A single G protein–coupled receptor (GPCR) can activate multiple signaling cascades based on the binding of different ligands. The biological relevance of this feature in immune regulation has not been evaluated. The chemokine-binding GPCR CXCR3 is preferentially expressed on CD4+ T cells, and canonically binds 3 structurally related chemokines: CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11. Here we have shown that CXCL10/CXCR3 interactions drive effector Th1 polarization via STAT1, STAT4, and STAT5 phosphorylation, while CXCL11/CXCR3 binding induces an immunotolerizing state that is characterized by IL-10hi (Tr1) and IL-4hi (Th2) cells, mediated via p70 kinase/mTOR in STAT3- and STAT6-dependent pathways. CXCL11 binds CXCR3 with a higher affinity than CXCL10, suggesting that CXCL11 has the potential to restrain inflammatory autoimmunity. We generated a CXCL11-Ig fusion molecule and evaluated its use in the EAE model of inflammatory autoimmune disease. Administration of CXCL11-Ig during the first episode of relapsing EAE in SJL/J mice not only led to rapid remission, but also prevented subsequent relapse. Using GFP-expressing effector CD4+ T cells, we observed that successful therapy was associated with reduced accumulation of these cells at the autoimmune site. Finally, we showed that very low doses of CXCL11 rapidly suppress signs of EAE in C57BL/6 mice lacking functional CXCL11.
A hallmark of immune cell trafficking is directional guidance via gradients of soluble or surface bound chemokines. Vascular endothelial cells produce, transport and deposit either their own chemokines or chemokines produced by the underlying stroma. Endothelial heparan sulfate (HS) was suggested to be a critical scaffold for these chemokine pools, but it is unclear how steep chemokine gradients are sustained between the lumenal and ablumenal aspects of blood vessels. Addressing this question by semi-quantitative immunostaining of HS moieties around blood vessels with a pan anti-HS IgM mAb, we found a striking HS enrichment in the basal lamina of resting and inflamed post capillary skin venules, as well as in high endothelial venules (HEVs) of lymph nodes. Staining of skin vessels with a glycocalyx probe further suggested that their lumenal glycocalyx contains much lower HS density than their basolateral extracellular matrix (ECM). This polarized HS pattern was observed also in isolated resting and inflamed microvascular dermal cells. Notably, progressive skin inflammation resulted in massive ECM deposition and in further HS enrichment around skin post capillary venules and their associated pericytes. Inflammation-dependent HS enrichment was not compromised in mice deficient in the main HS degrading enzyme, heparanase. Our results suggest that the blood vasculature patterns steep gradients of HS scaffolds between their lumenal and basolateral endothelial aspects, and that inflammatory processes can further enrich the HS content nearby inflamed vessels. We propose that chemokine gradients between the lumenal and ablumenal sides of vessels could be favored by these sharp HS scaffold gradients.
The hallmark of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the relentless accumulation of mature lymphocytes, mostly due to their decreased apoptosis. CD74 was recently shown to serve as a survival receptor on CLL cells. In this study, we show that stimulation of CD74 with its natural ligand, migration inhibitory factor, initiates a signaling cascade that results in upregulation of TAp63, which directly regulates CLL survival. In addition, TAp63 expression elevates the expression of the integrin VLA-4, particularly during the advanced stage of the disease. Blocking of CD74, TAp63, or VLA-4 inhibits the in vivo homing of CLL cells to the bone marrow (BM). Thus, CD74 and its target genes TAp63 and VLA-4 facilitate migration of CLL cells back to the BM, where they interact with the supportive BM environment that rescues them from apoptosis. These results could form the basis of novel therapeutic strategies aimed at blocking homing of CLL cells in their return to the BM and attenuating their survival.
Integrin heterodimers acquire high affinity to endothelial ligands by extensive conformational changes in both their α and β subunits. These heterodimers are maintained in an inactive state by inter-subunit constraints. Changes in the cytoplasmic interface of the integrin heterodimer (referred to as inside-out integrin activation) can only partially remove these constraints. Full integrin activation is achieved when both inter-subunit constraints and proper rearrangements of the integrin headpiece by its extracellular ligand (outside-in activation) are temporally coupled. A universal regulator of these integrin rearrangements is talin1, a key integrin-actin adaptor that regulates integrin conformation and anchors ligand-occupied integrins to the cortical cytoskeleton. The arrest of rolling leukocytes at target vascular sites depends on rapid activation of their α4 and β2 integrins at endothelial contacts by chemokines displayed on the endothelial surface. These chemotactic cytokines can signal within milliseconds through specialized Gi-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and Gi-triggered GTPases on the responding leukocytes. Some chemokine signals can alter integrin conformation by releasing constraints on integrin extension, while other chemokines activate integrins to undergo conformational activation mainly after ligand binding. Both of these modalities involve talin1 activation. In this opinion article, I propose that distinct chemokine signals induce variable strengths of associations between talin1 and different target integrins. Weak interactions of the integrin cytoplasmic tail with talin1 (the cytoplasmic integrin ligand) dissociate unless the extracellular ligand can simultaneously occupy the integrin headpiece and transmit, within milliseconds, proper allosteric changes across the integrin heterodimer back to the tail-talin1 complex. The fate of this bi-directional occupancy of integrins by both their extracellular and intracellular ligands is likely to benefit from immobilization of both ligands to cortical cytoskeletal elements. To properly anchor talin1 onto the integrin tail, a second integrin partner, Kindlin-3 may be also required, although an evidence that both partners can simultaneously bind the same integrin heterodimer is still missing. Once linked to the cortical actin cytoskeleton, the multi-occupied integrin complex can load weak forces, which deliver additional allosteric changes to the integrin headpiece resulting in further bond strengthening. Surface immobilized chemokines are superior to their soluble counterparts in driving this bi-directional occupancy process, presumably due to their ability to facilitate local co-occupancy of individual integrin heterodimers with talin1, Kindlin-3 and surface-bound extracellular ligands.
adhesion; migration; endothelium; cytoskeleton; shear stress; immunity
Endothelial chemokines are instrumental for integrin-mediated lymphocyte adhesion and transendothelial migration (TEM). By dissecting how chemokines trigger lymphocyte integrins to support shear-resistant motility on and across cytokine-stimulated endothelial barriers, we found a critical role for high-affinity (HA) LFA-1 integrin in lymphocyte crawling on activated endothelium. Endothelial-presented chemokines triggered HA-LFA-1 and adhesive filopodia at numerous submicron dots scattered underneath crawling lymphocytes. Shear forces applied to endothelial-bound lymphocytes dramatically enhanced filopodia density underneath crawling lymphocytes. A fraction of the adhesive filopodia invaded the endothelial cells prior to and during TEM and extended large subluminal leading edge containing dots of HA-LFA-1 occupied by subluminal ICAM-1. Memory T cells generated more frequent invasive filopodia and transmigrated more rapidly than their naive counterparts. We propose that shear forces exerted on HA-LFA-1 trigger adhesive and invasive filopodia at apical endothelial surfaces and thereby promote lymphocyte crawling and probing for TEM sites.
Leukocyte and platelet integrins rapidly alter their affinity and adhesiveness in response to various activation (inside-out) signals. A rare leukocyte adhesion deficiency (LAD), LAD-III, is associated with severe defects in leukocyte and platelet integrin activation. We report two new LAD cases in which lymphocytes, neutrophils, and platelets share severe defects in β1, β2, and β3 integrin activation. Patients were both homozygous for a splice junction mutation in their CalDAG-GEFI gene, which is a key Rap-1/2 guanine exchange factor (GEF). Both mRNA and protein levels of the GEF were diminished in LAD lymphocytes, neutrophils, and platelets. Consequently, LAD-III platelets failed to aggregate because of an impaired αIIbβ3 activation by key agonists. β2 integrins on LAD-III neutrophils were unable to mediate leukocyte arrest on TNFα-stimulated endothelium, despite normal selectin-mediated rolling. In situ subsecond activation of neutrophil β2 integrin adhesiveness by surface-bound chemoattractants and of primary T lymphocyte LFA-1 by the CXCL12 chemokine was abolished. Chemokine inside-out signals also failed to stimulate lymphocyte LFA-1 extension and high affinity epitopes. Chemokine-triggered VLA-4 adhesiveness in T lymphocytes was partially defective as well. These studies identify CalDAG-GEFI as a critical regulator of inside-out integrin activation in human T lymphocytes, neutrophils, and platelets.
The capacity of integrins to mediate adhesiveness is modulated by their cytoplasmic associations. In this study, we describe a novel mechanism by which α4-integrin adhesiveness is regulated by the cytoskeletal adaptor paxillin. A mutation of the α4 tail that disrupts paxillin binding, α4(Y991A), reduced talin association to the α4β1 heterodimer, impaired integrin anchorage to the cytoskeleton, and suppressed α4β1-dependent capture and adhesion strengthening of Jurkat T cells to VCAM-1 under shear stress. The mutant retained intrinsic avidity to soluble or bead-immobilized VCAM-1, supported normal cell spreading at short-lived contacts, had normal α4-microvillar distribution, and responded to inside-out signals. This is the first demonstration that cytoskeletal anchorage of an integrin enhances the mechanical stability of its adhesive bonds under strain and, thereby, promotes its ability to mediate leukocyte adhesion under physiological shear stress conditions.
Leukocyte trafficking to sites of inflammation follows a defined temporal pattern, and evidence suggests that initial neutrophil transendothelial migration modifies endothelial cell phenotype. We tested the hypothesis that preconditioning of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) by neutrophils would also modify the subsequent transendothelial migration of T lymphocytes across cytokine-stimulated HUVEC in an in vitro flow assay. Using fluorescence microscopy, preconditioning of HUVEC by neutrophils was observed to significantly reduce the extent of subsequent stromal cell–derived factor-1α (SDF-1α [CXCL12])-mediated T lymphocyte transendothelial migration, without reducing accumulation. In contrast, recruitment of a second wave of neutrophils was unaltered. Conditioned medium harvested after transendothelial migration of neutrophils or supernatants from stimulated neutrophils mediated a similar blocking effect, which was negated using a specific neutrophil elastase inhibitor. Furthermore, T lymphocyte transendothelial migration was inhibited by treatment of HUVEC with purified neutrophil elastase, which selectively cleaved the amino terminus of HUVEC-bound SDF-1α, which is required for its chemotactic activity. The reduction in T lymphocyte transendothelial migration was not observed using a different chemokine, ELC (CCL19), and was not reversed by replenishment of SDF-1α, indicating endothelial retention of the inactivated chemokine. In summary, transmigrating neutrophils secrete localized elastase that is protected from plasma inhibitors, and thereby modulate trafficking of other leukocyte subsets by altering the endothelial-associated chemotactic activities.
endothelium; chemokine; inflammation; lymphocyte; imaging; diapedesis
The chemokine stromal cell–derived factor–1 (SDF-1) and its receptor, CXCR4, play a major role in migration, retention, and development of hematopoietic progenitors in the bone marrow. We report the direct involvement of atypical PKC-ζ in SDF-1 signaling in immature human CD34+-enriched cells and in leukemic pre-B acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) G2 cells. Chemotaxis, cell polarization, and adhesion of CD34+ cells to bone marrow stromal cells were found to be PKC-ζ dependent. Overexpression of PKC-ζ in G2 and U937 cells led to increased directional motility to SDF-1. Interestingly, impaired SDF-1–induced migration of the pre-B ALL cell line B1 correlated with reduced PKC-ζ expression. SDF-1 triggered PKC-ζ phosphorylation, translocation to the plasma membrane, and kinase activity. Furthermore we identified PI3K as an activator of PKC-ζ, and Pyk-2 and ERK1/2 as downstream targets of PKC-ζ. SDF-1–induced proliferation and MMP-9 secretion also required PKC-ζ activation. Finally, we showed that in vivo engraftment, but not homing, of human CD34+-enriched cells to the bone marrow of NOD/SCID mice was PKC-ζ dependent and that injection of mice with inhibitory PKC-ζ pseudosubstrate peptides resulted in mobilization of murine progenitors. Our results demonstrate a central role for PKC-ζ in SDF-1–dependent regulation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell motility and development.
L-selectin is a key lectin essential for leukocyte capture and rolling on vessel walls. Functional adhesion of L-selectin requires a minimal threshold of hydrodynamic shear. Using high temporal resolution videomicroscopy, we now report that L-selectin engages its ligands through exceptionally labile adhesive bonds (tethers) even below this shear threshold. These tethers share a lifetime of 4 ms on distinct physiological ligands, two orders of magnitude shorter than the lifetime of the P-selectin–PSGL-1 bond. Below threshold shear, tether duration is not shortened by elevated shear stresses. However, above the shear threshold, selectin tethers undergo 14-fold stabilization by shear-driven leukocyte transport. Notably, the cytoplasmic tail of L-selectin contributes to this stabilization only above the shear threshold. These properties are not shared by P-selectin– or VLA-4–mediated tethers. L-selectin tethers appear adapted to undergo rapid avidity enhancement by cellular transport, a specialized mechanism not used by any other known adhesion receptor.
selectin; rolling; lymph nodes; aggregation; shear flow
L-selectin is a leukocyte lectin that mediates leukocyte capture and rolling in the vasculature. The cytoplasmic domain of L-selectin has been shown to regulate leukocyte rolling. In this study, the regulatory mechanisms by which this domain controls L-selectin adhesiveness were investigated. We report that an L-selectin mutant generated by truncation of the COOH-terminal 11 residues of L-selectin tail, which impairs association with the cytoskeletal protein α-actinin, could capture leukocytes to glycoprotein L-selectin ligands under physiological shear flow. However, the conversion of initial tethers into rolling was impaired by this partial tail truncation, and was completely abolished by a further four-residue truncation of the L-selectin tail. Physical anchorage of both cell-free tail-truncated mutants within a substrate fully rescued their adhesive deficiencies. Microkinetic analysis of full-length and truncated L-selectin–mediated rolling at millisecond temporal resolution suggests that the lifetime of unstressed L-selectin tethers is unaffected by cytoplasmic tail truncation. However, cytoskeletal anchorage of L-selectin stabilizes the selectin tether by reducing the sensitivity of its dissociation rate to increasing shear forces. Low force sensitivity (reactive compliance) of tether lifetime is crucial for selectins to mediate leukocyte rolling under physiological shear stresses. This is the first demonstration that reduced reactive compliance of L-selectin tethers is regulated by cytoskeletal anchorage, in addition to intrinsic mechanical properties of the selectin–carbohydrate bond.
selectins; inflammation; rolling; leukocyte; cytoskeleton
The mechanism by which immature B cells are sequestered from encountering foreign antigens present in lymph nodes or sites of inflammation, before their final maturation in the spleen, has not been elucidated. We show here that immature B cells fail to home to the lymph nodes. These cells can actively exclude themselves from antigen-enriched sites by downregulating their integrin-mediated adhesion to the extracellular matrix protein, fibronectin. This inhibition is mediated by interferon γ secretion. Perturbation of interferon γ activity in vivo leads to the homing of immature B cells to the lymph nodes. This is the first example of autocrine regulation of immune cell migration to sites of foreign antigen presentation.
lymph nodes; adhesion; migration; interferon γ; invariant chain−/− mice
Leukocyte recruitment to target tissue is initiated by weak rolling attachments to vessel wall ligands followed by firm integrin-dependent arrest triggered by endothelial chemokines. We show here that immobilized chemokines can augment not only arrest but also earlier integrin-mediated capture (tethering) of lymphocytes on inflamed endothelium. Furthermore, when presented in juxtaposition to vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), the endothelial ligand for the integrin very late antigen 4 (VLA-4, α4β1), chemokines rapidly augment reversible lymphocyte tethering and rolling adhesions on VCAM-1. Chemokines potentiate VLA-4 tethering within <0.1 s of contact through Gi protein signaling, the fastest inside-out integrin signaling events reported to date. Although VLA-4 affinity is not altered upon chemokine signaling, subsecond VLA-4 clustering at the leukocyte-substrate contact zone results in enhanced leukocyte avidity to VCAM-1. Endothelial chemokines thus regulate all steps in adhesive cascades that control leukocyte recruitment at specific vascular beds.
adhesion; integrin; endothelium; chemokine; shear flow
The chemokine SDF-1 plays a central role in the repopulation of the bone marrow (BM) by circulating CD34+ progenitors, but the mechanisms of its action remain obscure. To extravasate to target tissue, a blood-borne cell must arrest firmly on vascular endothelium. Murine hematopoietic progenitors were recently shown in vivo to roll along BM microvessels that display selectins and integrins. We now show that SDF-1 is constitutively expressed by human BM endothelium. In vitro, human CD34+ cells establish efficient rolling on P-selectin, E-selectin, and the CD44 ligand hyaluronic acid under physiological shear flow. ICAM-1 alone did not tether CD34+ cells under flow, but, in the presence of surface-bound SDF-1, CD34+ progenitors rolling on endothelial selectin rapidly developed firm adhesion to the endothelial surface, mediated by an interaction between ICAM-1 and its integrin ligand, which coimmobilized with SDF-1. Human CD34+ cells accumulated efficiently on TNF-activated human umbilical cord endothelial cells in the absence of SDF-1, but they required immobilized SDF-1 to develop firm integrin-mediated adhesion and spreading. In the absence of selectins, SDF-1 also promoted VLA-4–mediated, Gi protein–dependent tethering and firm adhesion to VCAM-1 under shear flow. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that SDF-1 expressed on vascular endothelium is crucial for translating rolling adhesion of CD34+ progenitors into firm adhesion by increasing the adhesiveness of the integrins VLA-4 and LFA-1 to their respective endothelial ligands, VCAM-1 and ICAM-1.
Two mechanisms have been proposed for regulating rolling velocities on selectins. These are (a) the intrinsic kinetics of bond dissociation, and (b) the reactive compliance, i.e., the susceptibility of the bond dissociation reaction to applied force. To determine which of these mechanisms explains the 7.5–11.5-fold faster rolling of leukocytes on L-selectin than on E- and P-selectins, we have compared the three selectins by examining the dissociation of transient tethers. We find that the intrinsic kinetics for tether bond dissociation are 7–10-fold more rapid for L-selectin than for E- and P-selectins, and are proportional to the rolling velocities through these selectins. The durations of pauses during rolling correspond to the duration of transient tethers on low density substrates. Moreover, applied force increases dissociation kinetics less for L-selectin than for E- and P-selectins, demonstrating that reactive compliance is not responsible for the faster rolling through L-selectin. Further measurements provide a biochemical and biophysical framework for understanding the molecular basis of rolling. Displacements of tethered cells during flow reversal, and measurements of the distance between successive pauses during rolling provide estimates of the length of a tether and the length of the adhesive contact zone, and suggest that rolling occurs with as few as two tethers per contact zone. Tether bond lifetime is an exponential function of the force on the bond, and the upper limit for the tether bond spring constant is of the same order of magnitude as the estimated elastic spring constant of the lectin–EGF unit. Shear uniquely enhances the rate of L-selectin transient tether formation, and conversion of tethers to rolling adhesions, providing further understanding of the shear threshold requirement for rolling through L-selectin.
It was previously shown that mutations of integrin α4 chain sites, within putative EF-hand-type divalent cation-binding domains, each caused a marked reduction in α4β1-dependent cell adhesion. Some reports have suggested that α-chain “EF-hand” sites may interact directly with ligands. However, we show here that mutations of three different α4 “EF-hand” sites each had no effect on binding of soluble monovalent or bivalent vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 whether measured indirectly or directly. Furthermore, these mutations had minimal effect on α4β1-dependent cell tethering to vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 under shear. However, EF-hand mutants did show severe impairments in cellular resistance to detachment under shear flow. Thus, mutation of integrin α4 “EF-hand-like” sites may impair 1) static cell adhesion and 2) adhesion strengthening under shear flow by a mechanism that does not involve alterations of initial ligand binding.