Prophylactic vaccinations are generally performed to protect naïve individuals with or without suppressed immune responsiveness. In a mouse model for Influenza vaccinations the specific alterations of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T-cells (Tregs) in the immune modulation induced by orally supplied oligosaccharides containing scGOS/lcFOS/pAOS was assessed. This dietary intervention increased vaccine specific DTH responses. In addition, a significant increased percentage of T-bet+ (Th1) activated CD69+CD4+ T cells (p<0.001) and reduced percentage of Gata-3+ (Th2) activated CD69+CD4+T cells (p<0.001) was detected in the mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) of mice receiving scGOS/lcFOS/pAOS compared to control mice. Although no difference in the number or percentage of Tregs (CD4+Foxp3+) could be determined after scGOS/lcFOS/pAOS intervention, the percentage of CXCR3 + /T-bet+ (Th1-Tregs) was significantly reduced (p<0.05) in mice receiving scGOS/lcFOS/pAOS as compared to mice receiving placebo diets. Moreover, although no absolute difference in suppressive capacity could be detected, an alteration in cytokine profile suggests a regulatory T cell shift towards a reducing Th1 suppression profile, supporting an improved vaccination response.
These data are indicative for improved vaccine responsiveness due to reduced Th1 suppressive capacity in the Treg population of mice fed the oligosaccharide specific diet, showing compartmentalization within the Treg population. The modulation of Tregs to control immune responses provides an additional arm of intervention using alternative strategies possibly leading to the development of improved vaccines.
Interleukin 12 (IL-12)-mediated Type 1 inflammation confers host-protection against the parasitic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. However, production of interferon gamma (IFN-γ), another Type 1 inflammatory cytokine, also drives lethality from excessive injury to the intestinal epithelium. As mechanisms that restore epithelial barrier function following infection remain poorly understood, this study investigated the role of Trefoil factor 2 (TFF2), a well-established regulator of mucosal tissue repair. Paradoxically, TFF2 antagonized IL-12 release from DC’s and macrophages, which protected TFF2 deficient mice (TFF2−/−) from T. gondii pathogenesis. Dysregulated intestinal homeostasis in naïve TFF2−/− mice correlated with increased IL-12/23p40 levels and enhanced T cell recruitment at baseline. Infected TFF2−/− mice displayed low rates of parasite replication and reduced gut immunopathology, whereas WT mice experienced disseminated infection and lethal ileitis. p38 MAPK activation and IL-12p70 production was more robust from TFF2−/− CD8+ DC compared to WT CD8+ DC and treatment of WT DC with rTFF2 suppressed TLR-induced IL-12/23p40 production. Neutralization of IFN-γ and IL-12 in TFF2−/− animals abrogated resistance shown by enhanced parasite replication and infection-induced morbidity. Hence, TFF2 regulated intestinal barrier function and Type 1 cytokine release from myeloid phagocytes, which dictated the outcome of oral T. gondii infection in mice.
macrophage; epithelial cells; injury; inflammation
New strategies to overcome complications of cardiovascular diseases are needed. Since it has been demonstrated that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease, modulation of the immune system may be a promising approach. Previously, it was suggested that antibodies may confer protective effects on the development of atherosclerosis. In this study, we hypothesised that passive immunization with anti-oxLDL IgM antibodies specific for hypochlorite (HOCl) may be athero-protective in mice.
Methods and Results
Monoclonal mouse IgM antibodies were produced and the antibody with specificity for hypochlorite-oxLDL (HOCl-oxLDL) (Moab A7S8) was selected. VH sequence determination revealed that Moab A7S8 is a natural IgM antibody. Atherosclerosis in LDLr−/− mice was induced by a perivascular collar placement around the right carotid artery in combination with feeding a high-fat diet. Subsequently, the mice were treated every six days with 500 µg Moab A7S8, non-relevant IgM or with PBS and the carotid arteries and aortic roots were studied for atherosclerosis. Passive immunization with this Moab A7S8 resulted in a significant reduced plaque volume formation in LDLr−/− mice when compared with PBS treatment (P = 0.002 and P = 0.035). Cholesterol levels decreased by 20% when mice were treated with Moab A7S8 compared to PBS. Furthermore, anti-oxLDL specific IgM and IgG antibody production increased significantly in the Moab A7S8 treated mice in comparison with PBS treated mice.
Our data show that passive immunization with a natural IgM antibody, directed to HOCl-oxLDL, can reduce atherosclerotic plaque development. We postulate that specific antibody therapy may be developed for use in human cardiovascular diseases.
Macrophages play a key role in responding to pathogens and initiate an inflammatory response to combat microbe multiplication. Deactivation of macrophages facilitates resolution of the inflammatory response. Deactivated macrophages are characterized by an immunosuppressive phenotype, but the lack of unique markers that can reliably identify these cells explains the poorly defined biological role of this macrophage subset. We identified lipocalin 2 (LCN2) as both a marker of deactivated macrophages and a macrophage deactivator. We show that LCN2 attenuated the early inflammatory response and impaired bacterial clearance, leading to impaired survival of mice suffering from pneumococcal pneumonia. LCN2 induced IL-10 formation by macrophages, skewing macrophage polarization in a STAT3-dependent manner. Pulmonary LCN2 levels were tremendously elevated during bacterial pneumonia in humans, and high LCN2 levels were indicative of a detrimental outcome from pneumonia with Gram-positive bacteria. Our data emphasize the importance of macrophage deactivation for the outcome of pneumococcal infections and highlight the role of LCN2 and IL-10 as determinants of macrophage performance in the respiratory tract.
Natural killer T (NKT) cell development depends on recognition of self-glycolipids via their semi-invariant Vα14i-TCR. However, to what extent TCR-mediated signals determine identity and function of mature NKT cells remains incompletely understood. To address this issue, we developed a mouse strain allowing conditional Vα14i-TCR expression from within the endogenous Tcrα locus. We demonstrate that naïve T cells are activated upon replacement of their endogenous TCR repertoire with Vα14i-restricted TCRs, but they do not differentiate into NKT cells. On the other hand, induced TCR ablation on mature NKT cells did not affect their lineage identity, homeostasis, or innate rapid cytokine secretion abilities. We therefore propose that peripheral NKT cells become unresponsive to and thus are independent of their autoreactive TCR.
Immune system natural killer T (NKT) cells help to protect against certain strains of bacteria and viruses, and suppress the development of autoimmune diseases and cancer. However, NKT cells are also central mediators of allergic responses. The recognition of one's own glycolipid antigens (self-glycolipids) in the thymus via the unique Vα14i T cell receptor, Vα14i-TCR, triggers the NKT cell developmental program, which differs considerably from that of conventional T cells. We generated a mouse model to investigate whether the Vα14i-TCR on mature NKT cells constantly recognizes self-glycolipids and to assess whether this TCR is required for survival and continued NKT cell identity. Switching the peptide-recognizing TCR of a mature conventional T cell to a glycolipid-recognizing Vα14i-TCR led to activation of the T cells, indicating that this TCR is also autoreactive on peripheral T cells or can signal autonomously. But TCR ablation did not affect the half-life, characteristic gene expression or innate functions of mature NKT cells. Therefore, the inherently autoreactive Vα14i-TCR is dispensable for the functions of mature peripheral NKT cells after instructing thymic NKT cell development. Thus the Vα14i-TCR serves a similar function to pattern-recognition receptors, in mediating immune recognition of foreign invasion or diseased cells.
The differences in function, location, and migratory pattern of conventional dendritic cells (cDC) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDC) not only point to specialized roles in immune responses but also signify additive and interdependent relationships required to clear pathogens. We studied the in vivo requirement of cross-talk between cDCs and pDCs for eliciting antitumor immunity against in situ released tumor antigens in the absence or presence of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 9 agonist CpG. Previous data indicated that CpG boosted tumor-specific T-cell responses after in vivo tumor destruction and increased survival after tumor rechallenges. The present study shows that cDCs are indispensable for cross-presentation of ablation-released tumor antigens and for the induction of long-term antitumor immunity. Depletion of pDCs or applying this model in type I IFN receptor–deficient mice abrogated CpG-mediated responses. CD8α+ cDCs and the recently identified merocytic cDCs were dependent on pDCs for CpG-induced upregulation of CD80. Moreover, DC transfer studies revealed that merocytic cDCs and CD8α+ cDCs were most susceptible to pDC help and subsequently promoted tumor-free survival in a therapeutic setting. By transferring wild-type pDCs into TLR9-deficient mice, we finally showed that TLR9 expression in pDCs is sufficient to benefit from CpG as an adjuvant. These studies indicate that the efficacy of CpG in cancer immunotherapy is dependent on cross-talk between pDCs and specific subsets of cDCs.
The recruitment and activation of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the micro-environment of malignant brain tumors has detrimental effects on antitumoral immune responses. Hence, local elimination of Tregs within the tumor micro-environment represents a highly valuable tool from both a fundamental and clinical perspective. In the syngeneic experimental GL261 murine glioma model, Tregs were prophylactically eliminated through treatment with PC61, an anti-CD25 mAb. This resulted in specific elimination of CD4+CD25hiFoxp3+ Treg within brain-infiltrating lymphocytes and complete protection against subsequent orthotopic GL261 tumor challenge. Interestingly, PC61-treated mice also showed a pronounced infiltration of CD11b+ myeloid cells in the brain. Phenotypically, these cells could not be considered as Gr-1+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) but were identified as F4/80+ macrophages and granulocytes.
It is currently unknown how mucosal adjuvants cause induction of secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA), and how T cell-dependent (TD) or -independent (TI) pathways might be involved. Mucosal dendritic cells (DCs) are the primary antigen presenting cells driving TI IgA synthesis, by producing a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL), B cell activating factor (BAFF), Retinoic Acid (RA), TGF-β or nitric oxide (NO). We hypothesized that the mucosal adjuvant Cholera Toxin subunit B (CTB) could imprint non-mucosal DCs to induce IgA synthesis, and studied the mechanism of its induction. In vitro, CTB-treated bone marrow derived DCs primed for IgA production by B cells without the help of T cells, yet required co-signaling by different Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands acting via the MyD88 pathway. CTB-DC induced IgA production was blocked in vitro or in vivo when RA receptor antagonist, TGF-β signaling inhibitor or neutralizing anti-TGF-β was added, demonstrating the involvement of RA and TGF-β in promoting IgA responses. There was no major involvement for BAFF, APRIL or NO. This study highlights that synergism between CTB and MyD88-dependent TLR signals selectively imprints a TI IgA-inducing capacity in non-mucosal DCs, explaining how CTB acts as an IgA promoting adjuvant.
Invasive Staphylococcus aureus infections are frequently associated with bacteraemia. To support clinical decisions on antibiotic therapy, there is an urgent need for reliable markers as predictors of infection outcome. In the present study in mice, bacteraemia was established by intravenous inoculation of a clinical S. aureus isolate at the LD50 inoculum. As potential biomarkers for fatal outcome, blood culture (qualitative and quantitative), serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), as well as 31 selected cytokines and chemokines were assessed during the first three days of infection. A positive S. aureus blood culture, the quantitative blood culture, CRP levels, and levels of eight cytokines were indicative for the presence of S. aureus bacteraemia. However, only tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α, interleukin (IL) 1α, and keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC; a functional homologue of human IL-8) were each significantly elevated in eventually non-surviving infected mice versus eventually surviving infected mice. In severe S. aureus bacteraemia in mice, TNF-α, IL-1α, and KC are biomarkers predicting fatal outcome of infection. KC was a biomarker elevated irrespective the progression of infection, which is very interesting regarding clinical application in view of the heterogeneity of patients experiencing bacteraemia in this respect.
Autoimmunity ensues upon breakdown of tolerance mechanism and priming of self-reactive T cells. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) constitute a unique cell subset that participates in the activation of autoreactive T cells but also has been shown to be critically involved in the induction of self-tolerance. However, their functional importance during the priming phase of an organ-specific autoimmune response remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that absence of pDCs during myelin antigenic challenge resulted in amelioration of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and reduced disease severity. This was accompanied by significantly decreased frequency of myelin-specific T cells in the draining lymph nodes and inhibition of Th1 and Th17 immune responses. Unexpectedly, in vivo ablation of pDCs increased myelopoiesis in the bone marrow and specifically induced the generation of CD11bhiGr1+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Furthermore, we demonstrate that pDC depletion enhanced the mobilization of MDSCs in the spleen, and that sorted MDSCs could potently suppress CD4+ T cell responses in vitro. Importantly, pDC-depleted mice showed increased levels of MCP-1 in the draining lymph nodes, and in vivo administration of MCP-1 increased the frequency and absolute numbers of MDSCs in the periphery of treated mice. Together, our results reveal that absence of pDCs during the priming of an autoimmune response leads to increased mobilization of MDSCs in the periphery in an MCP-1–dependent manner and subsequent amelioration of autoimmunity.
Unlike conventional dendritic cells (cDC), plasmacytoid DCs (pDC) are poor in antigen presentation and critical for type I interferon response. While proposed to be present in human atherosclerotic lesions, their role in atherosclerosis remains elusive.
To investigate the role of pDC in atherosclerosis.
Methods and Results
We show that pDC are scarcely present in human atherosclerotic lesions, and almost absent in mouse plaques. Surprisingly, pDC depletion by 120G8 mAb administration was seen to promote plaque T cell accumulation and exacerbate lesion development and progression in LDLr−/− mice. PDC depletion was accompanied by increased CD4+ T cell proliferation, IFN-γ expression by splenic T cells and plasma IFN-γ levels. Lymphoid tissue pDC from atherosclerotic mice showed increased indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) expression and IDO blockage abrogated the pDC suppressive effect on T cell proliferation.
Our data reveal a protective role for pDC in atherosclerosis, possibly by dampening T cell proliferation and activity in peripheral lymphoid tissue, rendering pDC an interesting target for future therapeutic interventions.
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells; atherosclerosis; immune tolerance; T cells
Melioidosis, caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, is an important cause of community-acquired sepsis in Southeast Asia and northern Australia. An important controller of the immune system is the pleiotropic cytokine transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), of which Smad2 and Smad3 are the major signal transducers. In this study, we aimed to characterize TGF-β expression and function in experimental melioidosis. TGF-β expression was determined in 33 patients with culture-proven infection with B. pseudomallei and 30 healthy controls. We found that plasma TGF-β concentrations were strongly elevated during melioidosis. In line with this finding, TGF-β expression in C57BL/6 mice intranasally inoculated with B. pseudomallei was enhanced as well. To assess the role of TGF-β, we inhibited TGF-β using a selective murine TGF-β antibody. Treatment of mice with anti-TGF-β antibody resulted in decreased lung Smad2 phosphorylation. TGF-β blockade appeared to be protective: mice treated with anti-TGF-β antibody and subsequently infected with B. pseudomallei showed diminished bacterial loads. Moreover, less distant organ injury was observed in anti-TGF-β treated mice as shown by reduced blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and aspartate transaminase (AST) values. However, anti-TGF-β treatment did not have an effect on survival. In conclusion, TGF-β is upregulated during B. pseudomallei infection and plays a limited but proinflammatory role during experimental melioidosis.
Lipid overload and adipocyte dysfunction are key to the development of insulin resistance and can be induced by a high-fat diet. CD1d-restricted invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells have been proposed as mediators between lipid overload and insulin resistance, but recent studies found decreased iNKT cell numbers and marginal effects of iNKT cell depletion on insulin resistance under high-fat diet conditions. Here, we focused on the role of iNKT cells under normal conditions. We showed that iNKT cell–deficient mice on a low-fat diet, considered a normal diet for mice, displayed a distinctive insulin resistance phenotype without overt adipose tissue inflammation. Insulin resistance was characterized by adipocyte dysfunction, including adipocyte hypertrophy, increased leptin, and decreased adiponectin levels. The lack of liver abnormalities in CD1d-null mice together with the enrichment of CD1d-restricted iNKT cells in both mouse and human adipose tissue indicated a specific role for adipose tissue–resident iNKT cells in the development of insulin resistance. Strikingly, iNKT cell function was directly modulated by adipocytes, which acted as lipid antigen-presenting cells in a CD1d-mediated fashion. Based on these findings, we propose that, especially under low-fat diet conditions, adipose tissue–resident iNKT cells maintain healthy adipose tissue through direct interplay with adipocytes and prevent insulin resistance.
While plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), a natural type I interferon (IFN) producing cell type, are regarded as critical for innate immunity to viruses, their role in defense against fungal infections remains unknown. We examined the interactions of pDCs with hyphae of the invasive human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Human pDCs spread over hyphae and inhibited their growth. Antifungal activity was retained in pDC lysates, did not require direct fungal contact, and was partially reversed by zinc. Incubation with hyphae resulted in pDC cytotoxicity, partly due to fungal gliotoxin secretion. Following hyphal stimulation, pDCs released proinflammatory cytokines via a TLR9-independent mechanism. Pulmonary challenge of mice with A. fumigatus resulted in a substantial influx of pDCs into lungs and pDC-depleted mice were hypersusceptible to invasive aspergillosis. These data demonstrate the antifungal activity of pDCs against A. fumigatus and establish their non-redundant role in host defenses against invasive aspergillosis in vivo.
Aspergillus fumigatus is a model fungal pathogen and a common cause of infection in individuals with the primary immunodeficiency chronic granulomatous disease (CGD). Although primarily considered a deficiency of innate immunity, CGD is also linked to dysfunctional T cell reactivity. Both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells mediate vaccine-induced protection from experimental aspergillosis, but the molecular mechanisms leading to the generation of protective immunity and whether these mechanisms are dysregulated in individuals with CGD have not been determined. Here, we show that activation of either T cell subset in a mouse model of CGD is contingent upon the nature of the fungal vaccine, the involvement of distinct innate receptor signaling pathways, and the mode of antigen routing and presentation in DCs. Aspergillus conidia activated CD8+ T cells upon sorting to the Rab14+ endosomal compartment required for alternative MHC class I presentation. Cross-priming of CD8+ T cells failed to occur in mice with CGD due to defective DC endosomal alkalinization and autophagy. However, long-lasting antifungal protection and disease control were successfully achieved upon vaccination with purified fungal antigens that activated CD4+ T cells through the endosome/lysosome pathway. Our study thus indicates that distinct intracellular pathways are exploited for the priming of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells to A. fumigatus and suggests that CD4+ T cell vaccination may be able to overcome defective antifungal CD8+ T cell memory in individuals with CGD.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a post-infectious polyradiculoneuropathy, frequently associated with antecedent Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) infection. The presence of sialic acid on C. jejuni lipo-oligosaccharide (LOS) is considered a risk factor for development of GBS as it crucially determines the structural homology between LOS and gangliosides, explaining the induction of cross-reactive neurotoxic antibodies. Sialylated C. jejuni are recognised by TLR4 and sialoadhesin; however, the functional implications of these interactions in vivo are unknown.
In this study we investigated the effects of bacterial sialylation on phagocytosis and cytokine secretion by mouse myeloid cells in vitro and in vivo. Using fluorescently labelled GM1a/GD1a ganglioside-mimicking C. jejuni strains and corresponding (Cst-II-mutant) control strains lacking sialic acid, we show that sialylated C. jejuni was more efficiently phagocytosed in vitro by BM-MΦ, but not by BM-DC. In addition, LOS sialylation increased the production of IL-10, IL-6 and IFN-β by both BM-MΦ and BM-DC. Subsequent in vivo experiments revealed that sialylation augmented the deposition of fluorescent bacteria in splenic DC, but not macrophages. In addition, sialylation significantly amplified the production of type I interferons, which was independent of pDC.
These results identify novel immune stimulatory effects of C. jejuni sialylation, which may be important in inducing cross-reactive humoral responses that cause GBS.
Chronic helminth infections, such as schistosomes, are negatively associated with allergic disorders. Here, using B cell IL-10-deficient mice, Schistosoma mansoni-mediated protection against experimental ovalbumin-induced allergic airway inflammation (AAI) was shown to be specifically dependent on IL-10-producing B cells. To study the organs involved, we transferred B cells from lungs, mesenteric lymph nodes or spleen of OVA-infected mice to recipient OVA-sensitized mice, and showed that both lung and splenic B cells reduced AAI, but only splenic B cells in an IL-10-dependent manner. Although splenic B cell protection was accompanied by elevated levels of pulmonary FoxP3+ regulatory T cells, in vivo ablation of FoxP3+ T cells only moderately restored AAI, indicating an important role for the direct suppressory effect of regulatory B cells. Splenic marginal zone CD1d+ B cells proved to be the responsible splenic B cell subset as they produced high levels of IL-10 and induced FoxP3+ T cells in vitro. Indeed, transfer of CD1d+ MZ-depleted splenic B cells from infected mice restored AAI. Markedly, we found a similarly elevated population of CD1dhi B cells in peripheral blood of Schistosoma haematobium-infected Gabonese children compared to uninfected children and these cells produced elevated levels of IL-10. Importantly, the number of IL-10-producing CD1dhi B cells was reduced after anti-schistosome treatment. This study points out that in both mice and men schistosomes have the capacity to drive the development of IL-10-producing regulatory CD1dhi B cells and furthermore, these are instrumental in reducing experimental allergic inflammation in mice.
The inability of seasonal influenza vaccines to effectively protect against infection with antigenically drifted viruses or newly emerging pandemic viruses underlines the need for development of cross-reactive influenza vaccines that induce immunity against a variety of virus subtypes. Therefore, potential cross-protective vaccines, e.g., whole inactivated virus (WIV) vaccine, that can target conserved internal antigens such as the nucleoprotein (NP) and/or matrix protein (M1) need to be explored.
In the current study we show that a WIV vaccine, through induction of cross-protective cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), protects mice from heterosubtypic infection. This protection was abrogated after depletion of CD8+ cells in vaccinated mice, indicating that CTLs were the primary mediators of protection. Previously, we have shown that different procedures used for virus inactivation influence optimal activation of CTLs by WIV, most likely by affecting the membrane fusion properties of the virus. Specifically, inactivation with formalin (FA) severely compromises fusion activity of the virus, while inactivation with β-propiolactone (BPL) preserves fusion activity. Here, we demonstrate that vaccination of mice with BPL-inactivated H5N1 WIV vaccine induces solid protection from lethal heterosubtypic H1N1 challenge. By contrast, vaccination with FA-inactivated WIV, while preventing death after lethal challenge, failed to protect against development of disease and severe body weight loss. Vaccination with BPL-inactivated WIV, compared to FA-inactivated WIV, induced higher levels of specific CD8+ T cells in blood, spleen and lungs, and a higher production of granzyme B in the lungs upon H1N1 virus challenge.
The results underline the potential use of WIV as a cross-protective influenza vaccine candidate. However, careful choice of the virus inactivation procedure is important to retain membrane fusion activity and full immunogenicity of the vaccine.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) establishes a lifelong persistent infection, and viral immune modulating strategies are important to facilitate this. A particularly diverse CD8 T cell response develops as a result of this host-virus détente, with the CMV-specific memory T cell pool displaying unique functions and phenotypes. To gain insight into the factors that regulate CMV-specific CD8 T cell responses, we examined the influence of the B7-CD28 costimulatory pathway on the magnitude, kinetics and phenotype. Initial expansion of mouse CMV-specific CD8 T cells that establish stable memory pools was severely lower in mice lacking B7-CD28 signaling, and the resulting memory levels also remaining reduced during persistent/latent infection. In contrast, expansion of CD8 T cells that undergo memory inflation during chronic infection was less impacted in the absence of B7-CD28 costimulatory signals, eventually reaching the levels seen in wild-type mice at later times. Regardless of their differential requirements for B7-CD28 signals, both stable and inflationary memory T cell populations showed normal cytotoxic capacity. These results reveal that B7-CD28 costimulation differentially regulates the magnitude and kinetics of the multifaceted CD8 T cell response that develops during CMV infection.
Immune mechanisms are known to control the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. However, the exact role of DCs, which are essential for priming of immune responses, remains elusive. We have shown here that the DC-derived chemokine CCL17 is present in advanced human and mouse atherosclerosis and that CCL17+ DCs accumulate in atherosclerotic lesions. In atherosclerosis-prone mice, Ccl17 deficiency entailed a reduction of atherosclerosis, which was dependent on Tregs. Expression of CCL17 by DCs limited the expansion of Tregs by restricting their maintenance and precipitated atherosclerosis in a mechanism conferred by T cells. Conversely, a blocking antibody specific for CCL17 expanded Tregs and reduced atheroprogression. Our data identify DC-derived CCL17 as a central regulator of Treg homeostasis, implicate DCs and their effector functions in atherogenesis, and suggest that CCL17 might be a target for vascular therapy.
We studied the feasibility, efficacy, and mechanisms of dendritic cell (DC) immunotherapy against murine malignant glioma in the experimental GL261 intracranial (IC) tumor model. When administered prophylactically, mature DCs (DCm) ex vivo loaded with GL261 RNA (DCm-GL261-RNA) protected half of the vaccinated mice against IC glioma, whereas treatment with mock-loaded DCm or DCm loaded with irrelevant antigens did not result in tumor protection. In DCm-GL261-RNA–vaccinated mice, a tumor-specific cellular immune response was observed ex vivo in the spleen and tumor-draining lymph node cells. Specificity was also shown in vivo on the level of tumor challenge. Depletion of CD8+ T-cells by anti-CD8 treatment at the time of tumor challenge demonstrated their essential role in vaccine- mediated antitumor immunity. Depletion of CD25+ regulatory T-cells (Tregs) by anti-CD25 (aCD25) treatment strongly enhanced the efficacy of DC vaccination and was itself also protective, independently of DC vaccination. However, DC vaccination was essential to protect the animals from IC tumor rechallenge. No long-term protection was observed in animals that initially received aCD25 treatment only. In mice that received DC and/or aCD25 treatment, we retrieved tumor-specific brain-infiltrating cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. These data clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of DC vaccination for the induction of long-lasting immunological protection against IC glioma. They also show the beneficial effect of Treg depletion in this kind of glioma immunotherapy, even combined with DC vaccination.
anti-CD8; anti-CD25; DC immunotherapy; glioma; regulatory T-cells
The CD40–CD40 ligand (CD40L) signaling axis plays an important role in immunological pathways. Consequently, this dyad is involved in chronic inflammatory diseases, including atherosclerosis. Inhibition of CD40L in apolipoprotein E (Apoe)–deficient (Apoe−/−) mice not only reduced atherosclerosis but also conferred a clinically favorable plaque phenotype that was low in inflammation and high in fibrosis. Blockade of CD40L may not be therapeutically feasible, as long-term inhibition will compromise systemic immune responses. Conceivably, more targeted intervention strategies in CD40 signaling will have less deleterious side effects. We report that deficiency in hematopoietic CD40 reduces atherosclerosis and induces features of plaque stability. To elucidate the role of CD40–tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor (TRAF) signaling in atherosclerosis, we examined disease progression in mice deficient in CD40 and its associated signaling intermediates. Absence of CD40-TRAF6 but not CD40-TRAF2/3/5 signaling abolishes atherosclerosis and confers plaque fibrosis in Apoe−/− mice. Mice with defective CD40-TRAF6 signaling display a reduced blood count of Ly6Chigh monocytes, an impaired recruitment of Ly6C+ monocytes to the arterial wall, and polarization of macrophages toward an antiinflammatory regulatory M2 signature. These data unveil a role for CD40–TRAF6, but not CD40–TRAF2/3/5, interactions in atherosclerosis and establish that targeting specific components of the CD40–CD40L pathway harbors the potential to achieve therapeutic effects in atherosclerosis.
The bloodstream is an important route of dissemination of invading pathogens. Most of the small bloodborne pathogens, like bacteria or viruses, are filtered by the spleen or liver sinusoids and presented to the immune system by dendritic cells (DCs) that probe these filters for the presence of foreign antigen (Ag). However, larger pathogens, like helminths or infectious emboli, that exceed 20 µm are mostly trapped in the vasculature of the lung. To determine if Ag trapped here can be presented to cells of the immune system, we used a model of venous embolism of large particulate Ag (in the form of ovalbumin [OVA]-coated Sepharose beads) in the lung vascular bed. We found that large Ags were presented and cross-presented to CD4 and CD8 T cells in the mediastinal lymph nodes (LNs) but not in the spleen or liver-draining LNs. Dividing T cells returned to the lungs, and a short-lived infiltrate consisting of T cells and DCs formed around trapped Ag. This infiltrate was increased when the Toll-like receptor 4 was stimulated and full DC maturation was induced by CD40 triggering. Under these conditions, OVA-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses, as well as humoral immunity, were induced. The T cell response to embolic Ag was severely reduced in mice depleted of CD11chi cells or Ly6C/G+ cells but restored upon adoptive transfer of Ly6Chi monocytes. We conclude that the lung vascular filter represents a largely unexplored site of immune induction that traps large bloodborne Ags for presentation by monocyte-derived DCs.
Type I diabetes mellitus is caused by autoimmune destruction of pancreatic β cells, and effective treatment of the disease might require rescuing β cell function in a context of reinstalled immune tolerance. Sertoli cells (SCs) are found in the testes, where their main task is to provide local immunological protection and nourishment to developing germ cells. SCs engraft, self-protect, and coprotect allogeneic and xenogeneic grafts from immune destruction in different experimental settings. SCs have also been successfully implanted into the central nervous system to create a regulatory environment to the surrounding tissue which is trophic and counter-inflammatory. We report that isolated neonatal porcine SC, administered alone in highly biocompatible microcapsules, led to diabetes prevention and reversion in the respective 88 and 81% of overtly diabetic (nonobese diabetic [NOD]) mice, with no need for additional β cell or insulin therapy. The effect was associated with restoration of systemic immune tolerance and detection of functional pancreatic islets that consisted of glucose-responsive and insulin-secreting cells. Curative effects by SC were strictly dependent on efficient tryptophan metabolism in the xenografts, leading to TGF-β–dependent emergence of autoantigen-specific regulatory T cells and recovery of β cell function in the diabetic recipients.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a bacterial microorganism that frequently causes serious infection, particularly in children and the elderly. Protection against infection with S. pneumoniae is based mainly on the generation of antibodies to the pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides (caps-PS), but the mechanisms responsible for the generation of anticapsular antibodies remain incompletely understood. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of CD1-restricted T cells in the antibody response to caps-PS. When immunized with Pneumo23, wild-type mice and CD1 knockout mice on BALB/c and C57BL/6 backgrounds generated immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibody responses to soluble caps-PS that were comparable. Similar results were obtained after immunization with heat-inactivated S. pneumoniae. The IgM and IgG antibody response of wild-type mice to Pneumo23 was not affected by an antagonizing monoclonal anti-CD1 antibody treatment. In summary, our data provide evidence that the antibody response to caps-PS is generated independently of CD1 expression.