In Alzheimer’s disease soluble amyloid beta (sAβ) causes synaptic dysfunction and neuronal loss. Receptors involved in clearance of sAβ are not known. Here we use shRNA screening and identify the scavenger receptor Scara1 as a receptor for sAβ expressed on myeloid cells. To determine the role of Scara1 in clearance of sAβ in vivo, we cross Scara1 null mice with PS1-APP mice, a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease and generate PS1-APP- Scara1-deficient mice. Scara1 deficiency markedly accelerates Aβ accumulation leading to increased mortality. In contrast, pharmacological upregulation of Scara1 expression on mononuclear phagocytes increases Aβ clearance. This approach is a potential treatment strategy for Alzheimer’s disease.
Microglia; monocytes; Alzheimer’s disease; Transgenic mice; Amyloid; Phagocytosis; Degradation; Protollin; Scavenger receptor
Toll-like receptor (TLR) family members, 3, 7 and 9 are key components in initiation and progression of autoimmune disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). These TLRs are often referred to as nucleic acid-sensing TLRs based on their ability to recognize DNAs or RNAs produced by pathogens or damaged cells. During autoimmune disease progression these receptors recognize self nucleic acids as well as self nucleic acid-containing complexes and contribute to inflammatory cytokine production and subsequent enhancement of serum autoantibody levels. We have recently discovered that nucleic-acid scavenging polymers (NASPs) can neutralize the proinflammatory effects of nucleic acids. Here, we begin to explore what effects such NASPs have on normal immune function. We show that such NASPs can inhibit TLR activation without affecting nucleic acid-independent T cell activation. Moreover, we observe that stimulation of immune cells by encapsulated nucleic acids, such as those found in viral particles, is unaffected by NASPs. Thus NASPs only limit the activation of the immune system by accessible extra-cellular nucleic acid and do not engender non-specific immune suppression. These important findings suggest that NASPs represent a new approach toward anti-inflammatory drug development as these agents can potentially be utilized to block overt autoimmune disorders and inflammation while allowing normal immune responses to occur.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are the bridge between the innate and adaptive immune system. DCs are responsible for sensing and patrolling the environment, initiating a host response and instructing the proper adaptive immune response against pathogens. Recent advances in medical treatments have led to increased use of immunosuppressive drugs, leading to the emergence of fungal species that cause life-threatening infections in humans. Three of these opportunistic fungal pathogens: Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans pose the biggest concern for the immune-compromised host. Here we will review the interactions between DCs and these fungal pathogens, the receptors expressed on DCs that mediate these responses and the signaling mechanisms that shape the adaptive host response.
plasmacytoid dendritic cells; conventional dendritic cells; fungi; Toll-like receptors; scavenger receptors
Recent studies demonstrate that transformation of mild lupus nephritis into end-stage disease is imposed by silencing of renal DNaseI gene expression in (NZBxNZW)F1 mice. Down-regulation of DNaseI results in reduced chromatin fragmentation, and in deposition of extracellular chromatin-IgG complexes in glomerular basement membranes in individuals that produce IgG anti-chromatin antibodies. The main focus of the present study is to describe the biological consequences of renal DNaseI shut-down and reduced chromatin fragmentation with a particular focus on whether exposed large chromatin fragments activate Toll like receptors and the necrosis-related Clec4e receptor in murine and human lupus nephritis. Furthermore, analyses where performed to determine if matrix metalloproteases are up-regulated as a consequence of chromatin-mediated Toll like receptors/Clec4e stimulation. Mouse and human mRNA expression levels of DNaseI, Toll like receptors 7–9, Clec4e, pro-inflammatory cytokines and MMP2/MMP9 were determined and compared with in situ protein expression profiles and clinical data. We demonstrate that exposure of chromatin significantly up-regulate Toll like receptors and Clec4e in mice, and also but less pronounced in patients with lupus nephritis treated with immunosuppresants. In conclusion, silencing of renal DNaseI gene expression initiates a cascade of inflammatory signals leading to progression of both murine and human lupus nephritis. Principal component analyses biplot of data from murine and human lupus nephrits demonstrate the importance of DNaseI gene shut down for progression of the organ disease.
Chemokines and other chemoattractants direct leukocyte migration and are essential for the development and delivery of immune and inflammatory responses. To probe the molecular mechanisms that underlie chemoattractant-guided migration, we did an RNA-mediated interference screen that identified several members of the synaptotagmin family of calcium-sensing vesicle-fusion proteins as mediators of cell migration: SYT7 and SYTL5 were positive regulators of chemotaxis, whereas SYT2 was a negative regulator of chemotaxis. SYT7-deficient leukocytes showed less migration in vitro and in a gout model in vivo. Chemoattractant-induced calcium-dependent lysosomal fusion was impaired in SYT7-deficient neutrophils. In a chemokine gradient, SYT7-deficient lymphocytes accumulated lysosomes in their uropods and had impaired uropod release. Our data identify a molecular pathway required for chemotaxis that links chemoattractant-induced calcium flux to exocytosis and uropod release.
The relation of serum uric acid (SUA) with systemic inflammation has been
little explored in humans and results have been inconsistent. We analyzed
the association between SUA and circulating levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6),
interleukin-1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor- α (TNF-α) and
C-reactive protein (CRP).
Methods and Findings
This cross-sectional population-based study conducted in Lausanne,
Switzerland, included 6085 participants aged 35 to 75 years. SUA was
measured using uricase-PAP method. Plasma TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 were
measured by a multiplexed particle-based flow cytometric assay and hs-CRP by
an immunometric assay. The median levels of SUA, IL-6, TNF-α, CRP and
IL-1β were 355 µmol/L, 1.46 pg/mL, 3.04 pg/mL, 1.2 mg/L and 0.34
pg/mL in men and 262 µmol/L, 1.21 pg/mL, 2.74 pg/mL, 1.3 mg/L and 0.45
pg/mL in women, respectively. SUA correlated positively with IL-6, TNF-α
and CRP and negatively with IL-1β (Spearman r: 0.04, 0.07, 0.20 and 0.05
in men, and 0.09, 0.13, 0.30 and 0.07 in women, respectively, P<0.05). In
multivariable analyses, SUA was associated positively with CRP (β
coefficient ± SE = 0.35±0.02,
P<0.001), TNF-α (0.08±0.02, P<0.001) and IL-6
(0.10±0.03, P<0.001), and negatively with IL-1β
(−0.07±0.03, P = 0.027). Upon further
adjustment for body mass index, these associations were substantially
SUA was associated positively with IL-6, CRP and TNF-α and negatively
with IL-1β, particularly in women. These results suggest that uric acid
contributes to systemic inflammation in humans and are in line with
experimental data showing that uric acid triggers sterile inflammation.
Donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI), whereby donor mononuclear cells are infused into patients, is one of the few effective immunotherapeutic strategies that generate long-lasting tumor remissions. We previously demonstrated that chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) patients treated with DLI develop high-titer plasma antibodies specific for CML-associated antigens, the majority of which have been reported to bind nucleic acids These observations led us to predict that circulating antibody-antigen complexes in DLI-responsive patients carry nucleic acids that can engage innate immune sensors. Consistent with this, we report here that post-DLI plasma from 5 CML patients that responded to DLI treatment induced massive upregulation of MIP-1α, IP-10, and IFN-α in normal blood mononuclear cells. Importantly, this was not observed with plasma obtained before DLI and from DLI nonresponders and imatinib-treated patients. This endogenous immunostimulatory activity required nucleic acid and protein for its adjuvant effect and activated antigen-presenting cells through the RNA and DNA sensors TLR8 and TLR9. Presence of the immunoglobulin Fc receptor CD32 enhanced cellular responses, suggesting that immunoglobulins associate with this activity. Finally, a TLR-induced expression signature was detectable in post-DLI but not pre-DLI blood, consistent with an active circulating TLR8/9-stimulating factor. We have therefore demonstrated that effective tumor immunity correlates with the presence of endogenous nucleic acid–immunoglobulin complexes in patient plasma, thus providing a putative mechanism for the induction of potent antigen-specific immunity against malignant cells.
Macrophages are important cells in the host resistance to fungal infections, and fungal recognition by macrophages triggers phagocytosis, intracellular killing, induction of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and initiation of the adaptive immune response. All of the receptors that mediate binding and engulfment of fungal pathogens and the signaling pathways triggered by fungal pathogens that regulate anti-fungal immunity are not fully understood. Using an RNAi screen we recently demonstrated that the C. elegans receptors CED-1 and C03F11.3, and their mammalian orthologues, the scavenger receptors SCARF1 and CD36 mediate host defense against the fungal pathogen, Cryptococcus neoformans. Finally, SCARF1 and CD36 function as co-receptors by binding and engulfing fungal pathogens to facilitate Toll-like receptor 2 signaling. Here we will summarize and expand upon our previous findings.
fungi; toll-like receptors; scavenger receptors; macrophages; Caenorhabditis elegans
Asthmatic chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (aCRSwNP) is a common disruptive eosinophilic disease without effective medical treatment. Therefore, we sought to identify gene expression changes, particularly those occurring early, in aCRSwNP. To highlight expression changes associated with eosinophilic epithelial inflammation, we further compared the changes in aCRSwNP with those in a second eosinophilic epithelial disease, atopic dermatitis (AD), which is also closely related to asthma.
Genome-wide mRNA levels measured by exon array in both nasosinus inflamed mucosa and adjacent polyp from 11 aCRSwNP patients were compared to those in nasosinus tissue from 17 normal or rhinitis subjects without polyps. Differential expression of selected genes was confirmed by qRT-PCR or immunoassay, and transcription changes common to AD were identified. Comparison of aCRSwNP inflamed mucosa and polyp to normal/rhinitis tissue identified 447 differentially transcribed genes at ≥2 fold-change and adjusted p-value<0.05. These included increased transcription of chemokines localized to chromosome 17q11.2 (CCL13, CCL2, CCL8, and CCL11) that favor eosinophil and monocyte chemotaxis and chemokines (CCL18, CCL22, and CXCL13) that alternatively-activated monocyte-derived cells have been shown to produce. Additional transcription changes likely associated with Th2-like eosinophilic inflammation were prominent and included increased IL1RL1 (IL33 receptor) and EMR1&3 and decreased CRISP2&3. A down-regulated PDGFB-centric network involving several smooth muscle-associated genes was also implicated. Genes at 17q11.2, genes associated with alternative activation or smooth muscle, and the IL1RL1 gene were also differentially transcribed in AD.
Our data implicate several genes or gene sets in aCRSwNP and eosinophilic epithelial inflammation, some that likely act in the earlier stages of inflammation. The identified gene expression changes provide additional diagnostic and therapeutic targets for aCRSwNP and other eosinophilic epithelial diseases.
MicroRNAs (miRNA) have emerged as an important new class of modulators of gene expression. In this study we investigated miRNA that are differentially expressed in lupus nephritis. Microarray technology was used to investigate differentially expressed miRNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-transformed cell lines obtained from lupus nephritis affected patients and unaffected controls. TaqMan-based stem-loop real-time polymerase chain reaction was used for validation. Microarray analysis of miRNA expressed in both African American (AA) and European American (EA) derived lupus nephritis samples revealed 29 and 50 differentially expressed miRNA, respectively, of 850 tested. There were 18 miRNA that were differentially expressed in both racial groups. When samples from both racial groups and different specimen types were considered, there were 5 primary miRNA that were differentially expressed. We have identified 5 miRNA; hsa-miR-371-5P, hsa-miR-423-5P, hsa-miR-638, hsa-miR-1224-3P and hsa-miR-663 that were differentially expressed in lupus nephritis across different racial groups and all specimen types tested. Hsa-miR-371-5P, hsa-miR-1224-3P and hsa-miR-423-5P, are reported here for the first time to be associated with lupus nephritis. Our work establishes EBV-transformed B cell lines as a useful model for the discovery of miRNA as biomarkers for SLE. Based on these findings, we postulate that these differentially expressed miRNA may be potential novel biomarkers for SLE as well as help elucidate pathogenic mechanisms of lupus nephritis. The investigation of miRNA profiles in SLE may lead to the discovery and development of novel methods to diagnosis, treat and prevent SLE.
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules play crucial roles in immune activation by presenting foreign peptides to antigen-specific T helper cells and thereby inducing adaptive immune responses. Although adaptive immunity is a highly effective defense system, it takes several days to become fully operational and needs to be triggered by danger-signals generated during the preceding innate immune response. Here we show that MHC class II molecules synergize with Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4 in inducing an innate immune response.
We found that co-expression of MHC class II molecules and TLR2 or TLR4 in human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells 293 leads to enhanced production of the anti-microbial peptide human-β-defensin (hBD) 2 after treatment with TLR2 stimulus bacterial lipoprotein (BLP) or TLR4 ligand lipopolysaccharide (LPS), respectively. Furthermore, we found that peritoneal macrophages of MHC class II knock-out mice show a decreased responsiveness to TLR2 and TLR4 stimuli compared to macrophages of wild-type mice. Finally, we show that MHC class II molecules are physically and functionally associated with TLR2 in lipid raft domains of the cell membrane.
These results demonstrate that MHC class II molecules are, in addition to their central role in adaptive immunity, also implicated in generating optimal innate immune responses.
Receptors involved in innate immunity to fungal pathogens have not been fully elucidated. We show that the Caenorhabditis elegans receptors CED-1 and C03F11.3, and their mammalian orthologues, the scavenger receptors SCARF1 and CD36, mediate host defense against two prototypic fungal pathogens, Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans. CED-1 and C03F11.1 mediated antimicrobial peptide production and were necessary for nematode survival after C. neoformans infection. SCARF1 and CD36 mediated cytokine production and were required for macrophage binding to C. neoformans, and control of the infection in mice. Binding of these pathogens to SCARF1 and CD36 was β-glucan dependent. Thus, CED-1/SCARF1 and C03F11.3/CD36 are β-glucan binding receptors and define an evolutionarily conserved pathway for the innate sensing of fungal pathogens.
The mechanism of chemotaxis is one of the most interesting issues in modern cell biology. Recent work shows that shallow chemoattractant gradients do not induce the generation of pseudopods, as has been predicted in many models. This poses the question of how else cells can steer towards chemoattractants. Here we use a new computational algorithm to analyze the extension of pseudopods by Dictyostelium cells. We show that a shallow gradient of cAMP induces a small bias in the direction of pseudopod extension, without significantly affecting parameters such as pseudopod frequency or size. Persistent movement, caused by alternating left/right splitting of existing pseudopodia, amplifies the effects of this bias by up to 5-fold. Known players in chemotactic pathways play contrasting parts in this mechanism; PLA2 and cGMP signal to the cytoskeleton to regulate the splitting process, while PI 3-kinase and soluble guanylyl cyclase mediate the directional bias. The coordinated regulation of pseudopod generation, orientation and persistence by multiple signaling pathways allows eukaryotic cells to detect extremely shallow gradients.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis uses multiple mechanisms to avoid elimination by the immune system. We have previously shown that M. tuberculosis can inhibit selected macrophage responses to IFN-γ through TLR2-dependent and -independent mechanisms. To specifically address the role of TLR2 signaling in mediating this inhibition, we stimulated macrophages with the specific TLR2/1 ligand Pam3CSK4 and assayed responses to IFN-γ. Pam3CSK4 stimulation prior to IFN-γ inhibited transcription of the unrelated IFN-γ-inducible genes, CIITA and CXCL11. Surface expression of MHC class II and secretion of CXCL11 were greatly reduced as well, indicating that the reduction in transcripts had downstream effects. Inhibition of both genes required new protein synthesis. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation, we found that TLR2 stimulation inhibited IFN-γ-induced RNA polymerase II binding to the CIITA and CXCL11 promoters. Furthermore, TATA binding protein was unable to bind the TATA box of the CXCL11 promoter, suggesting that assembly of transcriptional machinery was disrupted. However, TLR2 stimulation affected chromatin modifications differently at each of the inhibited promoters. Histone H3 and H4 acetylation was reduced at the CIITA promoter but unaffected at the CXCL11 promoter. In addition, NF-κB signaling was required for inhibition of CXCL11 transcription, but not for inhibition of CIITA. Taken together, these results indicate that TLR2-dependent inhibition of IFN-γ-induced gene expression is mediated by distinct, gene-specific mechanisms that disrupt binding of the transcriptional machinery to the promoters.
Monocytes are circulating macrophage and dendritic cell precursors that populate healthy and diseased tissue. In humans, monocytes consist of at least two subsets whose proportions in the blood fluctuate in response to coronary artery disease, sepsis, and viral infection. Animal studies have shown that specific shifts in the monocyte subset repertoire either exacerbate or attenuate disease, suggesting a role for monocyte subsets as biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Assays are therefore needed that can selectively and rapidly enumerate monocytes and their subsets. This study shows that two major human monocyte subsets express similar levels of the receptor for macrophage colony stimulating factor (MCSFR) but differ in their phagocytic capacity. We exploit these properties and custom-engineer magnetic nanoparticles for ex vivo sensing of monocytes and their subsets. We present a two-dimensional enumerative mathematical model that simultaneously reports number and proportion of monocyte subsets in a small volume of human blood. Using a recently described diagnostic magnetic resonance (DMR) chip with 1 µl sample size and high throughput capabilities, we then show that application of the model accurately quantifies subset fluctuations that occur in patients with atherosclerosis.
Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease (AIED) is poorly characterized clinically, with no definitive laboratory test. All patients suspected of having AIED are given glucocorticoids during periods of acute hearing loss, however, only half initially respond, and still fewer respond over time.
We hypothesized that AIED is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by dysfunctional peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) responses to a unique cochlear antigen(s). To test this hypothesis, we examined end-stage AIED patients undergoing cochlear implant surgery and compared autologous perilymph stimulated PBMC from AIED patients to controls. We determined that autologous perilymph from AIED patients was unable to induce expression of a long membrane-bound Interleukin-1 Receptor Type II (mIL1R2) transcript in PBMC as compared with controls, despite similar expression of the short soluble IL1R2 (sIL1R2) transcript (p<0.05). IL1R2 is a molecular decoy that traps interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and does not initiate subsequent signaling events, thereby suppressing an inflammatory response. IL1R2 transcript length is regulated by alternate splicing, and the major inhibitory function is attributed to the full-length mIL1R2. In addition, IL1R2 expression is induced by dexamethasone.
Separately, we prospectively examined patients with newer onset glucocorticoid-responsive AIED. Immediately prior to clinical treatment for acute deterioration of hearing thresholds, their PBMC demonstrated a robust induction of mIL1R2 in PBMC in response to dexamethasone in vitro that correlated with a clinical response to prednisone in vivo (p<0.0001) as measured by hearing restoration. In contrast, clinically steroid unresponsive patients demonstrated high basal levels of mIL1R2 in their PBMC and only minimally augmented expression in response to dexamethasone. Thus, induced expression of mIL1R2 appears to be a protective mechanism in hearing homeostasis and warrants further investigation in a large prospective clinical trial to determine if IL1R2 can be used as a specific biomarker for AIED.
RNA interference (RNAi) was investigated with the aim of achieving gene silencing with diverse RNAi platforms that include small interfering RNA (siRNA), short hairpin RNA (shRNA) and antisense oligonucleotides (ASO). Different versions of each system were used to silence the expression of specific subunits of the heterotrimeric signal transducing G-proteins, G alpha i2 and G beta 2, in the RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cell line. The specificity of the different RNA interference (RNAi) platforms was assessed by DNA microarray analysis. Reliable RNAi methodologies against the genes of interest were then developed and applied to functional studies of signaling networks. This study demonstrates a successful knockdown of target genes and shows the potential of RNAi for use in functional studies of signaling molecules.
Previous studies have demonstrated that knockout or inhibition of Platelet/Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule (PECAM, CD31) in a number of murine strains results in impaired inflammatory responses, but that no such phenotype is seen in the C57BL/6 (B6) murine background.
We have undertaken a quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping effort between FVB/n (FVB) and B6 mice deficient for PECAM to identify the gene or genes responsible for this unique feature of B6 mice. We have identified a locus on murine chromosome 2 at approximately 35.8 Mb that is strongly associated (LOD score = 9.0) with inflammatory responses in the absence of PECAM.
These data potentiate further study of the diapedesis machinery, as well as potential identification of new components of this machinery. As such, this study is an important step to better understanding the processes of inflammation.
Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) has been proposed to play a central role in the early recognition of viruses by sensing double stranded RNA, a common intermediate of viral replication. However, several reports have demonstrated that TLR3 signaling is either dispensable or even harmful following infection with certain viruses. Here, we asked whether TLR3 plays a role in the response to coxsackievirus B4 (CB4), a prevalent human pathogen that has been associated with pancreatitis, myocarditis and diabetes. We demonstrate that TLR3 signaling on macrophages is critical to establish protective immunity to CB4. TLR3 deficient mice produced reduced pro-inflammatory mediators and are unable to control viral replication at the early stages of infection resulting in severe cardiac damage. Intriguingly, the absence of TLR3 did not affect the activation of several key innate and adaptive cellular effectors. This suggests that in the absence of TLR3 signaling on macrophages, viral replication outpaces the developing adaptive immune response. We further demonstrate that the MyD88-dependent signaling pathways are not only unable to compensate for the loss of TLR3, they are also dispensable in the response to this RNA virus. Our results demonstrate that TLR3 is not simply part of a redundant system of viral recognition, but rather TLR3 plays an essential role in recognizing the molecular signatures associated with specific viruses including CB4.
Genetically-encoded biosensors based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) have been widely applied to study the spatiotemporal regulation of molecular activity in live cells with high resolution. The efficient and accurate quantification of the large amount of imaging data from these single-cell FRET measurements demands robust and automated data analysis. However, the nonlinear movement of live cells presents tremendous challenge for this task. Based on image registration of the single-cell movement, we have developed automated image analysis methods to track and quantify the FRET signals within user-defined subcellular regions. In addition, the subcellular pixels were classified according to their associated FRET signals and the dynamics of the clusters analyzed. The results revealed that the EGF-induced reduction of RhoA activity in migratory HeLa cells is significantly less than that in stationary cells. Furthermore, the RhoA activity is polarized in the migratory cells, with the gradient of polarity oriented toward the opposite direction of cell migration. In contrast, there is a lack of consistent preference in RhoA polarity among stationary cells. Therefore, our image analysis methods can provide powerful tools for high-throughput and systematic investigation of the spatiotemporal molecular activities in regulating functions of live cells with their shapes and positions continuously changing in time.
Four and a half LIM-only protein 2 (FHL2) has been implicated in multiple signaling pathways that regulate cell growth and tissue homeostasis. We reported previously that FHL2 regulates cyclin D1 expression and that immortalized FHL2-null mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) display reduced levels of cyclin D1 and low proliferative activity.
Here we address the contribution of FHL2 in cell transformation by investigating the effects of oncogenic Ras in FHL2-null context. We show that H-RasV12 provokes cell cycle arrest accompanied by accumulation of p53 and p16INK4a in immortalized FHL2−/− MEFs. These features contrast sharply with Ras transforming activity in wild type cell lines. We further show that establishment of FHL2-null cell lines differs from conventional immortalization scheme by retaining functional p19ARF/p53 checkpoint that is required for cell cycle arrest imposed by Ras. However, after serial passages of Ras-expressing FHL2−/− cells, dramatic increase in the levels of D-type cyclins and Rb phosphorylation correlates with the onset of cell proliferation and transformation without disrupting the p19ARF/p53 pathway. Interestingly, primary FHL2-null cells overexpressing cyclin D1 undergo a classical immortalization process leading to loss of the p19ARF/p53 checkpoint and susceptibility to Ras transformation.
Our findings uncover a novel aspect of cellular responses to mitogenic stimulation and illustrate a critical role of FHL2 in the signalling network that implicates Ras, cyclin D1 and p53.
The organization of cellular niches has been shown to play a key role in regulating normal stem cell differentiation and regeneration, yet relatively little is known about the architecture of microenvironments that support malignant metastasis.1,2 Using dynamic in vivo confocal imaging, we show that the murine bone marrow (BM) contains unique anatomic regions defined by specialized endothelium. This vasculature expresses the adhesion molecule E-selectin and the chemoattractant SDF-1 in discrete, discontinuous areas that localize the homing of a variety of tumor cell lines. Disruption of SDF-1/CXCR4 interactions inhibits Nalm-6 cell (acute lymphoblastic leukaemia) homing to these vessels. Further studies revealed that circulating leukemic cells engraft surrounding these vessels, suggesting that this molecularly distinct vasculature denotes a microenvironment for early metastatic tumor spread in BM. Finally, purified hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and lymphocytes also localize to the same microdomains, indicating that this vasculature may function in benign states to demarcate specific portals for entry of cells into the marrow space. Specialized vascular structures therefore appear to delineate a microenvironment with unique physiology that is exploited by circulating malignant cells.
We have evaluated T cell reconstitution and reactivity in patients receiving non-myeloablative haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) protocols involving an anti-CD2 monoclonal antibody (MEDI 507) to treat chemorefractory hematopoietic malignancies.
Three cohorts of 4 patients each and 1 cohort of 6 patients received one of four Medi-507-based regimens, all of which included cyclophosphamide, thymic irradiation and a short post-transplant course of cyclosporine.
Following marked T cell depletion, initially recovering CD4 and CD8 T cells were mainly memory-type cells. A high percentage of CD4 T cells expressed high levels of CD25 in recipients of all protocols except the only protocol to include fludarabine, early post-HCT. CD25 expression varied inversely with T cell concentrations in blood. CD25high CD4 T cells expressed Foxp3 and CTLA4, indicating that they were regulatory T cells (Treg).
Fludarabine treatment prevents Treg enrichment after haploidentical non myeloablative stem cell transplantation, presumably by depleting recipient Tregs. In vitro analyses of allorecognition were consistent with a cytokine-mediated rejection process in one case and in another provided proof of principle that mixed chimerism achieved without GVHD induces donor- and recipient-specific tolerance. More reliable achievement of this outcome could provide a promising strategy for organ allograft tolerance induction.
The three skin disorders of Lyme borreliosis in Europe include erythema migrans, an acute, self-limited lesion; borrelial lymphocytoma, a subacute lesion; and acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, a chronic lesion. Using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, we determined mRNA expression of selected chemokines, cytokines, and leukocyte markers in skin samples from 100 patients with erythema migrans, borrelial lymphocytoma, or acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans and from 25 control subjects. Chemokine patterns in lesional skin in each of the three skin disorders included low but significant mRNA levels of the neutrophil chemoattractant CXCL1 and the dendritic cell chemoattractant CCL20 and intermediate levels of the macrophage chemoattractant CCL2. Erythema migrans and particularly acrodermatitis lesions had high mRNA expression of the T-cell-active chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10 and low levels of the B-cell-active chemokine CXCL13, whereas lymphocytoma lesions had high levels of CXCL13 and lower levels of CXCL9 and CXCL10. This pattern of chemokine expression was consistent with leukocyte marker mRNA in lesional skin. Moreover, using immunohistologic methods, CD3+ T cells and CXCL9 were visualized in erythema migrans and acrodermatitis lesions, and CD20+ B cells and CXCL13 were seen in lymphocytoma lesions. Thus, erythema migrans and acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans have high levels of the T-cell-active chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10, whereas borrelial lymphocytoma has high levels of the B-cell-active chemokine CXCL13.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an idiopathic inflammatory disease of the intestine. CD4+ T lymphocytes play an important role in both initiating and regulating intestinal inflammatory immune responses. CD4+CD25+CD45RBlow regulatory T (T reg) cells are capable of preventing the development of colitis in a mouse model of IBD. The precise mechanism of T reg cell–mediated prevention of colitis in this model is unclear, and the role of chemokine receptors in the trafficking and function of T reg cells in this model has not been determined. We examined the role of the chemokine receptor CCR4 in in vivo trafficking and suppressive function of T reg cells in a mouse adoptive transfer model of IBD. CCR4-deficient T reg cells failed to accumulate in the mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs) at early time points (2–5 d) after adoptive transfer, resulting in a failure to suppress the generation of pathogenic T cells and the development of colitis. Moreover, although CCR4-deficent T cells had equivalent in vitro suppressive activity and accumulated in MLNs at later time points (42–56 d), they were unable to suppress colitis. Our study demonstrates that CCR4 plays an important role in T reg cell trafficking in LNs and that this is critical for T reg cell suppressive function in vivo.