membrane receptor involved in the release of proinflammatory cytokines and TNFR1/Fas-independent cell death. P2X7R also regulate early signaling events involved in T-cell activation. We show herein that MRL/lpr mice carry a P2X7R allele, which confers a high sensitivity to ATP. However, during aging, the MRL/lpr T-cell population exhibits a drastically reduced sensitivity to ATP- or NAD-mediated stimulation of P2X7R, which parallels the increase in B220+ DN T-cell numbers in lymphoid organs. Importantly, we found that this B220+ DN T-cell subpopulation has a defect in P2X7R-mediated responses. The few B220+ T cells observed in normal MRL+/+ and C57BL/6 mice are also resistant to ATP or NAD treatment. Unexpectedly, while P2X7R mRNA and proteins are present inside of B220+ T cells, P2X7R are undetectable on the plasma membrane of these T cells. Our results prompt the conclusion that cell surface expression of B220 strongly correlates with the negative regulation of the P2X7R pathway in T cells.
Immune cells express receptors for extracellular nucleotides named P2 receptors. P2 receptors transduce signals delivered by nucleotides present in the extracellular environment. Accruing evidence shows that purinergic signalling has a profound effect on multiple immune cell responses such as T lymphocyte proliferation, chemotaxis, cytokine release, phagocytosis, Ag presentation and cytotoxicity. This makes P2 receptors an attractive target for the therapy of immuno-mediated disease and cancer.
Nucleotides; Adenosine triphosphate; Damage associated molecular patterns (DAMP); Purinergic receptors; Inflammasome; Autoimmune diseases
Ivermectin is currently approved for treatment of both clinical and veterinary infections by nematodes, including Onchocerca cervicalis in horses and Onchocerca volvulus in humans. However, ivermectin has never been shown to be effective against bacterial pathogens. Here we show that ivermectin also inhibits infection of epithelial cells by the bacterial pathogen, Chlamydia trachomatis, at doses that could be envisioned clinically for sexually-transmitted or ocular infections by Chlamydia.
Two lineages of T cells, expressing either the αβ T cell receptor (TR) or the γδ TR, exist in Gnathostomes. The latter type of T cells account for 1–10 % of T cells in blood and up to 30 % in the small intestine. They may recognize unconventional antigens (phosphorylated microbial metabolites, lipid antigens) without the need of major histocompatibility class I (MH1) or class II (MH2) presentation. In this work we have described cloning and structural characterization of TR -chain (TRG) from the teleost Dicentrarchus labrax. Further, by means of quantitative PCR analysis, we analyzed TRG expression levels both in poly I:C stimulated leukocytes in vitro, and following infection with betanodavirus in vivo. Two full length cDNAs relative to TRG, with the highest peptide and nucleotide identity with Japanese flounder, were identified. A multiple alignment analysis showed the conservation of peptides fundamental for TRG biological functions, and of the FGXG motif in the FR4 region, typical of most TR and immunoglobulin light chains. A 3D structure consisting of two domains mainly folded as beta strands with a sandwich architecture for each domain was also reported. TRG CDR3 of 8–18 AA in length and diversity in the TRG rearrangements expressed in thymus and intestine for a given V/C combination were evidenced by junction length spectratyping. TRG mRNA expression levels were high in basal conditions both in thymus and intestine, while in kidney and gut leukocytes they were up-regulated after in vitro stimulation by poly I:C. Finally, in juveniles the TRG expression levels were up-regulated in the head kidney and down-regulated in intestine after in vivo infection with betanodavirus. Overall, in this study the involvement of TRG-bearing T cells during viral stimulation was described for the first time, leading to new insights for the identification of T cell subsets in fish.
Delayed administration of donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) to established mixed chimeras has been shown to achieve anti-tumor responses without graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD). Herein we show that de novo donor BM-derived T cells that are tolerant of the recipients are important in preventing GVHD in mixed chimeras receiving delayed DLI. Mixed chimeras lacking donor BM-derived T cells developed significantly more severe GVHD than those with donor BM-derived T cells after DLI, even though both groups had comparable levels of total T cells at the time of DLI. Post-DLI depletion of donor BM-derived T cells in mixed chimeras, as late as 20 days after DLI, also provoked severe GVHD. Although both CD4 and CD8 T cells contributed to the protection, the latter were significantly more effective, suggesting that inhibition of GVHD was not mainly mediated by CD4 regulatory T cells. The lack of donor BM-derived T cells was associated with markedly increased accumulation of DLI-derived alloreactive T cells in parenchymal GVHD target tissues. Thus, donor BM-derived T cells are an important factor in determining the risk of GVHD and therefore, offer a potential therapeutic target for preventing and ameliorating GVHD in the setting of delayed DLI in established mixed chimeras.
Protein-protein interactions (PPI) mediate the formation of intermolecular networks that control biological signaling. For this reason, PPIs are of outstanding interest in pharmacology, as they display high specificity and may represent a vast pool of potentially druggable targets. However, the study of physiologic PPIs can be limited by conventional assays that often have large sample requirements and relatively low sensitivity. Here, we build on a novel method, immunoprecipitation detected by flow cytometry (IP-FCM), to assess PPI modulation during either signal transduction or pharmacologic inhibition by two different classes of small-molecule compounds. First, we showed that IP-FCM can detect statistically significant differences in samples possessing a defined PPI change as low as 10%. This sensitivity allowed IP-FCM to detect a PPI that increases transiently during T cell signaling, the antigen-inducible interaction between ZAP70 and the T cell antigen receptor (TCR)/CD3 complex. In contrast, IP-FCM detected no ZAP70 recruitment when T cells were stimulated with antigen in the presence of the src-family kinase inhibitor, PP2. Further, we tested whether IP-FCM possessed sufficient sensitivity to detect the effect of a second, rare class of compounds called SMIPPI (small-molecule inhibitor of PPI). We found that the first-generation non-optimized SMIPPI, Ro-26-4550, inhibited the IL-2:CD25 interaction detected by IP-FCM. This inhibition was detectable using either a recombinant CD25-Fc chimera or physiologic full-length CD25 captured from T cell lysates. Thus, we demonstrate that IP-FCM is a sensitive tool for measuring physiologic PPIs that are modulated by signal transduction and pharmacologic inhibition.
Activated B cells can regulate immunity, and have been envisaged as potential cell-based therapy for treating autoimmune diseases. However, activated human B cells can also propagate immune responses, and the effects resulting from their infusion into patients cannot be predicted. This led us to consider resting B cells, which in contrast are poorly immunogenic, as an alternative cellular platform for the suppression of unwanted immunity. Here, we report that resting B cells can be directly engineered to express antigens in a remarkably simple, rapid, and effective way with lentiviral vectors. Notably, this neither required nor induced activation of the B cells. With that approach we were able to produce reprogrammed resting B cells that inhibited antigen-specific CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and B cells upon adoptive transfer in mice. Furthermore, resting B cells engineered to ectopically express myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antigen protected recipient mice from severe disability and demyelination in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and even induced complete remission from disease in mice lacking functional natural regulatory T cells, which otherwise developed a chronic paralysis. In conclusion, our study introduces reprogrammed quiescent B cells as a novel tool for suppressing undesirable immunity.
B cells; autoimmunity; gene therapy; lentiviral vector; cellular therapy
TGF-β type III receptor (TβRIII) is a coreceptor for TGFβ family members required for high-affinity binding of these ligands to their receptors, potentiating their cellular functions. TGF-β –, bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP2/4) and inhibins regulate different checkpoints during T cell differentiation. Although TβRIII is expressed on hematopoietic cells, the role of this receptor in the immune system remains elusive. Here, we provide the first evidence that TβRIII is developmentally expressed during T cell ontogeny, and plays a crucial role in thymocyte differentiation. Blocking of endogenous TβRIII in fetal thymic organ cultures led to a delay in DN-DP transition. In addition, in vitro development of TβRIII−/− thymic lobes also showed a significant reduction in absolute thymocyte numbers, which correlated with increased thymocyte apoptosis, resembling the phenotype reported in Inhibin α −/− thymic lobes. These data suggest that Inhibins and TβRIII may function as a molecular pair regulating T cell development.
Mutations altering the gene encoding the SLAM associated protein (SAP) are responsible for the X-linked lymphoproliferative disease or XLP1. Its absence is correlated with a defective NKT cells development, a decrease in B cell functions and a reduced T cells and NK cells cytotoxic activities, thus leading to an immunodeficiency syndrome. SAP is a small 128 amino-acid long protein that is almost exclusively composed of an SH2 domain. It has been shown to interact with the CD150/SLAM family of receptors, and in a non-canonical manner with SH3 containing proteins such as Fyn, βPIX, PKCθ and Nck1. It would thus play the role of a minimal adaptor protein. It has been shown that SAP plays an important function in the activation of T cells through its interaction with the SLAM family of receptors. Therefore SAP defective T cells display a reduced activation of signaling events downstream of the TCR-CD3 complex triggering. In the present work, we evidence that SAP is a direct interactor of the CD3ζ chain. This direct interaction occurs through the first ITAM of CD3ζ, proximal to the membrane. Additionally, we show that, in the context of the TCR-CD3 signaling, an Sh-RNA mediated silencing of SAP is responsible for a decrease of several canonical T cell signaling pathways including Erk, Akt and PLCγ1 and to a reduced induction of IL-2 and IL-4 mRNA. Altogether, we show that SAP plays a central function in the T cell activation processes through a direct association with the CD3 complex.
Noncognate or self peptide-MHC (pMHC) ligands productively interact with T-cell receptor (TCR) and are always in a large access over the cognate pMHC on the surface of antigen presenting cells. We assembled soluble cognate and noncognate pMHC class I (pMHC-I) ligands at designated ratios on various scaffolds into oligomers that mimic pMHC clustering and examined how multivalency and density of the pMHCs in model clusters influences the binding to live CD8 T cells and the kinetics of TCR signaling. Our data demonstrate that the density of self pMHC-I proteins promotes their interaction with CD8 co-receptor, which plays a critical role in recognition of a small number of cognate pMHC-I ligands. This suggests that MHC clustering on live target cells could be utilized as a sensitive mechanism to regulate T cell responsiveness.
Pathogen-activated and damage-associated molecular patterns activate the inflammasome in macrophages. We report that mouse macrophages release IL-1β while co-incubated with pro-B (Ba/F3) cells dying, as a result of IL-3 withdrawal, by apoptosis with autophagy, but not when they are co-incubated with living, apoptotic, necrotic or necrostatin-1 treated cells. NALP3-deficient macrophages display reduced IL-1β secretion, which is also inhibited in macrophages deficient in caspase-1 or pre-treated with its inhibitor. This finding demonstrates that the inflammasome is activated during phagocytosis of dying autophagic cells. We show that activation of NALP3 depends on phagocytosis of dying cells, ATP release through pannexin-1 channels of dying autophagic cells, P2X7 purinergic receptor activation, and on consequent potassium efflux. Dying autophagic Ba/F3 cells injected intraperitoneally in mice recruit neutrophils and thereby induce acute inflammation. These findings demonstrate that NALP3 performs key upstream functions in inflammasome activation in mouse macrophages engulfing dying autophagic cells, and that these functions lead to pro-inflammatory responses.
Inflammasomes are multi-protein complexes that control the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β. Inflammasomes play an important role in the control of immunity to tumors and infections, and also in autoimmune diseases, but the mechanisms controlling the activation of human inflammasomes are largely unknown. We found that human activated CD4+CD45RO+ memory T-cells specifically suppress P2X7R-mediated NLRP3 inflammasome activation, without affecting P2X7R-independent NLRP3 or NLRP1 inflammasome activation. The concomitant increase in pro-IL-1β production induced by activated memory T-cells concealed this effect. Priming with IFNβ decreased pro-IL-1β production in addition to NLRP3 inflammasome inhibition and thus unmasked the inhibitory effect on NLRP3 inflammasome activation. IFNβ suppresses NLRP3 inflammasome activation through an indirect mechanism involving decreased P2X7R signaling. The inhibition of pro-IL-1β production and suppression of NLRP3 inflammasome activation by IFNβ-primed human CD4+CD45RO+ memory T-cells is partly mediated by soluble FasL and is associated with down-regulated P2X7R mRNA expression and reduced response to ATP in monocytes. CD4+CD45RO+ memory T-cells from multiple sclerosis (MS) patients showed a reduced ability to suppress NLRP3 inflammasome activation, however their suppressive ability was recovered following in vivo treatment with IFNβ. Thus, our data demonstrate that human P2X7R-mediated NLRP3 inflammasome activation is regulated by activated CD4+CD45RO+ memory T cells, and provide new information on the mechanisms mediating the therapeutic effects of IFNβ in MS.
S-palmitoylation is a reversible post-translational modification important for controlling the membrane targeting and function of numerous membrane proteins with diverse roles in signalling, scaffolding, and trafficking. We sought to identify novel palmitoylated proteins in B lymphocytes using acyl-biotin exchange chemistry, coupled with differential analysis by liquid-chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. In total, we identified 57 novel palmitoylated protein candidates from human EBV-transformed lymphoid cells. Two of them, namely CD20 and CD23 (low affinity immunoglobulin epsilon Fc receptor), are immune regulators that are effective/potential therapeutic targets for haematological malignancies, autoimmune diseases and allergic disorders. Palmitoylation of CD20 and CD23 was confirmed by heterologous expression of alanine mutants coupled with bioorthogonal metabolic labeling. This study demonstrates a new subset of palmitoylated proteins in B cells, illustrating the ubiquitous role of protein palmitoylation in immune regulation.
The gamma-secretase complex is involved in the intramembranous proteolysis of a variety of substrates, including the amyloid precursor protein and the Notch receptor. Nicastrin (NCT) is an essential component of the gamma-secretase complex and functions as a receptor for gamma-secretase substrates. In this study, we determined that serum- and glucocorticoid-induced protein kinase 1 (SGK1) markedly reduced the protein stability of NCT. The SGK1 kinase activity was decisive for NCT degradation and endogenous SGK1 inhibited gamma-secretase activity. SGK1 downregulates NCT protein levels via proteasomal and lysosomal pathways. Furthermore, SGK1 directly bound to and phosphorylated NCT on Ser437, thereby promoting protein degradation. Collectively, our findings indicate that SGK1 is a gamma-secretase regulator presumably effective through phosphorylation and degradation of NCT.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the gene encoding the protein tyrosine phosphatase TCPTP (encoded by PTPN2) have been linked with the development of autoimmunity. Here we have used Cre/LoxP recombination to generate Ptpn2ex2−/ex2− mice with a global deficiency in TCPTP on a C57BL/6 background and compared the phenotype of these mice to Ptpn2−/− mice (BALB/c-129SJ) generated previously by homologous recombination and backcrossed onto the BALB/c background. Ptpn2ex2−/ex2− mice exhibited growth retardation and a median survival of 32 days, as compared to 21 days for Ptpn2−/− (BALB/c) mice, but the overt signs of morbidity (hunched posture, piloerection, decreased mobility and diarrhoea) evident in Ptpn2−/− (BALB/c) mice were not detected in Ptpn2ex2−/ex2− mice. At 14 days of age, bone development was delayed in Ptpn2−/− (BALB/c) mice. This was associated with increased trabecular bone mass and decreased bone remodeling, a phenotype that was not evident in Ptpn2ex2−/ex2− mice. Ptpn2ex2−/ex2− mice had defects in erythropoiesis and B cell development as evident in Ptpn2−/− (BALB/c) mice, but not splenomegaly and did not exhibit an accumulation of myeloid cells in the spleen as seen in Ptpn2−/− (BALB/c) mice. Moreover, thymic atrophy, another feature of Ptpn2−/− (BALB/c) mice, was delayed in Ptpn2ex2−/ex2− mice and preceded by an increase in thymocyte positive selection and a concomitant increase in lymph node T cells. Backcrossing Ptpn2−/− (BALB/c) mice onto the C57BL/6 background largely recapitulated the phenotype of Ptpn2ex2−/ex2− mice. Taken together these results reaffirm TCPTP's important role in lymphocyte development and indicate that the effects on morbidity, mortality, bone development and the myeloid compartment are strain-dependent.
Genetic loci on New Zealand Black (NZB) chromosomes 1 and 13 play a significant role in the development of lupus-like autoimmune disease. We have previously shown that C57BL/6 (B6) congenic mice with homozygous NZB chromosome 1 (B6.NZBc1) or 13 (B6.NZBc13) intervals develop anti-nuclear antibodies and mild glomerulonephritis (GN), together with increased T and B cell activation. Here, we produced B6.NZBc1c13 bicongenic mice with both intervals, and demonstrate several novel phenotypes including: marked plasmacytoid and myeloid dendritic cell expansion, and elevated IgA production. Despite these changes, only minor increases in anti-nuclear antibody production were seen, and the severity of GN was reduced as compared to B6.NZBc1 mice. Although bicongenic mice had increased levels of baff and tnf-α mRNA in their spleens, the levels of IFN-α-induced gene expression were reduced. Splenocytes from bicongenic mice also demonstrated reduced secretion of IFN-α following TLR stimulation in vitro. This reduction was not due to inhibition by TNF-α and IL-10, or regulation by other cellular populations. Because pDC in bicongenic mice are chronically exposed to nuclear antigen-containing immune complexes in vivo, we examined whether repeated stimulation of mouse pDC with TLR ligands leads to impaired IFN-α production, a phenomenon termed TLR tolerance. Bone marrow pDC from both B6 and bicongenic mice demonstrated markedly inhibited secretion of IFN-α following repeated stimulation with a TLR9 ligand. Our findings suggest that the expansion of pDC and production of anti-nuclear antibodies need not be associated with increased IFN-α production and severe kidney disease, revealing additional complexity in the regulation of autoimmunity in systemic lupus erythematosus.
The homeodomain-interacting protein kinase (HIPK) family is comprised of four highly related serine/threonine kinases originally identified as co-repressors for various homeodomain-containing transcription factors. The HIPKs have been shown to be involved in growth regulation and apoptosis, with numerous studies highlighting HIPK regulation of the tumor suppressor p53. In this study, we have discovered a B cell homeostatic defect in HIPK1-deficient (HIPK1−/−) mice. Lymphopoietic populations within the thymus and bone marrow of HIPK1−/− mice appeared normal based upon FACS analysis; however, the spleen exhibited a reduced number of total B cells with a significant loss of transitional-1 and follicular B cell populations. Interestingly, the marginal zone B cell population was expanded in HIPK1−/− mice, yielding an increased frequency of these cells. HIPK1−/− B cells exhibited impaired cell division in response to B cell receptor cross-linking in vitro based upon thymidine incorporation or CFSE dilution; however, the addition of CD40L rescued HIPK1−/− proliferation to wild-type levels. Despite the expanded MZ B cell population in the HIPK1−/− mice, the T-independent type 2 humoral response was impaired. These data identify HIPK1 as a novel kinase required for optimal B cell function in mice.
We previously reported that neuraminidase (NA) pretreatment of human PBMCs markedly increased their cytokine response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). To study the mechanisms by which this occurs, we transfected HEK293T cells with plasmids encoding TLR4, CD14, and MD2 (three components of the LPS receptor complex), as well as a NFκB luciferase reporting system. Both TLR4 and MD2 encoded by the plasmids are α-2,6 sialylated. HEK293T cells transfected with TLR4/MD2/CD14 responded robustly to the addition of LPS; however, omission of the MD2 plasmid abrogated this response. Addition of culture supernatants from MD2 (sMD2)-transfected HEK293T cells, but not recombinant, non-glycosylated MD2 reconstituted this response. NA treatment of sMD2 enhanced the LPS response as did NA treatment of the TLR4/CD14-transfected cell supplemented with untreated sMD2, but optimal LPS-initiated responses were observed with NA-treated TLR4/CD14-transfected cells supplemented with NA-treated sMD2. We hypothesized that removal of negatively charged sialyl residues from glycans on the TLR4 complex would hasten the dimerization of TLR4 monomers required for signaling. Co-transfection of HEK293T cells with separate plasmids encoding either YFP- or FLAG-tagged TLR4, followed by treatment with NA and stimulation with LPS, led to an earlier and more robust time-dependent dimerization of TLR4 monomers on co-immunoprecipitation, compared to untreated cells. These findings were confirmed by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) analysis. Overexpression of human Neu1 increased LPS-initiated TLR4-mediated NFκB activation and a NA inhibitor suppressed its activation. We conclude that (1) sialyl residues on TLR4 modulate LPS responsiveness, perhaps by facilitating clustering of the homodimers, and that (2) sialic acid, and perhaps other glycosyl species, regulate MD2 activity required for LPS-mediated signaling. We speculate that endogenous sialidase activity mobilized during cell activation may play a role in this regulation.
Nerve injuries causing segmental loss require nerve grafting. However, autografts and allografts have limitations for clinical use. Peripheral nerve xenotransplantation has become an area of great interest in clinical surgery research as an alternative graft strategy. However, xenotransplant rejection is severe with cellular immunity, and Th1 cells play an important role in the process. To better understand the process of rejection, we used peripheral nerve xenografts from rats to mice and found that mononuclear cells expressing IFN-γ and IL-17 infiltrated around the grafts, and IFN-γ and IL-17 producing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells increased during the process of acute rejection. The changes of IL-4 level had no significant difference between xenotransplanted group and sham control group. The rejection of xenograft was significantly prevented after the treatment of IL-17 and IFN-γ neutralizing antibodies. These data suggest that Th17 cells contribute to the acute rejection process of peripheral nerve xenotransplant in addition to Th1 cells.
T cells recognizing self-peptides that mediate autoimmune disease and those that are responsible for efficacious immunity against pathogens may differ in affinity for antigen due to central and peripheral tolerance mechanisms. Here we utilize prototypical self-reactive (myelin) and viral-specific (LCMV) T cells from T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic mice (2D2 and SMARTA, respectively) to explore affinity differences. The T cells responsive to virus possessed >10,000 fold higher 2D affinity as compared to the self-reactive T cells. Despite their dramatically lower affinity for their cognate ligand, 2D2 T cells respond with complete, albeit delayed, activation (proliferation and cytokine production). SMARTA activation occurs rapidly, achieving peak phosphorylation of p38 (1 minute), Erk (30 minutes), and Jun (3 hours) as well as CD69 and CD25 upregulation (3 and 6 hours, respectively), with a corresponding early initiation of proliferation. 2D2 stimulation with MOG results in altered signaling – no phospho-Erk or phospho-p38 accumulation, significantly delayed activation kinetics of Jun (12 hours), and delayed but sustained SHP-1 activity – as well as delayed CD69 and CD25 expression (12–24 hours), and slow initiation of proliferation. This delay was not intrinsic to the 2D2 T cells, as a more potent antigen with >100-fold increased 2D affinity restored rapid response kinetics in line with those identified for the viral antigen. Taken together, these data demonstrate that time can offset low TCR affinity to attain full activation and suggest a mechanism by which low affinity T cells participate in autoimmune disease.
Contact with HIV-1 envelope protein elicits release of ATP through pannexin-1 channels on target cells; by activating purinergic receptors and Pyk2 kinase in target cells, this extracellular ATP boosts HIV-1 infectivity.
Extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) can activate purinergic receptors of the plasma membrane and modulate multiple cellular functions. We report that ATP is released from HIV-1 target cells through pannexin-1 channels upon interaction between the HIV-1 envelope protein and specific target cell receptors. Extracellular ATP then acts on purinergic receptors, including P2Y2, to activate proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) kinase and transient plasma membrane depolarization, which in turn stimulate fusion between Env-expressing membranes and membranes containing CD4 plus appropriate chemokine co-receptors. Inhibition of any of the constituents of this cascade (pannexin-1, ATP, P2Y2, and Pyk2) impairs the replication of HIV-1 mutant viruses that are resistant to conventional antiretroviral agents. Altogether, our results reveal a novel signaling pathway involved in the early steps of HIV-1 infection that may be targeted with new therapeutic approaches.
Activation of T cell receptor (TCR) by antigens occurs in concert with an elaborate multi-scale spatial reorganization of proteins at the immunological synapse, the junction between a T cell and an antigen-presenting cell (APC). The directed movement of molecules, which intrinsically requires physical forces, is known to modulate biochemical signaling. It remains unclear, however, if mechanical forces exert any direct influence on the signaling cascades. We use T cells from AND transgenic mice expressing TCRs specific to the moth cytochrome c 88–103 peptide, and replace the APC with a synthetic supported lipid membrane. Through a series of high spatiotemporal molecular tracking studies in live T cells, we demonstrate that the molecular motor, non-muscle myosin IIA, transiently drives TCR transport during the first one to two minutes of immunological synapse formation. Myosin inhibition reduces calcium influx and colocalization of active ZAP-70 (zeta-chain associated protein kinase 70) with TCR, revealing an influence on signaling activity. More tellingly, its inhibition also significantly reduces phosphorylation of the mechanosensing protein CasL (Crk-associated substrate the lymphocyte type), raising the possibility of a direct mechanical mechanism of signal modulation involving CasL.