The innate immune system is equipped with many molecular sensors for microbial DNA/RNA to quickly mount antimicrobial host immune responses. In this paper, we identified DHX9, a DExDc helicase family member, as an important viral dsRNA sensor in myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs). Knockdown of DHX9 expression by small heteroduplex RNA dramatically blocked the ability of mDCs to produce IFN-α/β and proinflammatory cytokines in response to polyinosine-polycytidylic acid, influenza A, and reovirus. DHX9 could specifically bind polyinosine-polycytidylic acid via its double-strand RNA binding motifs. DHX9 interacted with IPS-1 via the HelicC-HA2-DUF and CARD domains of DHX9 and IPS-1, respectively. Knockdown of DHX9 expression in mDCs blocked the activation of NF-κB and IFN regulatory factor 3 by dsRNA. Collectively, these results suggest that DHX9 is an important RNA sensor that is dependent on IPS-1 to sense pathogenic RNA.
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are the professional interferon (IFN)-producing cells of the immune system. pDCs specifically express Toll-like receptor (TLR)7 and TLR9 molecules and produce massive amounts of type I IFN by sensing microbial nucleic acids via TLR7 and TLR9. Here we report that protein kinase C and casein kinase substrate in neurons (PACSIN) 1, is specifically expressed in human and mouse pDCs. Knockdown of PACSIN1 by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) in a human pDC cell line significantly inhibited the type I IFN response of the pDCs to TLR9 ligand. PACSIN1-deficient mice exhibited normal levels of conventional DCs and pDCs, demonstrating that development of pDCs was intact although PACSIN1-deficient pDCs showed reduced levels of IFN-α production in response to both cytosine guanine dinucleotide (CpG)-oligonucleotide (ODN) and virus. In contrast, the production of proinflammatory cytokines in response to those ligands was not affected in PACSIN1-deficient pDCs, suggesting that PACSIN1 represents a pDC-specific adaptor molecule that plays a specific role in the type I IFN signaling cascade.
Interferon; Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs); TLR9
Although CD8 T cell–mediated immunosuppression has been a well-known phenomenon during the last three decades, the nature of primary CD8 T suppressor cells and the mechanism underlying their generation remain enigmatic. We demonstrated that naive CD8 T cells primed with allogeneic CD40 ligand–activated plasmacytoid dendritic cells (DC)2 differentiated into CD8 T cells that displayed poor secondary proliferative and cytolytic responses. By contrast, naive CD8 T cells primed with allogeneic CD40 ligand–activated monocyte-derived DCs (DC1) differentiated into CD8 T cells, which proliferated to secondary stimulation and killed allogeneic target cells. Unlike DC1-primed CD8 T cells that produced large amounts of interferon (IFN)-γ upon restimulation, DC2-primed CD8 T cells produced significant amounts of interleukin (IL)-10, low IFN-γ, and no IL-4, IL-5, nor transforming growth factor (TGF)-β. The addition of anti–IL-10–neutralizing monoclonal antibodies during DC2 and CD8 T cell coculture, completely blocked the generation of IL-10–producing anergic CD8 T cells. IL-10–producing CD8 T cells strongly inhibit the allospecific proliferation of naive CD8 T cells to monocytes, and mature and immature DCs. This inhibition was mediated by IL-10, but not by TGF-β. IL-10–producing CD8 T cells could inhibit the bystander proliferation of naive CD8 T cells, provided that they were restimulated nearby to produce IL-10. IL-10–producing CD8 T cells could not inhibit the proliferation of DC1-preactivated effector T cells. This study demonstrates that IL-10–producing CD8 T cells are regulatory T cells, which provides a cellular basis for the phenomenon of CD8 T cell–mediated immunosuppression and suggests a role for plasmacytoid DC2 in immunological tolerance.
dendritic cells; T regulatory cells; CD8 T cells; immunosuppression; IL-10
Recognition of self-peptide–MHC complexes by high-affinity TCRs and CD28 signaling are critical for the development of forkhead-winged helix box transcription factor 3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) in thymus. However, the type of APCs that are responsible for selecting Tregs has remained unclear. To dissect the role of hematopoietic-derived APCs (HCs) and thymic epithelial cells (TECs) in Treg selection, we constructed bone marrow chimeras with disrupted CD28/B7 signaling in the HC or TEC compartment and analyzed the generation of Tregs in the thymus. We found that both HCs and TECs were independently able to fully reconstitute the Treg population in the thymus of bone marrow chimeras. In addition, Treg selection requires the TCR signal and CD28 costimulation presented in cis on the same APC type in vivo. This study demonstrates a new role, to our knowledge, for HCs in the development of Tregs in thymus.
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the fifth most common cause of cancer death among women. Despite its immunogenicity, effective antitumor responses are limited, due, in part, to the presence of forkhead box protein 3–positive (Foxp3+) T regulatory (Treg) cells in the tumor microenvironment. However, the mechanisms that regulate the accumulation and the suppressive function of these Foxp3+ Treg cells are poorly understood. Here, we found that the majority of Foxp3+ Treg cells accumulating in the tumor microenvironment of EOCs belong to the subset of Foxp3+ Treg cells expressing inducible costimulator (ICOS). The expansion and the suppressive function of these cells were strictly dependent on ICOS-L costimulation provided by tumor plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC). Accordingly, ICOS+Foxp3+Treg cells were found to localize in close vicinity of tumor pDCs, and their number directly correlated with the numbers of pDCs in the tumors. Furthermore, pDCs and ICOS+ Foxp3+Treg cells were found to be strong predictors for disease progression in patients with ovarian cancer, with ICOS+Treg cell subset being a stronger predictor than total Foxp3+Treg cells. These findings suggest an essential role for pDCs and ICOS-L in immunosuppression mediated by ICOS+ Foxp3+ Treg cells, leading to tumor progression in ovarian cancer.
The development of distinct dendritic cell (DC) subsets is regulated by cytokines. Flt3-ligand- (Flt3L) is necessary for plasmacytoid (pDC) and conventional DC (cDC) maturation. GM-CSF inhibits Flt3L-driven pDC production while promoting cDC growth. We show that GM-CSF selectively utilizes STAT5 to block Flt3L-dependent pDC development from the lineage-negative, Flt3+ (lin−/Flt3+) bone marrow subset. STAT3, by contrast, is necessary for expansion of DC progenitors but not pDC maturation. In vivo, STAT5 suppresses pDC formation during repopulation of the DC compartment following bone marrow ablation. GM-CSF/STAT5 signaling rapidly extinguishes pDC-related gene expression in lin−/Flt3+ progenitors. Inspection of the Irf8 promoter revealed that STAT5 is recruited during GM-CSF-mediated suppression, indicating STAT5 directly inhibits transcription of this critical pDC gene. Our results therefore show that GM-CSF controls the production of pDCs by employing STAT5 to suppress IRF8 and the pDC transcriptional network in lin−/Flt3+ progenitors.
plasmacytoid dendritic cells; GM-CSF; STAT5; development; FLT3
Whether thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) directly induces potent human CD4+ T cell proliferation and Th2 differentiation is unknown. We report that resting and activated CD4+ T cells expressed high levels of IL-7 receptor a chain but very low levels of TSLP receptor (TSLPR) when compared with levels expressed in myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs). This was confirmed by immunohistology and flow cytometry analyses showing that only a subset of mDCs, with more activated phenotypes, expressed TSLPR in human tonsils in vivo. IL-7 induced strong STAT1, -3, and -5 activation and promoted the proliferation of naive CD4+ T cells in the presence of anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 monoclonal antibodies, whereas TSLP induced weak STAT5 activation, associated with marginally improved cell survival and proliferation, but failed to induce cell expansion and Th2 differentiation. The effect of TSLP on enhancing strong human T cell proliferation was observed only when sorted naive CD4+ T cells were cultured with mDCs at levels as low as 0.5%. TSLP could only induce naive CD4+ T cells to differentiate into Th2 cells in the presence of allogeneic mDCs. These results demonstrate that IL-7 and TSLP use different mechanisms to regulate human CD4+ T cell homeostasis.
Previous studies suggest that thymus produces a homogenous population of natural regulatory T cells (TR) that express a transcriptional factor Foxp3 and control autoimmunity through a cell contact-dependent mechanism. We found two subsets of Foxp3+ natural TR defined by ICOS-expression in the human thymus and periphery. While the ICOS+Foxp3+ TR use IL-10 to suppress dendritic cell function and TGF-β to suppress T cell function, the ICOS−Foxp3+ TR use TGF-β only. The survival and proliferation of the two subsets of TR are differentially regulated by signaling through ICOS or CD28 respectively. We suggest that the selection of natural TR in thymus is coupled with TR differentiation into two subsets imprinted with different cytokine expression potentials and use both cell-contact-dependent and independent mechanisms for immunosuppression in periphery.
Recent advances in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of atopy have shed light on potential targets for the development of new therapies for allergic diseases. In this issue of the JCI, Seshasayee et al. provide direct in vivo evidence that OX40 has critical roles in allergic inflammation mediated by thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) (see the related article beginning on page 3868). Blockade of interactions between OX40 on Th2 cells and OX40 ligand (OX40L) on TSLP-activated DCs using an OX40L-specific monoclonal antibody, inhibited Th2 cell–mediated immune responses in both mouse and nonhuman primate models of allergic inflammation. The results point to potential therapeutic approaches to targeting the cellular and molecular mechanism underlying TSLP-mediated allergic inflammation.
The human plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC) receptor BDCA2 forms a complex with the adaptor FcεR1γ to activate an ITAM-signaling cascade. BDCA2 receptor signaling negatively regulates the TLR7/9-mediated type 1 IFN responses in pDCs, which may play a key role in controlling self-DNA/RNA–induced autoimmunity. We report in this article that CD2-associated adaptor protein (CD2AP), which is highly expressed in human pDCs, positively regulates BDCA2/FcεR1γ receptor signaling. By immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry analyses, we found that CD2AP bound to SHIP1. Knockdown of CD2AP or SHIP1 reduced the BDCA2/FcεR1γ-mediated ITAM signaling and blocked its inhibition of TLR9-mediated type 1 IFN production. Knockdown of CD2AP or SHIP1 also enhanced the ubiquitination and degradation of Syk and FcεR1γ that was mediated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cbl. This led us to discover that, upon BDCA2 cross-linking, the CD2AP/SHIP1 complex associated with Cbl and inhibited its E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. In human primary pDCs, cross-linking of the BDCA2/FcεR1γ complex induced the recruitment of the CD2AP/SHIP1/Cbl complex to the plasma membrane of pDCs, where it colocalized with the BDCA2/FcεR1γ complex. Therefore, CD2AP positively regulates BDCA2/FcεR1γ signaling by forming a complex with SHIP1 to inhibit the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cbl.
Allergic diseases and asthma has long been hypothesized as the results of the dysregulation of type2 immune responses to environmental allergens. Recent progresses in characterizing the proinflammatory IL-17 cytokine family have added additional layer of complexity on the regulation of allergic inflammation. The delineation of IL-17-producing CD4+ T cell subset (Th17) has led to the revision of Th1/Th2 paradigm and impacts our perspectives on the basis of chronic tissue inflammation. In addition, the distinctive expression patterns and biological activities of individual IL-17 cytokine member may play different roles in the regulation of the pathogenesis of allergic diseases. Understanding the cellular source and targeting cells of IL-17 cytokine family member will provide the basis to elucidate the cellular mechanism underlying allergic inflammation and improve our therapeutic approaches for allergy.
Human thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a novel epithelial cell–derived cytokine, which induces dendritic cell (DC)-mediated CD4+ T cell responses with a proallergic phenotype. Although the participation of CD8+ T cells in allergic inflammation is well documented, their functional properties as well as the pathways leading to their generation remain poorly understood. Here, we show that TSLP-activated CD11c+ DCs potently activate and expand naive CD8+ T cells, and induce their differentiation into interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-13–producing effectors exhibiting poor cytolytic activity. Additional CD40L triggering of TSLP-activated DCs induced CD8+ T cells with potent cytolytic activity, producing large amounts of interferon (IFN)-γ, while retaining their capacity to produce IL-5 and IL-13. These data further support the role of TSLP as initial trigger of allergic T cell responses and suggest that CD40L-expressing cells may act in combination with TSLP to amplify and sustain pro-allergic responses and cause tissue damage by promoting the generation of IFN-γ–producing cytotoxic effectors.
TSLP; CD11c+ DC; CD8+ T lymphocyte; allergy; cytotoxicity
The recognition of pathogenic DNA is important to the initiation of antiviral responses. Here we report the identification of DDX41, a member of the DEXDc family of helicases, as an intracellular DNA sensor in myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs). Knockdown of DDX41 expression by short hairpin RNA blocked the ability of mDCs to mount type I interferon and cytokine responses to DNA and DNA viruses. Overexpression of both DDX41 and the membrane-associated adaptor STING together had a synergistic effect in promoting Ifnb promoter activity. DDX41 bound both DNA and STING and localized together with STING in the cytosol. Knockdown of DDX41 expression blocked activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase TBK1 and the transcription factors NF-κB and IRF3 by B-form DNA. Our results suggest that DDX41 is an additional DNA sensor that depends on STING to sense pathogenic DNA.
Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) senses microbial DNA in the endosomes of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) and triggers MyD88-dependent type I interferon (IFN) responses. To better understand TLR9 biology in pDCs, we established a yeast two-hybrid library for the identification of TLR9-interacting proteins. Here, we report that an IFN-inducible protein, phospholipid scramblase 1 (PLSCR1), interacts with TLR9 in pDCs. Knockdown of PLSCR1 expression by siRNA in human pDC cell line led to a 60-70% reduction of IFN-α responses following CpG-ODN (oligodeoxynucleotide) stimulation. Primary pDCs from PLSCR1-deficient mice produced lower amount of type 1 IFN than pDCs from the wild-type mice in response to CpG-ODN, herpes simplex virus and influenza A virus. Following CpG-A stimulation, there were much lower amounts of TLR9 in the early endosomes together with CpG-A in pDCs from PLSCR1-deficient mice. Our study demonstrates that PLSCR1 is a TLR9-interacting protein that plays an important role in pDC's type 1 IFN responses by regulating TLR9 trafficking to the endosomal compartment.
PLSCR1; TLR9; IRF7; pDC; IFN-α signaling
Plasmacytoid predendritic cells or type 1 interferon (IFN)-producing cells (IPCs) have recently been identified in mice. Although culture systems giving rise to different murine dendritic cell subsets have been established, the developmental regulation of murine plasmacytoid IPCs and the culture conditions leading to their generation remain unknown. Here we show that large numbers of over 40% pure CD11c+CD11b−B220+Gr-1+ IPCs can be generated from mouse bone marrow cultures with FLT3-ligand. By contrast GM-CSF or TNF-α, which promote the generation of CD11c+CD11b+B220− myeloid DCs, block completely the development of IPCs. IPCs generated display similar features to human IPCs, such as the plasmacytoid morphology, the ability to produce large amounts of IFN-α in responses to herpes simplex virus, and the capacity to respond to ligands for Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR-9; CpG ODN 1668), but not to ligands for TLR-4 (lipopolysaccharide [LPS]). Unlike human IPCs which produce little IL-12p70, mouse IPCs produce IL-12p70 in response to CpG ODN 1668 and herpes simplex virus. This study demonstrates that the development of murine CD11c+CD11b−B220+Gr-1+ IPCs and CD11c+CD11b+B220− myeloid DCs is differentially regulated by FLT3-ligand and granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Human IPCs and mouse IPCs display different ability to produce IL-12p70. Large numbers of mouse IPCs can now be obtained from total bone marrow culture.
pre-DC2; IPC; T lymphocyte; antiviral immune response; innate immunity
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are ancient microbial pattern recognition receptors highly conserved from Drosophila to humans. To investigate if subsets of human dendritic cell precursors (pre-DC), including monocytes (pre-DC1), plasmacytoid DC precursors (pre-DC2), and CD11c+ immature DCs (imDCs) are developed to recognize different microbes or microbial antigens, we studied their TLR expression and responses to microbial antigens. We demonstrate that whereas monocytes preferentially express TLR 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8, plasmacytoid pre-DC strongly express TLR 7 and 9. In accordance with these TLR expression profiles, monocytes respond to the known microbial ligands for TLR2 (peptidoglycan [PGN], lipoteichoic acid) and TLR4 (lipopolysaccharide), by producing tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6. In contrast, plasmacytoid pre-DCs only respond to the microbial TLR9-ligand, CpG-ODNs (oligodeoxynucleotides [ODNs] containing unmethylated CpG motifs), by producing IFN-α. CD11c+ imDCs preferentially express TLR 1, 2, and 3 and respond to TLR 2-ligand PGN by producing large amounts of TNF-α, and to viral double-stranded RNA-like molecule poly I:C, by producing IFN-α and IL-12. The expression of distinct sets of TLRs and the corresponding difference in reactivity to microbial molecules among subsets of pre-DCs and imDCs support the concept that they have developed through distinct evolutionary pathways to recognize different microbial antigens.
immunity,; natural; bacteria; receptors, immunologic; monocytes; cytokines
Protracted inflammation leading to dysregulation of effector T-cell responses represents a common feature of a wide range of autoimmune diseases. The interleukin-12 (IL-12)/T-helper 1 (Th1) pathway was thought to be responsible for the pathogenesis of multiple chronic inflammatory diseases, including psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, or multiple sclerosis, mainly through their production of interferon-γ and its effects on macrophage activation and chemokine production. However, this initial concept of T-cell-mediated chronic inflammation required an adjustment with the discovery of an IL-12-related cytokine, designated IL-23. IL-23 was rapidly recognized for its involvement in the establishment of chronic inflammation and in the development of a Th cell subset producing IL-17, designated Th17, which is distinct from the previously reported Th1 and Th2 populations. This review aims to describe the characterization of IL-23 and its receptor, its biological activities, as well as its involvement in the development of human Th17 cells and autoimmunity.
IL-23; Th17 cells; inflammation; autoimmunity; human; cytokines
Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) has been recently implicated as a key molecule for initiating allergic inflammation at the epithelial cell-dendritic cell (DC) interface. In humans, aberrant TSLP expression is observed in allergic tissues, such as lesional skins of atopic dermatitis, lungs of asthmatics, nasal mucosa of atopic rhinitis and nasal polyps, and ocular surface of allergic keratoconjunctivitis. TSLP is produced predominantly by damaged epithelial cells and stimulates myeloid DCs (mDCs). TSLP-activated mDCs can promote the differentiation of naïve CD4+ T cells into a Th2 phenotype and the expansion of CD4+ Th2 memory cells in a unique manner dependent on OX40L, one of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily members with Th2-promoting function, and lack of production of IL-12. From a genetic point of view, multiple genome-wide association studies have repeatedly identified the TSLP gene as one of the loci associated with susceptibility to allergic diseases. Thus, TSLP is a rational therapeutic target for the treatment of allergic disorders. Elucidating the mechanisms that regulate TSLP expression and the effects of TSLP on orchestrating the immune response toward a Th2 phenotype is essential for developing anti-TSLP therapy.
allergic inflammation; dendritic cells (DCs); OX40L; Th2 cells; thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP)
Human myeloma are incurable hematologic cancers of immunoglobulin-secreting plasma cells in bone marrow. Although malignant plasma cells can be almost eradicated from the patient's bone marrow by chemotherapy, drug-resistant myeloma precursor cells persist in an apparently cryptic compartment. Controversy exists as to whether myeloma precursor cells are hematopoietic stem cells, pre–B cells, germinal center (GC) B cells, circulating memory cells, or plasma blasts. This situation reflects what has been a general problem in cancer research for years: how to compare a tumor with its normal counterpart. Although several studies have demonstrated somatically mutated immunoglobulin variable region genes in multiple myeloma, it is unclear if myeloma cells are derived from GCs or post-GC memory B cells. Immunoglobulin (Ig)D-secreting myeloma have two unique immunoglobulin features, including a biased λ light chain expression and a Cμ–Cδ isotype switch. Using surface markers, we have previously isolated a population of surface IgM−IgD+CD38+ GC B cells that carry the most impressive somatic mutation in their IgV genes. Here we show that this population of GC B cells displays the two molecular features of IgD-secreting myeloma cells: a biased λ light chain expression and a Cμ–Cδ isotype switch. The demonstration of these peculiar GC B cells to differentiate into IgD-secreting plasma cells but not memory B cells both in vivo and in vitro suggests that IgD-secreting plasma and myeloma cells are derived from GCs.
Allergens are capable of polarizing the T cell immune response toward a Th2 cytokine profile in a process that is mediated by dendritic cells (DCs). Proteases derived from Aspergillus species (Aspergillus proteases; AP) have been shown to induce a Th2-like immune response when administered directly to the airway and without adjuvant or prior priming immunizations at sites remote from the lung in models of allergic airway disease. To explore mechanisms that underlie the Th2 immune response, we have investigated the effect of AP on DC function. We found that human DCs derived from CD14+ monocytes from healthy donors underwent partial maturation when incubated with AP. Naive allogeneic T cells primed with AP-activated DCs proliferated and displayed enhanced production of IL-4 and reduced expression of IFN-γ as compared with naive T cells primed with LPS-activated DCs. Global gene expression analysis of DCs revealed relatively low expression of IL-12p40 in AP-activated DCs as compared with those activated by LPS, and this was confirmed at the protein level by ELISA. Exogenous IL-12p70 added to cocultures of DCs and T cells resulted in reduced IL-4 and increased IFN-γ expression when DCs were activated with AP. When the proteolytic activity of AP was neutralized by chemical inactivation it failed to up-regulate costimulatory molecules on DCs, and these DCs did not prime a Th2 response in naive T cells. These findings provide a mechanism for explaining how proteolytically active allergens could preferentially induce Th2 responses through limited maturation of DCs with reduced production of IL-12.
The innate immune system detects viral infection predominantly by sensing viral nucleic acids. We report the identification of a viral sensor, consisting of RNA helicases DDX1, DDX21, and DHX36, and the adaptor molecule TRIF, by isolation and sequencing of poly I:C-binding proteins in myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs). Knockdown of each helicase or TRIF by shRNA blocked the ability of mDCs to mount type I interferon (IFN) and cytokine responses to poly I:C, influenza A virus, and reovirus. Although DDX1 bound poly I:C via its Helicase A domain, DHX36 and DDX21 bound the TIR domain of TRIF via their HA2-DUF and PRK domains, respectively. This sensor was localized within the cytosol, independent of the endosomes. Thus, the DDX1-DDX21-DHX36 complex represents a dsRNA sensor that uses the TRIF pathway to activate type I IFN responses in the cytosol of mDCs.
DC play central roles in priming both innate and adaptive immune responses. Multiple DC subsets have been identified on the basis of their phenotype and function. Plasmacytoid DC (pDC) are professional IFN-producing cells that play an essential role in anti-viral immunity. A series of recent studies demonstrates that the regulation of pDC development is different from other types of DC. In this issue of the European Journal of Immunology, new insight is provided into how human pDC development is regulated by various transcription factors, in particular by the Ets family protein Spi-B and E-box protein E2-2.
DC; Developmental immunology; Transcription factors
In an immune system, dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) as well as powerful sensors of danger signals. When DCs receive signals from infection and tissue stress, they immediately activate and instruct the initiation of appropriate immune responses to T cells. However, it has remained unclear how the tissue microenvironment in a steady state shapes the function of DCs. Recent many works on thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), an epithelial cell-derived cytokine that has the strong ability to activate DCs, provide evidence that TSLP mediates crosstalk between epithelial cells and DCs, involving in DC-mediated immune homeostasis. Here, we review recent progress made on how TSLP expressed within the thymus and peripheral lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues regulates DC-mediated T-cell development in the thymus and T-cell homeostasis in the periphery.
DC (Dendritic cell); homeostasis; regulatory T cell; thymus; TSLP
Isolation of large numbers of surface IgD+CD38− naive and surface IgD−CD38− memory B cells allowed us to study the intrinsic differences between these two populations. Upon in vitro culture with IL-2 and IL-10, human CD40–activated memory B cells undergo terminal differentiation into plasma cells more readily than do naive B cells, as they give rise to five- to eightfold more plasma cells and three- to fourfold more secreted immunoglobulins. By contrast, naive B cells give rise to a larger number of nondifferentiated B blasts. Saturating concentrations of CD40 ligand, which fully inhibit naive B cell differentiation, only partially affect that of memory B cells. The propensity of memory B cells to undergo terminal plasma cell differentiation may explain the extensive extra follicular plasma cell reaction and the limited germinal center reaction observed in vivo after secondary immunizations, which contrast with primary responses in carrier-primed animals. This unique feature of memory B cells may confer two important capacities to the immune system: (a) the rapid generation of a large number of effector cells to efficiently eliminate the pathogens; and (b) the prevention of the overexpansion and chronic accumulation of one particular memory B cell clone that would freeze the available peripheral repertoire.
To identify genes expressed by a specific subset of dendritic cells found in vivo a polymerase chain reaction–based cDNA subtraction technique was applied to the recently described germinal center dendritic cells. A novel member of the disintegrin metalloproteinase family was cloned which comprises a not typical zinc-chelating catalytic site most similar to a bacterial metalloproteinase. Dendritic cell precursors or immature dendritic cells express no or low levels of the message. It is induced to high levels upon spontaneous or CD40-dependent maturation and in a mixed lymphocyte reaction. In situ hybridization showed distinct expression of this gene in the germinal center. This, together with the findings that certain disintegrin metalloproteinases regulate the activity of tumor necrosis factor α and that metalloproteinases have also been implicated in FasL processing, suggest that this novel molecule may play an important role in dendritic cell function and their interactions with germinal center T cells.