Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease characterized by severe joint injury. Recently, research has been focusing on the possible identification of predictor markers of disease onset and/or progression, of joint damage, and of therapeutic response. Recent findings have uncovered the role of white adipose tissue as a pleiotropic organ not only specialized in endocrine functions but also able to control multiple physiopathological processes, including inflammation. Adipokines are a family of soluble mediators secreted by white adipose tissue endowed with a wide spectrum of actions. This review will focus on the recent advances on the role of the adipokine network in the pathogenesis of RA. A particular attention will be devoted to the action of these proteins on RA effector cells, and on the possibility to use circulating levels of adipokines as potential biomarkers of disease activity and therapeutic response.
Tumor-derived oxysterols recruit protumor neutrophils in an LXR-independent, CXCR2-dependent manner, thus favoring tumor growth by promoting neoangiogenesis and immunosuppression.
Tumor-infiltrating immune cells can be conditioned by molecules released within the microenvironment to thwart antitumor immune responses, thereby facilitating tumor growth. Among immune cells, neutrophils play an important protumorigenic role by favoring neoangiogenesis and/or by suppressing antitumor immune responses. Tumor-derived oxysterols have recently been shown to favor tumor growth by inhibiting dendritic cell migration toward lymphoid organs. We report that tumor-derived oxysterols recruit protumor neutrophils in a liver X receptor (LXR)–independent, CXCR2-dependent manner, thus favoring tumor growth by promoting neoangiogenesis and immunosuppression. We demonstrate that interfering with the oxysterol–CXCR2 axis delays tumor growth and prolongs the overall survival of tumor-bearing mice. These results identify an unanticipated protumor function of the oxysterol–CXCR2 axis and a possible target for cancer therapy.
OM-85 (Broncho-Vaxom®, Broncho-Munal®, Ommunal®, Paxoral®, Vaxoral®), a product made of the water soluble fractions of 21 inactivated bacterial strain patterns responsible for respiratory tract infections, is used for the prevention of recurrent upper respiratory tract infections and acute exacerbations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. OM-85 is able to potentiate both innate and adaptive immune responses. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for OM-85 activation are still largely unknown. Purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of OM-85 stimulation on human dendritic cell functions. We show that OM-85 selectively induced NF-kB and MAPK activation in human DC with no detectable action on the interferon regulatory factor (IRF) pathway. As a consequence, chemokines (i.e. CXCL8, CXCL6, CCL3, CCL20, CCL22) and B-cell activating cytokines (i.e. IL-6, BAFF and IL-10) were strongly upregulated. OM-85 also synergized with the action of classical pro-inflammatory stimuli used at suboptimal concentrations. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with COPD, a pathological condition often associated with altered PRR expression pattern, fully retained the capability to respond to OM-85. These results provide new insights on the molecular mechanisms of OM-85 activation of the immune response and strengthen the rational for its use in clinical settings.
Hermansky Pudlak type 2 syndrome (HPS2) is a rare autosomal recessive primary immune deficiency caused by mutations on β3A gene (AP3B1 gene). The defect results in the impairment of the adaptor protein 3 (AP-3) complex, responsible for protein sorting to secretory lysosomes leading to oculo-cutaneous albinism, bleeding disorders and immunodeficiency. We have studied peripheral blood and lymph node biopsies from two siblings affected by HPS2. Lymph node histology showed a nodular lymphocyte predominance type Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) in both HPS2 siblings. By immunohistochemistry, CD8 T-cells from HPS2 NLPHL contained an increased amount of perforin (Prf) + suggesting a defect in the release of this granules-associated protein. By analyzing peripheral blood immune cells we found a significant reduction of circulating NKT cells and of CD56brightCD16− Natural Killer (NK) cells subset. Functionally, NK cells were defective in their cytotoxic activity against tumor cell lines including Hodgkin Lymphoma as well as in IFN-γ production. This defect was associated with increased baseline level of CD107a and CD63 at the surface level of unstimulated and IL-2-activated NK cells. In summary, these results suggest that a combined and profound defect of innate and adaptive effector cells might explain the susceptibility to infections and lymphoma in these HPS2 patients.
CCRL2 is a heptahelic transmembrane receptor that shows the highest degree of homology with CCR1, an inflammatory chemokine receptor. CCRL2 mRNA was rapidly (30 min) and transiently (2-4 hrs) regulated during dendritic cell (DC) maturation. Protein expression paralleled RNA regulation. In vivo, CCRL2 was expressed by activated DC and macrophages, but not by eosinophils and T cells. CCRL2−/− mice showed normal recruitment of circulating DC into the lung but a defective trafficking of antigen-loaded lung DC to mediastinal lymph nodes. This defect was associated to a reduction in lymph node cellularity and reduced priming of Th2 response. CCRL2−/− mice were protected in a model of OVA-induced airway inflammation with reduced leukocyte recruitment in the BAL (eosinophils and mononuclear cells) and reduced production of the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-5 and chemokines CCL11 and CCL17. The central role of CCRL2 deficiency in DC was supported by the fact that adoptive transfer of CCRL2−/− antigen-loaded DC in wild type animals recapitulated the phenotype observed in knock out mice. These data show a nonredundant role of CCRL2 in lung DC trafficking and propose a role for this receptor in the control of excessive airway inflammatory responses.
Psoriasis is a type I interferon-driven T cell–mediated disease characterized by the recruitment of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) into the skin. The molecules involved in pDC accumulation in psoriasis lesions are unknown. Chemerin is the only inflammatory chemotactic factor that is directly active on human blood pDC in vitro. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of the chemerin/ChemR23 axis in the recruitment of pDC in psoriasis skin. Prepsoriatic skin adjacent to active lesions and early lesions were characterized by a strong expression of chemerin in the dermis and by the presence of CD15+ neutrophils and CD123+/BDCA-2+/ChemR23+ pDC. Conversely, skin from chronic plaques showed low chemerin expression, segregation of neutrophils to epidermal microabscesses, and few pDC in the dermis. Chemerin expression was localized mainly in fibroblasts, mast cells, and endothelial cells. Fibroblasts cultured from skin of psoriatic lesions expressed higher levels of chemerin messenger RNA and protein than fibroblasts from uninvolved psoriatic skin or healthy donors and promoted pDC migration in vitro in a chemerin-dependent manner. Therefore, chemerin expression specifically marks the early phases of evolving skin psoriatic lesions and is temporally strictly associated with pDC. These results support a role for the chemerin/ChemR23 axis in the early phases of psoriasis development.
Langerhans cells (LC) represent a well characterized subset of dendritic cells located in the epidermis of skin and mucosae. In vivo, they originate from resident and blood-borne precursors in the presence of keratinocyte-derived TGFβ. Ιn vitro, LC can be generated from monocytes in the presence of GM-CSF, IL-4 and TGFβ. However, the signals that induce LC during an inflammatory reaction are not fully investigated. Here we report that Activin A, a TGFβ family member induced by pro-inflammatory cytokines and involved in skin morphogenesis and wound healing, induces the differentiation of human monocytes into LC in the absence of TGFβ. Activin A-induced LC are Langerin+, Birbeck granules+, E-cadherin+, CLA+ and CCR6+ and possess typical APC functions. In human skin explants, intradermal injection of Activin A increased the number of CD1a+ and Langerin+ cells in both the epidermis and dermis by promoting the differentiation of resident precursor cells. High levels of Activin A were present in the upper epidermal layers and in the dermis of Lichen Planus biopsies in association with a marked infiltration of CD1a+ and Langerin+ cells. This study reports that Activin A induces the differentiation of circulating CD14+ cells into LC. Since Activin A is abundantly produced during inflammatory conditions which are also characterized by increased numbers of LC, we propose that this cytokine represents a new pathway, alternative to TGFβ, responsible for LC differentiation during inflammatory/autoimmune conditions.
Chemerin is a chemotactic agent that was recently identified as the ligand of ChemR23, a serpentine receptor expressed by activated macrophages and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs). This paper shows that blood plasmacytoid and myeloid DCs express functional ChemR23. Recombinant chemerin induced the transmigration of plasmacytoid and myeloid DCs across an endothelial cell monolayer. In secondary lymphoid organs (lymph nodes and tonsils), ChemR23 is expressed by CD123+ plasmacytoid DCs and by CD1a+ DC-SIGN+ DCs in the interfollicular T cell area. ChemR23+ DCs were also observed in dermis from normal skin, whereas Langerhans cells were negative. Chemerin expression was selectively detected on the luminal side of high endothelial venules in secondary lymphoid organs and in dermal endothelial vessels of lupus erythematosus skin lesions. Chemerin+ endothelial cells were surrounded by ChemR23+ plasmacytoid DCs. Thus, ChemR23 is expressed and functional in plasmacytoid DCs, a property shared only by CXCR4 among chemotactic receptors. This finding, together with the selective expression of the cognate ligand on the luminal side of high endothelial venules and inflamed endothelium, suggests a key role of the ChemR23/chemerin axis in directing plasmacytoid DC trafficking.
Chemotaxis of dendritic cells (DCs) and monocytes is a key step in the initiation of an adequate immune response. Formyl peptide receptor (FPR) and FPR-like receptor (FPRL)1, two G protein–coupled receptors belonging to the FPR family, play an essential role in host defense mechanisms against bacterial infection and in the regulation of inflammatory reactions. FPRL2, the third member of this structural family of chemoattractant receptors, is characterized by its specific expression on monocytes and DCs. Here, we present the isolation from a spleen extract and the functional characterization of F2L, a novel chemoattractant peptide acting specifically through FPRL2. F2L is an acetylated amino-terminal peptide derived from the cleavage of the human heme-binding protein, an intracellular tetrapyrolle-binding protein. The peptide binds and activates FPRL2 in the low nanomolar range, which triggers intracellular calcium release, inhibition of cAMP accumulation, and phosphorylation of extracellular signal–regulated kinase 1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinases through the Gi class of heterotrimeric G proteins. When tested on monocytes and monocyte-derived DCs, F2L promotes calcium mobilization and chemotaxis. Therefore, F2L appears as a new natural chemoattractant peptide for DCs and monocytes, and the first potent and specific agonist of FPRL2.
The present study was aimed to investigate the effect of benzydamine, an anti-inflammatory drug devoid of activity on arachidonic acid metabolism, on monocyte chemotaxis and to define the possible biochemical correlates of activity.Benzydamine inhibited monocyte chemotaxis in response to three classes of chemoattractants: the prototypic CC-chemokine CCL2 (MCP-1), the microbial product fMLP and the complement cascade component C5a. The effect was dose-dependent with IC50's of 100, 50 and 45 μM for MCP-1/CCL2, fMLP and C5a, respectively. At the dose of 100 μM, the effect resulted in a 50±10% inhibition of MCP-1/CCL2-induced chemotaxis and 53±6 and 54±5% inhibitions of chemotaxis in response of fMLP and C5a, respectively (n=3).Receptor expression as well as calcium fluxes in response to chemoattractants were not affected by benzydamine.Benzydamine strongly inhibited chemoattractant-induced activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) ERK1/2, and of its upstream activator kinase MEK1/2. ERK1/12 activation in response to chemoattractants was 89–98% inhibited by a 100 μM concentration of benzydamine with an IC50 of 30 μM.Under the same experimental conditions, pretreatment with 100 μM benzydamine caused a 75–89% inhibition of p38 activation (IC50 25 μM).These results indicate that the anti-inflammatory activity of benzydamine is exerted at multiple levels, including monocyte migration to chemotactic factors associated to a blockage of ERK and p38 MAPK pathways.
Benzydamine; chemotaxis; monocytes; MAPK; ERK1/2; p38 MAPK
Dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages are professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that play key roles in both innate and adaptive immunity. ChemR23 is an orphan G protein–coupled receptor related to chemokine receptors, which is expressed specifically in these cell types. Here we present the characterization of chemerin, a novel chemoattractant protein, which acts through ChemR23 and is abundant in a diverse set of human inflammatory fluids. Chemerin is secreted as a precursor of low biological activity, which upon proteolytic cleavage of its COOH-terminal domain, is converted into a potent and highly specific agonist of ChemR23, the chemerin receptor. Activation of chemerin receptor results in intracellular calcium release, inhibition of cAMP accumulation, and phosphorylation of p42–p44 MAP kinases, through the Gi class of heterotrimeric G proteins. Chemerin is structurally and evolutionary related to the cathelicidin precursors (antibacterial peptides), cystatins (cysteine protease inhibitors), and kininogens. Chemerin was shown to promote calcium mobilization and chemotaxis of immature DCs and macrophages in a ChemR23-dependent manner. Therefore, chemerin appears as a potent chemoattractant protein of a novel class, which requires proteolytic activation and is specific for APCs.
orphan receptor; dendritic cells; macrophages; chemotaxis; proteolytic processing
Using a recently developed model for in vitro generation of pp65-positive polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNLs), we demonstrated that PMNLs from immunocompetent subjects may harbor both infectious human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and viral products (pp65, p72, DNA, and immediate-early [IE] and pp67 late mRNAs) as early as 60 min after coculture with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) or human embryonic lung fibroblasts (HELF) infected with a clinical HCMV isolate (VR6110) or other wild-type strains. The number of PMNLs positive for each viral parameter increased with coculture time. Using HELF infected with laboratory-adapted HCMV strains, only very small amounts of viral DNA and IE and late mRNAs were detected in PMNLs. A cellular mRNA, the vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 mRNA, which is abundantly present in both infected and uninfected HUVEC, was detected in much larger amounts in PMNLs cocultured with VR6110-infected cells than in controls. Coculture of PMNLs with VR6110-infected permissive cells in the presence or absence of RNA, protein, and viral DNA synthesis inhibitors showed that only IE genes were transcribed in PMNLs during coculture. Synthesis of IE transcripts in PMNLs was also supported by the finding that only the copy number of IE mRNA (and not the DNA or the pp67 mRNA) per infected PMNL increased markedly with time, and the pp67 to IE mRNA copy number ratio changed from greater than 10 in infected HUVEC to less than 1 in cocultured PMNLs. Fluorescent probe transfer experiments and electron microscopy studies indicated that transfer of infectious virus and viral products from infected cells to PMNLs is likely to be mediated by microfusion events induced by wild-type strains only. In addition, HCMV pp65 and p72 were both shown to localize in the nucleus of the same PMNLs by double immunostaining. Two different mechanisms may explain the virus presence in PMNLs: (i) one major mechanism consists of transitory microfusion events (induced by wild-type strains only) of HUVEC or HELF and PMNLs with transfer of viable virus and biologically active viral material to PMNLs; and (ii) one minor mechanism, i.e., endocytosis, occurs with both wild-type and laboratory strains and leads to the acquisition of very small amounts of viral nucleic acids. In conclusion, HCMV replicates abortively in PMNLs, and wild-type strains and their products (as well as cellular metabolites and fluorescent dyes) are transferred to PMNLs, thus providing evidence for a potential mechanism of HCMV dissemination in vivo.
Dendritic cells (DC) are antigen presenting cells (APC) with the unique ability to initiate an
immune response. Immature DC are localized in peripheral tissues where they exert a sentinel
function for incoming antigens (Ag). After Ag capture and exposure to inflammatory stimuli
DC undergo maturation and migrate to regional lymph nodes where the presentation of antigenic
peptides to T lymphocytes takes place. Thus their correct functioning as APC involves
localization in tissues and trafficking via the lymph or blood to lymphoid organs. In the
present study we have investigated the ability of DC to interact in vitro with human vascular
endothelial cells (EC) and extracellular matrix (ECM). DC are differentiated from monocytes
by in vitro exposure to GM-CSF and IL-13 for 7 days. In adhesion assays a considerable proportion
of DC binds to resting EC monolayers and this adhesion is inhibited by anti-CD11a
and CD11b, but not anti-CD11c mAbs. Binding to a natural ECM, derived from cultured EC
involves VLA-4 and VLA-5 integrins. In a transmigration assay, 10 % of input cells are able
to cross the EC monolayer in the absence of exogenous stimuli. The amount of DC transmigrated
through a monolayer of EC was increased of 2-3 fold by C-C chemokines RANTES,
MIP1α, and MIP-1β. Most importantly, in view of the trafficking pattern of these cells, a significant
proportion of DC can migrate in a reverse transmigration assay, i.e. across the
endothelial basement membrane and subsequently, across endothelial cells. Upon exposure to
immune or inflammatory signals peripheral DC undergo maturation and migration to lymphoid
organs. Functional maturation is associated with loss of responsiveness to chemokines
present at sites of inflammation (e.g. MIP1α, MIP1β and RANTES) and acquisition of a
receptor repertoire which renders these cells responsive to signals which guide their localization
in lymphoid organs (e.g. MIP3β). A better understanding of the molecular basis of DC
trafficking may provide molecular and conceptual tools to direct and modulate DC localization
as a strategy to upregulate and orient specific immunity.
dendritic cells; chemokines; chemotaxis; receptors; transendothelial migration; endothelial cells
The immunosuppressive and antiinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL) 10 selectively upregulates the expression of the CC chemokine receptors CCR5, 2, and 1 in human monocytes by prolonging their mRNA half-life. IL-10–stimulated monocytes display an increased number of cell surface receptors for, and better chemotactic responsiveness to, relevant agonists than do control cells. In addition, IL-10–stimulated monocytes are more efficiently infected by HIV BaL. This effect was associated to the enhancement of viral entry through CCR5. These data add support to an emerging paradigm in which pro- and antiinflammatory molecules exert reciprocal and opposing influence on chemokine agonist production and receptor expression.
T helper cells type 1 (Th1s) that produce interferon-γ predominantly mediate cellular immune responses and are involved in the development of chronic inflammatory conditions, whereas Th2s which produce large amounts of IL-4 and IL-5 upregulate IgE production and are prominent in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases. The precise factors determining whether Th1- or Th2-mediated immune responses preferentially occur at a peripheral site of antigen exposure are largely unknown. Chemokines, a superfamily of polypeptide mediators, are a key component of the leukocyte recruitment process. Here we report that among four CXC (CXCR1-4) and five CC (CCR1-5) chemokine receptors analyzed, CXCR3 and CCR5 are preferentially expressed in human Th1s. In contrast, Th2s preferentially express CCR4 and, to a lesser extent, CCR3. In agreement with the differential chemokine receptor expression, Th1s and Th2s selectively migrate in response to the corresponding chemokines. The differential expression of chemokine receptors may dictate, to a large extent, the migration and tissue homing of Th1s and Th2s. It may also determine different susceptibility of Th1s and Th2s to human immunodeficiency virus strains using different fusion coreceptors.
Dendritic cells are potent antigen-presenting cells involved in the initiation of immune responses. The trafficking of these cells to tissues and lymph nodes is mediated by members of the chemokine family. Recently, a novel CC chemokine known as MIP-3α or liver and activation-regulated chemokine has been identified from the EMBL/GenBank/DDBJ expressed sequence tag database. In the present study, we have shown that the messenger RNA for MIP-3α is expressed predominantly in inflamed and mucosal tissues. MIP-3α produced either synthetically or by human embryonic kidney 293 cells is chemotactic for CD34+-derived dendritic cells and T cells, but is inactive on monocytes and neutrophils. MIP-3α was unable to displace the binding of specific CC or CXC chemokines to stable cell lines expressing their respective high affinity receptors, namely CCR1–5 and CXCR1 and CXCR2, suggesting that MIP-3α acts through a novel CC chemokine receptor. Therefore, we used degenerate oligonucleotide-based reverse transcriptase PCR to identify candidate MIP-3α receptors in lung dendritic cells. Our results show that the orphan receptor known as GCY-4, CKRL-3, or STRL-22 is a specific receptor for MIP-3α, and that its activation leads to pertussis toxin–sensitive and phospholipase C–dependent intracellular Ca2+ mobilization when it is expressed in HEK 293 cells.
A cDNA encoding a novel human chemokine was isolated by random sequencing of cDNA clones from human monocyte-derived macrophages. This protein has been termed macrophagederived chemokine (MDC) because it appears to be synthesized specifically by cells of the macrophage lineage. MDC has the four-cysteine motif and other highly conserved residues characteristic of CC chemokines, but it shares <35% identity with any of the known chemokines. Recombinant MDC was expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells and purified by heparin– Sepharose chromatography. NH2-terminal sequencing and mass spectrophotometry were used to verify the NH2 terminus and molecular mass of recombinant MDC (8,081 dalton). In microchamber migration assays, monocyte-derived dendritic cells and IL-2–activated natural killer cells migrated to MDC in a dose-dependent manner, with a maximal chemotactic response at 1 ng/ml. Freshly isolated monocytes also migrated toward MDC, but with a peak response at 100 ng/ml MDC. Northern analyses indicated MDC is highly expressed in macrophages and in monocyte-derived dendritic cells, but not in monocytes, natural killer cells, or several cell lines of epithelial, endothelial, or fibroblast origin. High expression was also detected in normal thymus and less expression in lung and spleen. Unlike most other CC chemokines, MDC is encoded on human chromosome 16. MDC is thus a unique member of the CC chemokine family that may play a fundamental role in the function of dendritic cells, natural killer cells, and monocytes.
The present study was designed to investigate the effect of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on C–C chemokine receptors (CCR) expressed in human mononuclear phagocytes. LPS caused a rapid and drastic reduction of CCR2 mRNA levels, which binds MCP-1 and -3. CCR1 and CCR5 mRNAs were also reduced, though to a lesser extent, whereas CXCR2 was unaffected. The rate of nuclear transcription of CCR2 was not affected by LPS, whereas the mRNA half life was reduced from 1.5 h to 45 min. As expected, LPS-induced inhibition of CCR2 mRNA expression was associated with a reduction of both MCP-1 binding and chemotactic responsiveness. The capacity to inhibit CCR2 expression in monocytes was shared by other microbial agents and cytokines (inactivated Streptococci, Propionibacterium acnes, and to a lesser extent, IL-1 and TNF-α). In contrast, IL-2 augmented CCR2 expression and MCP-1 itself had no effect. These results suggest that, regulation of receptor expression in addition to agonist production is likely a crucial point in the regulation of the chemokine system.