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1.  Dendritic cells induce antigen-specific regulatory T cells that prevent graft versus host disease and persist in mice 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2011;208(12):2489-2496.
Regulatory T cells generated by allostimulation with dendritic cells, transforming growth factor β, and retinoic acid stably express Foxp3 and can suppress even ongoing GVHD in mice.
Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (T reg cells) effectively suppress immunity, but it is not determined if antigen-induced T reg cells (iT reg cells) are able to persist under conditions of inflammation and to stably express the transcription factor Foxp3. We used spleen cells to stimulate the mixed leukocyte reaction (MLR) in the presence of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) and retinoic acid. We found that the CD11chigh dendritic cell fraction was the most potent at inducing high numbers of alloreactive Foxp3+ cells. The induced CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ cells appeared after extensive proliferation. When purified from the MLR, iT reg cells suppressed both primary and secondary MLR in vitro in an antigen-specific manner. After transfer into allogeneic mice, iT reg cells persisted for 6 mo and prevented graft versus host disease (GVHD) caused by co-transferred CD45RBhi T cells. Similar findings were made when iT reg cells were transferred after onset of GVHD. The CNS2 intronic sequence of the Foxp3 gene in the persisting iT reg cells was as demethylated as the corresponding sequence of naturally occurring T reg cells. These results indicate that induced Foxp3+ T reg cells, after proliferating and differentiating into antigen-specific suppressive T cells, can persist for long periods while suppressing a powerful inflammatory disease.
PMCID: PMC3256961  PMID: 22084406
2.  HIV gag protein is efficiently cross-presented when targeted with an antibody towards the DEC-205 receptor in Flt3 ligand-mobilized murine dendritic cells 
European journal of immunology  2010;40(1):36-46.
Dendritic cells present exogenous proteins to MHC class I restricted CD8+ T cells. This function does not require endogenous antigen synthesis within DC, providing the potential to elicit CD8+ T cell responses to immune complexes, inactivated microbes, dying cells and proteins like ovalbumin. In mice, the CD8+ or DEC-205+ DC are specialized for cross-presentation, and this subset can be increased 10 fold in numbers following Flt3L treatment in vivo. Therefore we studied cross-presentation by abundant Flt3L DC using HIV gag protein. When enriched by positive selection with anti-CD11c beads, cells from Flt3L mice are not only more abundant but are more highly enriched in CD11c high DC, particularly the DEC-205+ subset. DC cross-present HIV gag to primed CD8+ T cells, but when the antigen is delivered within an antibody to DEC-205 receptor, cross-presentation becomes 100 fold more efficient than non-targeted antigen. This finding requires gag to be engineered into anti-DEC antibody, not just mixed with antibody. Flt3L DC are a valuable tool to study cross-presentation, since their use overcomes the obstacle posed by the low number of cross-presenting DC in the steady state. These findings support future experiments to use Flt3L to enhance presentation of DC-targeted vaccines.
PMCID: PMC2933266  PMID: 19830741
DC; Flt3L; poly IC
3.  siRNA knockdown of PD-L1 and PD-L2 in monocyte-derived dendritic cells only modestly improves proliferative responses to Gag by CD8+ T cells from HIV-1 infected individuals 
Journal of clinical immunology  2009;29(5):637-645.
Due to their capacity to elicit and regulate immunity, dendritic cells (DCs) are important targets to improve vaccination. Knowing that PD-1 high virus-specific T cells become functionally exhausted during chronic exposure to HIV-1, the development of a therapeutic DC-based HIV-1 vaccine might include strategies that down regulate PD-L1 and PD-L2 counter-receptors. After showing that monocyte-derived DCs rapidly up regulated PD-L1 and PD-L2 expression upon maturation with a variety of stimuli e.g. TLR ligands and cytokines, we determined that PD-L1 and PD-L2 expression could be knocked down by electroporation of a single siRNA sequence twice at the monocyte and immature stages of DC development. This knockdown approached completion, and was specific and lasting for several days. We then added the PD-L1 and PD-L2 silenced monocyte-derived DCs to PBMCs from HIV-1 infected individuals along with pools of 15-mer HIV-1 Gag p24 peptides. However, in cultures from 6 patients, there was only a modest enhancing effect of PD-L1 and PD-L2 silencing on CD8+ T cell proliferative responses to the DCs. These findings suggest that in monocyte-derived DCs, additional strategies than PD-L1 or PD-L2 blockade will be needed to improve the function of PD-1 high T cells.
PMCID: PMC2933267  PMID: 19562472
Dendritic Cells; PD-L1; PD-L2; siRNA; HIV-1 Gag; CD8+ T cell
4.  Broad T cell immunity to the LcrV virulence protein is induced by targeted delivery to DEC-205/CD205 positive mouse dendritic cells 
European journal of immunology  2008;38(1):20-29.
There is a need for a more efficient vaccine against the bacterium Y. pestis, the agent of pneumonic plague. The F1-LcrV subunit vaccine in alhydrogel is known to induce humoral immunity. In this study, we utilized dendritic cells to investigate cellular immunity. We genetically engineered the LcrV virulence protein into the αDEC-205/CD205 monoclonal antibody and thereby targeted the conjugated protein directly to mouse DEC-205+ DCs in situ. We observed antigen-specific CD4+ T cell immunity measured by intracellular staining for interferon-γ in three different mouse strains (C57BL/6, BALB/c, and C3H/HeJ), while we could not observe such T cell responses with F1-V vaccine in alhydrogel. Using a peptide library for LcrV protein, we identified two or more distinct CD4+ T cell mimetopes in each MHC haplotype, consistent with the induction of broad immunity. When compared to nontargeted standard protein vaccine, DC targeting greatly increased the efficiency for inducing IFN-γ producing T cells. The targeted LcrV protein induced antibody responses to a similar extent as the F1-V subunit vaccine, but Th1-dependent IgG2a and IgG2c isotypes were observed only after αDEC-205:LcrV mAb immunization. This study sets the stage for the analysis of functional roles of IFN-γ producing T cells in Y. pestis infection.
PMCID: PMC2864640  PMID: 18081041
Dendritic cells; CD 205/DEC-205; Y. pestis; LcrV; Cellular immunity
5.  A new Trem family member, Treml4, binds to dead cells and is a DAP12 linked marker for subsets of mouse macrophages and dendritic cells1 
Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen presenting cells that can control immune responses against self and altered self, typically foreign, determinants. DCs can be divided into several subsets including CD8α+ and CD8α− DCs. These subsets possess specific functions. For example, mouse splenic CD8α+, but not CD8α− DCs, selectively take up dying cells and cross-present cell-associated antigens to naïve T cells. In this study, we identified genes that were more expressed in CD8α+ than CD8α− DCs by microarray analysis. Only one of these genes, when the extracellular domains were linked to human IgG Fc domain, could bind to late apoptotic or necrotic cells. This gene was a new member of the Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (Trem) family, Trem-like 4 (Treml4). Treml4 mRNA and protein, the latter detected with a new monoclonal antibody, were predominantly expressed in spleen. Treml4, like other Trem family members, could associate with the adaptor molecule DAP12, but neither DAP10 nor FcRγ. Consistent with the microarray data, we confirmed that Treml4 protein was more expressed on CD8α+ than CD8 α− DCs, and we also found that Treml4 was expressed at high levels on splenic macrophages in spleen particularly red pulp and marginal metallophilic macrophages. In addition, Treml4 expression on DCs was not changed after maturation induced by Toll-like receptor ligands. Thus, Treml4 is a new Trem family molecule that is abundantly expressed on CD8α+ DCs and subsets of splenic resident macrophages, and can recognize dead cells by different types of phagocytes in spleen.
PMCID: PMC2843158  PMID: 19155473
Dendritic cells; Monocytes/Macrophages; Cell surface molecules
6.  Dendritic cells require a systemic type I interferon response to mature and induce CD4+ Th1 immunity with poly IC as adjuvant 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2009;206(7):1589-1602.
Relative to several other toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists, we found polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly IC) to be the most effective adjuvant for Th1 CD4+ T cell responses to a dendritic cell (DC)–targeted HIV gag protein vaccine in mice. To identify mechanisms for adjuvant action in the intact animal and the polyclonal T cell repertoire, we found poly IC to be the most effective inducer of type I interferon (IFN), which was produced by DEC-205+ DCs, monocytes, and stromal cells. Antibody blocking or deletion of type I IFN receptor showed that IFN was essential for DC maturation and development of CD4+ immunity. The IFN-AR receptor was directly required for DCs to respond to poly IC. STAT 1 was also essential, in keeping with the type I IFN requirement, but not type II IFN or IL-12 p40. Induction of type I IFN was mda5 dependent, but DCs additionally used TLR3. In bone marrow chimeras, radioresistant and, likely, nonhematopoietic cells were the main source of IFN, but mda5 was required in both marrow–derived and radioresistant host cells for adaptive responses. Therefore, the adjuvant action of poly IC requires a widespread innate type I IFN response that directly links antigen presentation by DCs to adaptive immunity.
PMCID: PMC2715098  PMID: 19564349
8.  Identification of antigen-presenting dendritic cells in mouse aorta and cardiac valves 
Presumptive dendritic cells (DCs) bearing the CD11c integrin and other markers have previously been identified in normal mouse and human aorta. We used CD11c promoter–enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) transgenic mice to visualize aortic DCs and study their antigen-presenting capacity. Stellate EYFP+ cells were readily identified in the aorta and could be double labeled with antibodies to CD11c and antigen-presenting major histocompatability complex (MHC) II products. The DCs proved to be particularly abundant in the cardiac valves and aortic sinus. In all aortic locations, the CD11c+ cells localized to the subintimal space with occasional processes probing the vascular lumen. Aortic DCs expressed little CD40 but expressed low levels of CD1d, CD80, and CD86. In studies of antigen presentation, DCs selected on the basis of EYFP expression or binding of anti-CD11c antibody were as effective as DCs similarly selected from the spleen. In particular, the aortic DCs could cross-present two different protein antigens on MHC class I to CD8+ TCR transgenic T cells. In addition, after intravenous injection, aortic DCs could capture anti-CD11c antibody and cross-present ovalbumin to T cells. These results indicate that bona fide DCs are a constituent of the normal aorta and cardiac valves.
PMCID: PMC2699134  PMID: 19221394
9.  Flt3L-dependence helps define an uncharacterized subset of murine cutaneous dendritic cells 
Skin-derived dendritic cells (DC) are potent antigen presenting cells with critical roles in both adaptive immunity and tolerance to self. Skin DC carry antigens and constitutively migrate to the skin draining lymph nodes (LN). In mice, Langerin-CD11b− dermal DC are a low-frequency, heterogeneous, migratory DC subset that traffic to LN (Langerin-CD11b-migDC). Here, we build on the observation that Langerin-CD11b− migDC are Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L) dependent and strongly Flt3L responsive, which may relate them to classical DCs. Examination of DC capture of FITC from painted skin, DC isolation from skin explant culture, and from the skin of CCR7 knockout mice which accumulate migDC, demonstrate these cells are cutaneous residents. Langerin-CD11b-Flt3L responsive DC are largely CD24(+) and CX3CR1low and can be depleted from Zbtb46-DTR mice, suggesting classical DC lineage. Langerin-CD11bmigDC present antigen with equal efficiency to other DC subsets ex vivo including classical CD8α cDC and Langerin+CD103+ dermal DC. Finally, transcriptome analysis suggests a close relationship to other skin DC, and a lineage relationship to other classical DC. This work demonstrates that Langerin- CD11b− dermal DC, a previously overlooked cell subset, may be an important player in the cutaneous immune environment.
PMCID: PMC3994898  PMID: 24288007
10.  The efficacy of DNA vaccination is enhanced in mice by targeting the encoded protein to dendritic cells 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2008;118(4):1427-1436.
DNA vaccines promote an immune response by providing antigen-encoding DNA to the recipient, but the efficacy of such vaccines needs improving. Many approaches have considerable potential but currently induce relatively weak immune responses despite multiple high doses of DNA vaccine. Here, we asked whether targeting vaccine antigens to DCs would increase the immunity and protection that result from DNA vaccines. To determine this, we generated a DNA vaccine encoding a fusion protein comprised of the vaccine antigen and a single-chain Fv antibody (scFv) specific for the DC-restricted antigen-uptake receptor DEC205. Following vaccination of mice, the vaccine antigen was expressed selectively by DCs, which were required for the increased efficacy of MHC class I and MHC class II antigen presentation relative to a control scFv DNA vaccine. In addition, a DNA vaccine encoding an HIV gag p41–scFv DEC205 fusion protein induced 10-fold higher antibody levels and increased numbers of IFN-γ–producing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. After a single i.m. injection of the DNA vaccine encoding an HIV gag p41–scFv DEC205 fusion protein, mice were protected from an airway challenge with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing the HIV gag p41, even with 1% of the dose of nontargeted DNA vaccine. The efficacy of DNA vaccines therefore may be enhanced by inclusion of sequences such as single-chain antibodies to target the antigen to DCs.
PMCID: PMC2263146  PMID: 18324335
11.  Dendritic Cell-Specific Intercellular Adhesion Molecule 3-Grabbing Nonintegrin/CD209 Is Abundant on Macrophages in the Normal Human Lymph Node and Is Not Required for Dendritic Cell Stimulation of the Mixed Leukocyte Reaction1 
The C-type lectin dendritic cell-specific ICAM 3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN)/CD209 efficiently binds several pathogens, including HIV-1. DC-SIGN is expressed on monocyte-derived DCs in culture, and importantly, it is able to sequester HIV-1 within cells and facilitate transmission of virus to CD4+ T cells. To investigate DC-SIGN function, we have generated new mAbs. We report in this study that these and prior anti-DC-SIGN mAbs primarily label macrophages in the medullary sinuses of noninflamed human lymph node. In contrast, expression is not detected on most DCs in the T cell area, except for occasional cells. We also noted that IL-4 alone can induce expression of DC-SIGN in CD14+ monocytes and circulating blood DCs. However, blockade of DC-SIGN with Abs and DC-SIGN small interfering RNA did not result in a major reduction in the capacity of these DCs to transfer HIV to T cells, confirming significant DC-SIGN-independent mechanisms. The blocking approaches did reduce HIV-1 transmission by DC-SIGN-transfected cells by >90%. DC-SIGN blockade also did not reduce the ability of DCs to stimulate T cell proliferation in the MLR. These results indicate that DC-SIGN has the potential to contribute to macrophage function in normal human lymph node, and that DCs do not require DC-SIGN to transmit HIV or to initiate T cell responses.
PMCID: PMC1378112  PMID: 16177066
13.  A subset of dendritic cells induces CD4+ T cells to produce IFN-γ by an IL-12–independent but CD70-dependent mechanism in vivo 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2007;204(5):1095-1106.
Interferon (IFN)-γ, a cytokine critical for resistance to infection and tumors, is produced by CD4+ helper T lymphocytes after stimulation by cultured dendritic cells (DCs) that secrete a cofactor, interleukin (IL)-12. We have identified a major IL-12–independent pathway whereby DCs induce IFN-γ–secreting T helper (Th)1 CD4+ T cells in vivo. This pathway requires the membrane-associated tumor necrosis family member CD70 and was identified by targeting the LACK antigen from Leishmania major within an antibody to CD205 (DEC-205), an uptake receptor on a subset of DCs. Another major DC subset, targeted with 33D1 anti-DCIR2 antibody, also induced IFN-γ in vivo but required IL-12, not CD70. Isolated CD205+ DCs expressed cell surface CD70 when presenting antigen to T cell receptor transgenic T cells, and this distinction was independent of maturation stimuli. CD70 was also essential for CD205+ DC function in vivo. Detection of the IL-12–independent IFN-γ pathway was obscured with nontargeted LACK, which was presented by both DC subsets. This in situ analysis points to CD70 as a decision maker for Th1 differentiation by CD205+ DCs, even in Th2-prone BALB/c animals and potentially in vaccine design. The results indicate that two DC subsets have innate propensities to differentially affect the Th1/Th2 balance in vivo and by distinct mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC2118574  PMID: 17438065
14.  Murine Langerin+ dermal dendritic cells prime CD8+ T cells while Langerhans cells induce cross-tolerance 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2014;6(9):1191-1204.
Skin dendritic cells (DCs) control the immunogenicity of cutaneously administered vaccines. Antigens targeted to DCs via the C-type lectin Langerin/CD207 are cross-presented to CD8+ T cells in vivo. We investigated the relative roles of Langerhans cells (LCs) and Langerin+ dermal DCs (dDCs) in different vaccination settings. Poly(I:C) and anti-CD40 agonist antibody promoted cytotoxic responses upon intradermal immunization with ovalbumin (OVA)-coupled anti-Langerin antibodies (Langerin/OVA). This correlated with CD70 upregulation in Langerin+ dDCs, but not LCs. In chimeric mice where Langerin targeting was restricted to dDCs, CD8+ T-cell memory was enhanced. Conversely, providing Langerin/OVA exclusively to LCs failed to prime cytotoxicity, despite initial antigen cross-presentation to CD8+ T cells. Langerin/OVA combined with imiquimod could not prime CD8+ T cells and resulted in poor cytotoxicity in subsequent responses. This tolerance induction required targeting and maturation of LCs. Altogether, Langerin+ dDCs prime long-lasting cytotoxic responses, while cross-presentation by LCs negatively influences CD8+ T-cell priming. Moreover, this highlights that DCs exposed to TLR agonists can still induce tolerance and supports the existence of qualitatively different DC maturation programs.
PMCID: PMC4197865  PMID: 25085878
CD8+ T-cell responses; dendritic cells; Langerhans cells; skin; tolerance
15.  Intensified and protective CD4+ T cell immunity in mice with anti–dendritic cell HIV gag fusion antibody vaccine 
Current human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine approaches emphasize prime boost strategies comprising multiple doses of DNA vaccine and recombinant viral vectors. We are developing a protein-based approach that directly harnesses principles for generating T cell immunity. Vaccine is delivered to maturing dendritic cells in lymphoid tissue by engineering protein antigen into an antibody to DEC-205, a receptor for antigen presentation. Here we characterize the CD4+ T cell immune response to HIV gag and compare efficacy with other vaccine strategies in a single dose. DEC-205–targeted HIV gag p24 or p41 induces stronger CD4+ T cell immunity relative to high doses of gag protein, HIV gag plasmid DNA, or recombinant adenovirus-gag. High frequencies of interferon (IFN)-γ– and interleukin 2–producing CD4+ T cells are elicited, including double cytokine-producing cells. In addition, the response is broad because the primed mice respond to an array of peptides in different major histocompatibility complex haplotypes. Long-lived T cell memory is observed. After subcutaneous vaccination, CD4+ and IFN-γ–dependent protection develops to a challenge with recombinant vaccinia-gag virus at a mucosal surface, the airway. We suggest that a DEC-targeted vaccine, in part because of an unusually strong and protective CD4+ T cell response, will improve vaccine efficacy as a stand-alone approach or with other modalities.
PMCID: PMC2118242  PMID: 16505141
16.  Innate NKT lymphocytes confer superior adaptive immunity via tumor-capturing dendritic cells 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2005;202(11):1507-1516.
If irradiated tumor cells could be rendered immunogenic, they would provide a safe, broad, and patient-specific array of antigens for immunotherapies. Prior approaches have emphasized genetic transduction of live tumor cells to express cytokines, costimulators, and surrogate foreign antigens. We asked if immunity could be achieved by delivering irradiated, major histocompatibility complex–negative plasmacytoma cells to maturing mouse dendritic cells (DCs) within lymphoid organs. Tumor cells injected intravenously (i.v.) were captured by splenic DCs, whereas subcutaneous (s.c.) injection led only to weak uptake in lymph node or spleen. The natural killer T (NKT) cells mobilizing glycolipid α-galactosyl ceramide, used to mature splenic DCs, served as an effective adjuvant to induce protective immunity. This adjuvant function was mimicked by a combination of poly IC and agonistic αCD40 antibody. The adjuvant glycolipid had to be coadministered with tumor cells i.v. rather than s.c. Specific resistance was generated both to a plasmacytoma and lymphoma. The resistance afforded by a single vaccination lasted >2 mo and required both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Mature tumor capturing DCs stimulated the differentiation of P1A tumor antigen-specific, CD8+ T cells and uniquely transferred tumor resistance to naive mice. Therefore, the access of dying tumor cells to DCs that are maturing to activated NKT cells efficiently induces long-lived adaptive resistance.
PMCID: PMC2213343  PMID: 16330814
17.  CD25+ CD4+ T Cells, Expanded with Dendritic Cells Presenting a Single Autoantigenic Peptide, Suppress Autoimmune Diabetes 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2004;199(11):1467-1477.
In the nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse model of type 1 diabetes, the immune system recognizes many autoantigens expressed in pancreatic islet β cells. To silence autoimmunity, we used dendritic cells (DCs) from NOD mice to expand CD25+ CD4+ suppressor T cells from BDC2.5 mice, which are specific for a single islet autoantigen. The expanded T cells were more suppressive in vitro than their freshly isolated counterparts, indicating that DCs from autoimmune mice can increase the number and function of antigen-specific, CD25+ CD4+ regulatory T cells. Importantly, only 5,000 expanded CD25+ CD4+ BDC2.5 T cells could block autoimmunity caused by diabetogenic T cells in NOD mice, whereas 105 polyclonal, CD25+ CD4+ T cells from NOD mice were inactive. When islets were examined in treated mice, insulitis development was blocked at early (3 wk) but not later (11 wk) time points. The expanded CD25+ CD4+ BDC2.5 T cells were effective even if administered 14 d after the diabetogenic T cells. Our data indicate that DCs can generate CD25+ CD4+ T cells that suppress autoimmune disease in vivo. This might be harnessed as a new avenue for immunotherapy, especially because CD25+ CD4+ regulatory cells responsive to a single autoantigen can inhibit diabetes mediated by reactivity to multiple antigens.
PMCID: PMC2211787  PMID: 15184500
insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus; dendritic cells; CD25+ CD4+ regulatory; T cells; BDC2.5; autoimmunity
18.  In Vivo Targeting of Antigens to Maturing Dendritic Cells via the DEC-205 Receptor Improves T Cell Vaccination 
The prevention and treatment of prevalent infectious diseases and tumors should benefit from improvements in the induction of antigen-specific T cell immunity. To assess the potential of antigen targeting to dendritic cells to improve immunity, we incorporated ovalbumin protein into a monoclonal antibody to the DEC-205 receptor, an endocytic receptor that is abundant on these cells in lymphoid tissues. Simultaneously, we injected agonistic α-CD40 antibody to mature the dendritic cells. We found that a single low dose of antibody-conjugated ovalbumin initiated immunity from the naive CD4+ and CD8+ T cell repertoire. Unexpectedly, the αDEC-205 antigen conjugates, given s.c., targeted to dendritic cells systemically and for long periods, and ovalbumin peptide was presented on MHC class I for 2 weeks. This was associated with stronger CD8+ T cell–mediated immunity relative to other forms of antigen delivery, even when the latter was given at a thousand times higher doses. In parallel, the mice showed enhanced resistance to an established rapidly growing tumor and to viral infection at a mucosal site. By better harnessing the immunizing functions of maturing dendritic cells, antibody-mediated antigen targeting via the DEC-205 receptor increases the efficiency of vaccination for T cell immunity, including systemic and mucosal resistance in disease models.
PMCID: PMC2212731  PMID: 15024047
dendritic cell; DEC-205 receptor; vaccination; CD8 T cell; immunotherapy
19.  Direct Expansion of Functional CD25+ CD4+ Regulatory T Cells by Antigen-processing Dendritic Cells 
An important pathway for immune tolerance is provided by thymic-derived CD25+ CD4+ T cells that suppress other CD25− autoimmune disease–inducing T cells. The antigen-presenting cell (APC) requirements for the control of CD25+ CD4+ suppressor T cells remain to be identified, hampering their study in experimental and clinical situations. CD25+ CD4+ T cells are classically anergic, unable to proliferate in response to mitogenic antibodies to the T cell receptor complex. We now find that CD25+ CD4+ T cells can proliferate in the absence of added cytokines in culture and in vivo when stimulated by antigen-loaded dendritic cells (DCs), especially mature DCs. With high doses of DCs in culture, CD25+ CD4+ and CD25− CD4+ populations initially proliferate to a comparable extent. With current methods, one third of the antigen-reactive T cell receptor transgenic T cells enter into cycle for an average of three divisions in 3 d. The expansion of CD25+ CD4+ T cells stops by day 5, in the absence or presence of exogenous interleukin (IL)-2, whereas CD25− CD4+ T cells continue to grow. CD25+ CD4+ T cell growth requires DC–T cell contact and is partially dependent upon the production of small amounts of IL-2 by the T cells and B7 costimulation by the DCs. After antigen-specific expansion, the CD25+ CD4+ T cells retain their known surface features and actively suppress CD25− CD4+ T cell proliferation to splenic APCs. DCs also can expand CD25+ CD4+ T cells in the absence of specific antigen but in the presence of exogenous IL-2. In vivo, both steady state and mature antigen-processing DCs induce proliferation of adoptively transferred CD25+ CD4+ T cells. The capacity to expand CD25+ CD4+ T cells provides DCs with an additional mechanism to regulate autoimmunity and other immune responses.
PMCID: PMC2194081  PMID: 12874257
dendritic cells; CD25+ CD4+ regulatory T cells; anergy; IL-2; CD86
20.  Activation of Natural Killer T Cells by α-Galactosylceramide Rapidly Induces the Full Maturation of Dendritic Cells In Vivo and Thereby Acts as an Adjuvant for Combined CD4 and CD8 T Cell Immunity to a Coadministered Protein 
The maturation of dendritic cells (DCs) allows these antigen-presenting cells to initiate immunity. We pursued this concept in situ by studying the adjuvant action of α-galactosylceramide (αGalCer) in mice. A single i.v. injection of glycolipid induced the full maturation of splenic DCs, beginning within 4 h. Maturation was manifest by marked increases in costimulator and major histocompatibility complex class II expression, interferon (IFN)-γ production, and stimulation of the mixed leukocyte reaction. These changes were not induced directly by αGalCer but required natural killer T (NKT) cells acting independently of the MyD88 adaptor protein. To establish that DC maturation was responsible for the adjuvant role of αGalCer, mice were given αGalCer together with soluble or cell-associated ovalbumin antigen. Th1 type CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses developed, and the mice became resistant to challenge with ovalbumin-expressing tumor. DCs from mice given ovalbumin plus adjuvant, but not the non-DCs, stimulated ovalbumin-specific proliferative responses and importantly, induced antigen-specific, IFN-γ producing, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells upon transfer into naive animals. In the latter instance, immune priming did not require further exposure to ovalbumin, αGalCer, NKT, or NK cells. Therefore a single dose of αGalCer i.v. rapidly stimulates the full maturation of DCs in situ, and this accounts for the induction of combined Th1 CD4+ and CD8+ T cell immunity to a coadministered protein.
PMCID: PMC2194082  PMID: 12874260
α-galactosylceramide; dendritic cell maturation; dendritic cells; exogenous pathway; T cell–mediated immunity
21.  Influenza Virus–induced Dendritic Cell Maturation Is Associated with the Induction of Strong T Cell Immunity to a Coadministered, Normally Nonimmunogenic Protein 
We evaluated the proposal that during microbial infection, dendritic cells (DCs) undergo maturation and present a mixture of peptides derived from the microbe as well as harmless environmental antigens. Mice were exposed to an aerosol of endotoxin free ovalbumin (OVA) in the absence or presence of influenza virus. In its absence, OVA failed to induce B and T cell responses and even tolerized, but with influenza, OVA-specific antibodies and CD8+ cytolytic T lymphocytes developed. With or without infection, OVA was presented selectively in the draining mediastinal lymph nodes, as assessed by the comparable proliferation of infused, CD8+ and CD4+, TCR transgenic T cells. In the absence of influenza, these OVA-specific T cells produced little IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, and IFN-γ, but with infection, both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells made high levels of IL-2 and IFN-γ. The OVA plus influenza-treated mice also showed accelerated recovery to a challenge with recombinant vaccinia OVA virus. CD11c+ DCs from the mediastinal lymph nodes of infected mice selectively stimulated both OVA- and influenza-specific T cells and underwent maturation, with higher levels of MHC class II, CD80, and CD86 molecules. The relatively slow (2–3 d) kinetics of maturation correlated closely to the time at which OVA inhalation elicited specific antibodies. Therefore respiratory infection can induce DC maturation and simultaneously B and T cell immunity to an innocuous antigen inhaled concurrently.
PMCID: PMC2196079  PMID: 12847140
influenza virus; dendritic cell; maturation; endotoxin free ovalbumin; airway
22.  Efficient Targeting of Protein Antigen to the Dendritic Cell Receptor DEC-205 in the Steady State Leads to Antigen Presentation on Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Products and Peripheral CD8+ T Cell Tolerance 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2002;196(12):1627-1638.
To identify endocytic receptors that allow dendritic cells (DCs) to capture and present antigens on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I products in vivo, we evaluated DEC-205, which is abundant on DCs in lymphoid tissues. Ovalbumin (OVA) protein, when chemically coupled to monoclonal αDEC-205 antibody, was presented by CD11c+ lymph node DCs, but not by CD11c− cells, to OVA-specific, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Receptor-mediated presentation was at least 400 times more efficient than unconjugated OVA and, for MHC class I, the DCs had to express transporter of antigenic peptides (TAP) transporters. When αDEC-205:OVA was injected subcutaneously, OVA protein was identified over a 4–48 h period in DCs, primarily in the lymph nodes draining the injection site. In vivo, the OVA protein was selectively presented by DCs to TCR transgenic CD8+ cells, again at least 400 times more effectively than soluble OVA and in a TAP-dependent fashion. Targeting of αDEC-205:OVA to DCs in the steady state initially induced 4–7 cycles of T cell division, but the T cells were then deleted and the mice became specifically unresponsive to rechallenge with OVA in complete Freund's adjuvant. In contrast, simultaneous delivery of a DC maturation stimulus via CD40, together with αDEC-205:OVA, induced strong immunity. The CD8+ T cells responding in the presence of agonistic αCD40 antibody produced large amounts of interleukin 2 and interferon γ, acquired cytolytic function in vivo, emigrated in large numbers to the lung, and responded vigorously to OVA rechallenge. Therefore, DEC-205 provides an efficient receptor-based mechanism for DCs to process proteins for MHC class I presentation in vivo, leading to tolerance in the steady state and immunity after DC maturation.
PMCID: PMC2196060  PMID: 12486105
dendritic cells; DEC-205 receptor; tolerance; CD8 T cell; MHC class I
23.  Efficient Presentation of Phagocytosed Cellular Fragments on the Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II Products of Dendritic Cells  
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1998;188(11):2163-2173.
Cells from the bone marrow can present peptides that are derived from tumors, transplants, and self-tissues. Here we describe how dendritic cells (DCs) process phagocytosed cell fragments onto major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II products with unusual efficacy. This was monitored with the Y-Ae monoclonal antibody that is specific for complexes of I-Ab MHC class II presenting a peptide derived from I-Eα. When immature DCs from I-Ab mice were cultured for 5–20 h with activated I-E+ B blasts, either necrotic or apoptotic, the DCs produced the epitope recognized by the Y-Ae monoclonal antibody and stimulated T cells reactive with the same MHC–peptide complex. Antigen transfer was also observed with human cells, where human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DRα includes the same peptide sequence as mouse I-Eα. Antigen transfer was preceded by uptake of B cell fragments into MHC class II–rich compartments. Quantitation of the amount of I-E protein in the B cell fragments revealed that phagocytosed I-E was 1–10 thousand times more efficient in generating MHC–peptide complexes than preprocessed I-E peptide. When we injected different I-E– bearing cells into C57BL/6 mice to look for a similar phenomenon in vivo, we found that short-lived migrating DCs could be processed by most of the recipient DCs in the lymph node. The consequence of antigen transfer from migratory DCs to lymph node DCs is not yet known, but we suggest that in the steady state, i.e., in the absence of stimuli for DC maturation, this transfer leads to peripheral tolerance of the T cell repertoire to self.
PMCID: PMC2212389  PMID: 9841929
apoptosis; necrosis; dendritic cells; major histocompatibility complex–peptide complexes; immature dendritic cells
24.  The Unenlarged Lymph Nodes of HIV-1–infected, Asymptomatic Patients with High CD4 T Cell Counts Are Sites for Virus Replication and CD4 T Cell Proliferation. The Impact of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy  
The efficacy of triple drug therapy for HIV-1 infection encourages its early use to prevent damage to the immune system. We monitored the effects of such therapy on 12 patients with 14–75-mo histories of minimal disease, i.e., CD4+ counts constantly >500/μl and little or no lymph node enlargement. In this way, we could first determine the extent of viral replication and immunoarchitectural changes in unenlarged nodes early in disease, and second follow the response to triple therapy in plasma and lymphoid tissue in tandem. As is known for lymph nodes with more advanced disease, the germinal centers showed productively infected T cells, i.e., CD4+CD1a−CD68− cells labeling intensely for HIV-1 RNA after in situ hybridization. The unenlarged nodes also showed extensive HIV-1 RNA retention on a well-preserved, follicular dendritic cell (FDC) network, and the follicles were abnormal. There were numerous CD8+ cells, many expressing TIA-1 granule antigen. Also, in contrast to normal follicles, CD4+ T cell proliferation was active, with marked increases in the number of cycling, Ki-67+CD4+CD45R0+ cells. After 28 d and 3 mo of therapy, productively infected T cells decreased dramatically and often were not apparent. The labeling of the FDC network for viral RNA also decreased, but not for gag protein. We conclude that HIV-1 replicates and accumulates in lymphoid organs before damage of the immune system, that at this stage of disease de novo production of T cells occurs in the lymphoid tissue, and that the infection is sensitive to triple drug therapy in both plasma and lymph nodes.
PMCID: PMC2212181  PMID: 9500797
25.  High Levels of a Major Histocompatibility Complex II–Self Peptide Complex on Dendritic Cells from the T Cell Areas of Lymph Nodes  
T lymphocytes recirculate continually through the T cell areas of peripheral lymph nodes. During each passage, the T cells survey the surface of large dendritic cells (DCs), also known as interdigitating cells. However, these DCs have been difficult to release from the lymph node. By emphasizing the use of calcium-free media, as shown by Vremec et al. (Vremec, D., M. Zorbas, R. Scollay, D.J. Saunders, C.F. Ardavin, L. Wu, and K. Shortman. 1992. J. Exp. Med. 176:47–58.), we have been able to release and enrich DCs from the T cell areas. The DCs express the CD11c leukocyte integrin, the DEC-205 multilectin receptor for antigen presentation, the intracellular granule antigens which are recognized by monoclonal antibodies M342, 2A1, and MIDC-8, very high levels of MHC I and MHC II, and abundant accessory molecules such as CD40, CD54, and CD86. When examined with the Y-Ae monoclonal which recognizes complexes formed between I-Ab and a peptide derived from I-Eα, the T cell area DCs expressed the highest levels. The enriched DCs also stimulated a T-T hybridoma specific for this MHC II–peptide complex, and the hybridoma underwent apoptosis. Therefore DCs within the T cell areas can be isolated. Because they present very high levels of self peptides, these DCs should be considered in the regulation of self reactivity in the periphery.
PMCID: PMC2199017  PMID: 9271582

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