β2-Microglobulin (β2M) is believed to have arisen in a basal jawed vertebrate (gnathostome) and is the essential L chain that associates with most MHC class I molecules. It contains a distinctive molecular structure called a constant-1 Ig superfamily domain, which is shared with other adaptive immune molecules including MHC class I and class II. Despite its structural similarity to class I and class II and its conserved function, β2M is encoded outside the MHC in all examined species from bony fish to mammals, but it is assumed to have translocated from its original location within the MHC early in gnathostome evolution. We screened a nurse shark bacterial artificial chromosome library and isolated clones containing β2M genes. A gene present in the MHC of all other vertebrates (ring3) was found in the bacterial artificial chromosome clone, and the close linkage of ring3 and β2M to MHC class I and class II genes was determined by single-strand conformational polymorphism and allele-specific PCR. This study satisfies the long-held conjecture that β2M was linked to the primordial MHC (Ur MHC); furthermore, the apparent stability of the shark genome may yield other genes predicted to have had a primordial association with the MHC specifically and with immunity in general.
Freshly-isolated hepatic dendritic cells (DC) are comparatively immature, relatively resistant to maturation, and can down-modulate effector T cell responses. Molecular mechanisms that underlie these properties are ill-defined. DNAX-activating protein of 12 kDa (DAP12) is an ITAM-bearing transmembrane adaptor protein, that integrates signals through several receptors, including triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREM)-1, -2; and CD200R. Notably, DC propagated from DAP12-deficient mice exhibit enhanced maturation in response to TLR ligation. Given the constitutive exposure of liver DC to endotoxin draining from the gut, we hypothesized that DAP12 might regulate liver DC maturation. We show that while DAP12 is expressed by both freshly-isolated liver and spleen myeloid DC, LPS-stimulated liver DC maintain DAP12 mRNA expression at higher levels than splenic DC. Moreover, inhibition of DAP12 expression by liver DC using small interfering (si)RNA, promotes their phenotypic and functional maturation, resulting in enhanced TNFα, IL-6 and IL-12p70 production, reduced secretion of IL-10 and enhanced CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation. Furthermore, DAP12 silencing correlates with decreased STAT3 phosphorylation in mature liver DC, and with diminished expression of the IL-1R-associated kinase (IRAK)-M, a negative regulator of TLR signaling. These findings highlight, for the first time, a regulatory role for DAP12 in hepatic DC maturation, and suggest a mechanism whereby this function may be induced/maintained.
dendritic cells; T cells; signal transduction; cell activation
Neuroblastomas and many other solid tumors produce relatively high amounts of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), which appears to play an important role in tumor progression. We recently found that MIF expression in neuroblastoma leads to inhibited T cell proliferation in vitro, raising the possibility that MIF promotes tumorigenesis, in part, by suppressing anti-tumor immunity. To examine whether tumor-derived MIF leads to suppression of T cell immunity in vivo, we generated MIF deficient (or MIF knockdown) neuroblastoma cell lines using inhibitory short hairpin siRNAs. We found that MIF knockdown AGN2a neuroblastoma cells were more effectively rejected in immune competent mice than control siRNA-transduced or wild-type AGN2a cells. However, the increased rejection of MIF knockdown tumor cells was no longer observed in T cell-depleted mice. MIF knockdown tumors had a corresponding increased infiltration of CD8+ and CD4+ T cells, as well as increased numbers of macrophages, dendritic cells, and B cells. Immunization with MIF knockdown AGN2a cells significantly increased protection against tumor challenge as compared to immunization with wild-type AGN2a cells, and the increased protection correlated with elevated frequencies of tumor-reactive CD8+ T cells in the spleens and draining lymph nodes of treated animals. Increased numbers of infiltrating tumor-reactive CD8+ T cells could also be observed at the site of tumor vaccination. In vitro, treatment of AGN2a-derived culture supernatants with neutralizing MIF-specific antibody failed to reverse T cell suppressive activity, suggesting that MIF is not directly responsible for the immune suppression in vivo. These results support a model whereby MIF expression in neuroblastoma initiates a pathway that leads to the suppression of T cell immunity in vivo.
Cytokines; Tolerance/Suppression/Anergy; Tumor Immunity
Myelin-specific effector Th1 cells are able to perpetuate CNS inflammation in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, an animal model representative of multiple sclerosis. Although the effects of cytokines in the CNS microenvironment on naive CD4+ T cells have been well described, much less is known about their ability to influence Ag-experienced effector cells. TGF-β is a multifunctioning cytokine present in the healthy and inflamed CNS with well-characterized suppressive effects on naive T cell functions. However, the effects of TGF-β on effector Th1 cells are not well defined. Using myelin-specific TCR transgenic mice, we demonstrate that TGF-β elicits differential effects on naive versus effector Th1 cells. TGF-β enhances cellular activation, proliferation, and cytokine production of effector Th1 cells; however, adoptive transfer of these cells into naive mice showed a reduction in encephalitogenicity. We subsequently demonstrate that the reduced encephalitogenic capacity is due to the ability of TGF-β to promote the self-regulation of Th1 effector cells via IL-10 production. These data demonstrate a mechanism by which TGF-β is able to suppress the encephalitogenicity of myelin-specific Th1 effector cells that is unique from its suppression of naive T cells.
Multiple receptors within the innate immune system have evolved to recognize nucleic acids as signatures of viral infection. It is believed that this specificity is essential for viral detection, as viruses often lack other invariant features that can serve as suitable targets for innate receptors. One such innate receptor, TLR9, has been implicated in the detection of many dsDNA viruses. In this study, we investigate the detection of murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68) by TLR9. We find that the genomic DNA of the murine CMV, a very potent inducer of innate responses. Genome-wide analysis of the number of stimulatory versus nonstimulatory CpG motifs present in the genome of each virus reveals that the MHV68 genome contains only a fraction of the number of immunostimulatory motifs present in murine CMV. Notably, MHV68 appears to have selectively suppressed the number of stimulatory motifs through cytosine to thymine conversion. These data suggest that certain viruses may have evolved and modified their genomic content to avoid recognition by nucleic acid-sensing receptors of the innate immune system.
Classic IL-6 signaling is conditioned by the transmembrane receptor (IL-6R) and homodimerization of gp130. During trans-signaling, IL-6 binds to soluble IL-6R (sIL-6R) enabling activation of cells expressing solely gp130. Soluble gp130 (sgp130) selectively inhibits IL-6 trans-signaling. To characterize amniotic fluid IL-6 trans-signaling molecules (IL-6, sIL-6R, sgp130) in normal gestations and pregnancies complicated by intra-amniotic inflammation (IAI) we studied 301 women during second trimester (n=39), third trimester (n=40) and preterm labor with intact (n=131, 85 IAI negative & 46 IAI positive) or preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM: n=91, 61 IAI negative & 30 IAI positive). ELISA, Western blotting and RT-PCR were used to investigate amniotic fluid, placenta and amniochorion for protein and mRNA expression of sIL-6R, sgp130, IL-6R and gp130. Tissues were immunostained for IL-6R, gp130, CD15+ (polymorphonuclear) and CD3+ (T-cell) inflammatory cells. The ability of sIL-6R and sgp130 to modulate basal and LPS-stimulated release of amniochorion matrix-metalloprotease-9 (MMP-9) was tested ex-vivo. We showed that in physiologic gestations amniotic fluid sgp130 decreases toward term. Amniotic fluid IL-6 and sIL-6R were elevated in IAI whereas sgp130 was decreased in PPROM. Our results suggested that fetal membranes are the probable source of amniotic fluid sIL-6R and sgp130. Immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR revealed increased IL-6R and decreased gp130 expression in amniochorion of women with IAI. Ex-vivo, sIL-6R and LPS augmented amniochorion MMP-9 release whereas sgp130 opposed this effect. We conclude that IL-6 trans-signaling molecules are physiologic constituents of the amniotic fluid regulated by gestational age and inflammation. PPROM likely involves functional loss of sgp130.
Reactive gliosis surrounding amyloid β (Aβ) plaques is an early feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis and may signify activation of the innate immune system in an attempt to clear or neutralize Aβ aggregates. In order to evaluate the role of IFNγ mediated neuroinflammation on the evolution of Aβ pathology in transgenic mice, we have expressed murine IFNγ (mIFNγ) in the brains of amyloid β precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice using recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 1. Expression of mIFNγ in brains of APP TgCRND8 mice results in robust non-cell autonomous activation of microglia and astrocytes, and significant suppression of Aβ deposition. mIFNγ expression had no significant effects on APP levels, APP processing or steady state Aβ levels in vivo. On the other hand, mIFNγ expression upregulated MHCII and CD11c levels and early components of the complement cascade in vivo. Taken together, these results suggest that mIFNγ expression in the brain suppresses Aβ accumulation through synergistic effects of reactive gliosis and complement activation by promoting opsonization and phagocytosis of Aβ aggregates.
Amyloid β; IFNγ; Neuroinflammation; complement; recombinant adeno-associated virus
B7x (B7-H4 or B7S1) is the seventh member of the B7 family and the in vivo function remains largely unknown. Despite new genetic data linking the B7x gene with autoimmune diseases, how exactly it contributes to peripheral tolerance and autoimmunity is unclear. Here we showed that B7x protein was not detected on antigen-presenting cells or T cells in both human and mice, which is unique in the B7 family. As B7x protein is expressed in some peripheral cells such as pancreatic β cells, we utilized a CD8 T cell-mediated diabetes model (AI4αβ) in which CD8 T cells recognize an endogenous self-antigen, and found that mice lacking B7x developed more severe diabetes than control AI4αβ mice. Conversely, mice overexpressing B7x in the β cells (Rip-B7xAI4αβ) were diabetes free. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of effector AI4αβ CD8 T cells induced diabetes in control mice, but not in Rip-B7xAI4αβ mice. Mechanistic studies revealed that pathogenic effector CD8 T cells were capable of migrating to the pancreas but failed to robustly destroy tissue when encountering local B7x in Rip-B7xAI4αβ mice. Although AI4αβ CD8 T cells in Rip-B7xAI4αβ mice and AI4αβ mice showed similar cytotoxic function, cell death, and global gene expression profiles, these cells had greater proliferation in AI4αβ mice than in RIP-B7xAI4αβ mice. These results suggest that B7x in nonlymphoid organs prevents peripheral autoimmunity partially through inhibiting proliferation of tissue-specific CD8 T cells and that local overexpression of B7x on pancreatic β cells is sufficient to abolish CD8 T cell-induced diabetes.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and Ross River virus (RRV) cause a debilitating, and often chronic, musculoskeletal inflammatory disease in humans. Macrophages constitute the major inflammatory infiltrates in musculoskeletal tissues during these infections. However, the precise macrophage effector functions that affect the pathogenesis of arthritogenic alphaviruses have not been defined. We hypothesized that the severe damage to musculoskeletal tissues observed in RRV or CHIKV-infected mice would promote a wound healing response characterized by M2-like macrophages. Indeed, we found that RRV and CHIKV-induced musculoskeletal inflammatory lesions, and macrophages present in these lesions, have a unique gene expression pattern characterized by high expression of arginase 1 and Ym1/Chi3l3 in the absence of FIZZ1/Relmα that is consistent with an M2-like activation phenotype. Strikingly, mice specifically deleted for Arg1 in neutrophils and macrophages had dramatically reduced viral loads and improved pathology in musculoskeletal tissues at late times post-RRV infection. These findings indicate that arthritogenic alphavirus infection drives a unique myeloid cell activation program in inflamed musculoskeletal tissues that inhibits virus clearance and impedes disease resolution in an Arg1-dependent manner.
Experimental pulmonary Cryptococcus neoformans infection in BALB/c mice is associated with polarized Th2-type cytokine production, alternative macrophage activation, and severe bronchopneumonia. In contrast, pulmonary infection with a C. neoformans strain that secretes IFN-γ, H99γ, elicits Th1-type cytokine production and classical macrophage activation. Additionally, mice infected with H99γ resolve the acute infection and are subsequently protected against challenge with wild type C. neoformans. The present study characterizes macrophage activation during the protective response to wild type C. neoformans in mice previously immunized with H99γ. We observed increased pulmonary Th1-type cytokine production in lung homogenates and classical macrophage activation as evidenced by enhanced expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the lungs of H99γ immunized mice compared to mice given a non-protective immunization with heat-killed C. neoformans (HKCn). Furthermore, macrophages from day 7 post-challenge H99γ immunized mice cultured in vitro were fungistatic against C. neoformans, whereas cryptococcal growth was uncontrolled within macrophages from HKCn immunized mice. Th2-type cytokine production and induction of alternatively activated macrophages were also observed in lungs of HKCn immunized mice during re-challenge. Gene expression arrays showed that classical macrophage activation during challenge infection in H99γ immunized mice was associated with induction of the transcription factor STAT1 and its downstream targets IRF-1, SOCS-1, CXCL9 and CXCL10. These studies demonstrate that protective responses to C. neoformans challenge in immunized mice include classical macrophage activation and enhanced macrophage fungistasis of C. neoformans yeasts. Finally, the classical activation phenotype of protective anti-cryptococcal macrophages is likely mediated via STAT1 signal transduction pathways.
Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are critical for hepatic wound repair and tissue remodeling. They also produce cytokines and chemokines that may contribute to the maintenance of hepatic immune homeostasis and the inherent tolerogenicity of the liver. The functional relationship between HSCs and the professional migratory APCs in the liver, i.e. dendritic cells (DCs), has not been evaluated. Here, we report that murine liver DCs co-localize with HSCs in vivo under normal, steady-state conditions, and cluster with HSCs in vitro. In vitro, HSCs secrete high levels of DC chemoattractants, such as MIP1α and MCP-1, as well as cytokines that modulate DC activation, including TNFα, IL-6 and IL-1β. Culture of HSCs with conventional liver myeloid (m) DCs resulted in increased IL-6 and IL-10 secretion compared to that of either cell population alone. Co-culture also resulted in enhanced expression of co-stimulatory (CD80, CD86) and co-inhibitory (B7-H1) molecules on mDCs. HSC-induced mDC maturation required cell-cell contact and could be blocked, in part, by neutralizing MIP1α or MCP-1. HSC-induced mDC maturation was dependent on activation of STAT3 in mDCs and in part on HSC-secreted IL-6. Despite up-regulation of co-stimulatory molecules, mDCs conditioned by HSCs demonstrated impaired ability to induce allogeneic T cell proliferation, which was independent of B7-H1, but dependent upon HSC-induced STAT3 activation and subsequent up-regulation of IDO. In conclusion, by promoting IDO expression, HSCs may act as potent regulators of liver mDCs and function to maintain hepatic homeostasis and tolerogenicity.
CCR5, a cell surface molecule critical for the transmission and spread of HIV-1, is dynamically regulated during T cell activation and differentiation. The molecular mechanism linking T cell activation to modulation of CCR5 expression remains undefined. KLF2 is a transcription factor that promotes quiescence, survival, and in part by modulating chemokine receptor levels, induces homing to secondary lymphoid organs. Given the relationship between T cell activation and chemokine receptor expression, we tested whether the abundance of KLF2 following T cell activation regulates CCR5 expression and thus susceptibility of a T cell to CCR5 dependent HIV-1 strains (R5). We observed a strong correlation between T cell activation, expression of KLF2 and CCR5, and susceptibility to infection. To directly measure how KLF2 affects CCR5 regulation, we introduced siRNA targeting KLF2 expression and demonstrated reduced KLF2 expression also resulted in less CCR5. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays identified KLF2 bound to the CCR5 promoter in resting but not CD3/28 activated T cells, suggesting that KLF2 directly regulates CCR5 expression. Introduction of KLF2 under control of a heterologous promoter could restore CCR5 expression and R5 susceptibility to CD3/28 costimulated T cells and some transformed cell lines. Thus, KLF2 is a host factor that modulates CCR5 expression in CD4 T cells and influences susceptibility to R5 infection.
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is involved in tumorigenesis by facilitating tumor proliferation and evasion of apoptosis; however, its role in tumor immunity is unclear. In this study, we investigated the effect of MIF on the progression of the syngenic, CT26 colon carcinoma and the generation of tumor regulatory T cells (Tregs). The results showed that the tumor growth rate was significantly lower in MIF knockout (MIF−/−) mice than in wild type (MIF+/+) mice. Flow cytometric analysis of both spleen and tumor cells revealed that MIF−/− mice had significantly lower levels of tumor-associated CD4+Tregs than MIF+/+ mice. The splenic cells of MIF−/− mice also showed a decrease in CD8+Tregs, which was accompanied by an increase in CD8-induced tumor cytotoxicity. Interestingly, the inducible Treg response in spleen cells to anti-CD3/CD28+IL-2+TGF-β was greater in MIF−/− mice than in MIF+/+ mice. Spleen cells of MIF−/− mice, stimulated with anti-CD3/CD28, produced lower levels of IL-2, but not TGF-β, than those of MIF+/+ mice, which was recovered by the addition of recombinant MIF. Conversely, a neutralizing anti-MIF Ab blocked anti-CD3-induced IL-2 production by splenocytes of MIF+/+ mice and suppressed the inducible Treg generation. Moreover, the administration of IL-2 into tumor-bearing MIF−/− mice restored the generation of Tregs and tumor growth. Taken together, our data suggest that MIF promotes tumor growth by increasing Tregs generation through the modulation of IL-2 production. Thus, anti-MIF treatment might be useful in enhancing the adaptive immune response to colon cancers.
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor; tumor; regulatory T cells; IL-2
Posttranslational modifications regulate physiology either by directly modulating protein function or by impacting immune recognition of self proteins. Citrullination is a posttranslational modification formed by the conversion of arginine residues into the citrulline amino acid by protein arginine deiminase (PAD) family members. We have identified mast cells as a major source of the PAD2 enzyme. Activation of the P2X7 receptor by the inflammatory “danger” signal ATP induces PAD2 activity and robust protein citrullination. P2X7-mediated activation of PAD2 is sensitive to p38 MAPK and PKC inhibitors, and PAD2 regulates the expression of the TNFR2, Adamts-9, and Rab6b transcripts in mast cells. Further, the PAD2 enzyme and its citrullinated substrate proteins are released from mast cells upon activation with ATP. PAD2 expression is closely linked with inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovial tissue, and PAD2 and citrullinated proteins are found in the synovial fluid of RA patients. In addition, RA is associated with the development of autoantibodies to citrullinated self proteins. Our results suggest that P2X7 activation of mast cells may play a role in inflammation by providing PAD2 and PAD2 substrates access to the extracellular space.
The importance of type I IFN signaling in the innate immune response to viral and intracellular pathogens is well established, with an increasing literature implicating extracellular bacterial pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus in this signaling pathway. Airway epithelial cells and especially dendritic cells (DC) contribute to the production of type I IFNs in the lung. We were interested in establishing how S. aureus activates the type I IFN cascade in DC. In vitro studies confirmed the rapid uptake of S. aureus by DC followed promptly by STAT1 phosphorylation and expression of IFN-β. Signaling occurred using heat-killed organism and in the absence of PVL and α-toxin. Consistent with the participation of endosomal and not cytosolic receptors, signaling was predominantly mediated by MyD88, TLR9 and IRF1 and blocked by cytochalasin D, dynasore and chloroquine. To determine the role of TLR9 signaling in the pathogenesis of S. aureus pneumonia we infected WT and Tlr9−/− mice with MRSA USA300. Tlr9−/− mice had significantly improved clearance of S. aureus from the airways and lung tissue. Ifnar−/− mice also had improved clearance. This enhanced clearance in Tlr9−/− mice was not due to differences in the numbers of recruited neutrophils into the airways, but instead correlated with decreased induction of TNF. Thus, we identified TLR9 as the critical receptor mediating the induction of type I IFN signaling in dendritic cells in response to S. aureus, illustrating an additional mechanism through which S. aureus exploits innate immune signaling to facilitate infection.
HLA-DM (DM) is a non-classical major histocompatibility complex II (MHC II) protein that acts as a peptide editor to mediate the exchange of peptides loaded onto MHC II during antigen presentation. Although the ability of DM to promote peptide exchange in vitro and in vivo is well established, the role of DM in epitope selection is still unclear, especially in human response to infectious disease. In this study, we addressed this question in the context of the human CD4 T cell response to vaccinia virus. We measured the IC50, intrinsic dissociation half-life, and DM-mediated dissociation half-life for a large set of peptides derived from the major core protein A10L and other known vaccinia epitopes bound to HLA-DR1, and compared these properties to the presence and magnitude of peptide-specific CD4+ T cell responses. We found that MHC II-peptide complex kinetic stability in the presence of DM distinguishes T cell epitopes from non-recognized peptides in A10L peptides and also in a set of predicted tight binders from the entire vaccinia genome. Taken together, these analyses demonstrate that DM-mediated dissociation half-life is a strong and independent factor governing peptide immunogenicity by favoring the presentation of peptides with greater kinetic stability in the presence of DM.
Adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) for the treatment of established cancers is actively being pursued in clinical trials. However, poor in vivo persistence and maintenance of anti-tumor activity of transferred T cells remain major problems. Transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) is a potent immunosuppressive cytokine that is often expressed at high levels within the tumor microenvironment, potentially limiting T cell mediated anti-tumor activity. Here, we used a model of autochthonous murine prostate cancer to evaluate the effect of cell intrinsic abrogation of TGFβ signaling in self/tumor specific CD8 T cells used in ACT to target the tumor in situ. We found that persistence and anti-tumor activity of adoptively transferred effector T cells deficient in TGFβ signaling was significantly improved in the cancerous prostate. However, over time, despite persistence in peripheral lymphoid organs, the numbers of transferred cells in the prostate decreased and the residual prostate infiltrating T cells were no longer functional. These findings reveal that TGFβ negatively regulates the accumulation and effector function of transferred self/tumor specific CD8 T cells and highlight that, when targeting a tumor antigen that is also expressed as a self-protein, additional substantive obstacles are operative within the tumor microenvironment, potentially hampering the success of ACT for solid tumors.
In vitrodata and transgenic mouse models suggest a role for TGFβ signaling in dendritic cells (DC) to prevent autoimmunity primarily through maintenance of DCs in their immature and tolerogenic state characterized by low expression of MHCII and co-stimulatory molecules, and increased expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), among others. To test whether a complete lack of TGFβ signaling in DCs predisposes mice to spontaneous autoimmunity, and to verify the mechanisms implicated previously in vitro, we generated conditional knock-out mice with Cre-mediated DC-specific deletion of Tgfbr2 (DC-Tgfbr2 KO). DC-Tgfbr2 KO mice die before 15 weeks of age with multi-organ autoimmune inflammation and spontaneous activation of T and B cells. Interestingly, there were no significant differences in the expression of MHCII, co-stimulatory molecules, or IDO in secondary lymphoid organ DCs, although Tgfbr2-deficient DCs were more pro-inflammatory in vitro and in vivo. DC-Tgfbr2 KO showed attenuated FoxP3 expression in regulatory T cells (Tregs) and abnormal expansion of CD25−FoxP3+ Tregs in vivo. Tgfbr2-deficient DCs secreted elevated levels of IFNγ and were not capable of directing antigen-specific Treg conversion unless in the presence of anti-IFNγ blocking antibody. Adoptive transfer of iTregs into DC-Tgfbr2 KO mice partially rescued the phenotype. Therefore, in vivo, TGFβ signaling in DCs is critical in the control of autoimmunity through both Treg dependent and independent mechanisms, but it does not affect MHCII and co-stimulatory molecule expression.
Phagocyte NADPH oxidase plays a key role in pathogen clearance via reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Defects in oxidase function result in chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) with hallmark recurrent microbial infections and inflammation. The oxidase′s role in the adaptive immune response is not well-understood. Class II presentation of cytoplasmic and exogenous Ag to CD4+ T cells was impaired in human B cells with reduced oxidase p40phox subunit expression. Naturally arising mutations which compromise p40phox function in a CGD patient also perturbed class II Ag presentation and intracellular ROS production. Reconstitution of patient B cells with wild-type, but not a mutant, p40phox allele restored exogenous Ag presentation and intracellular ROS generation. Remarkably, class II presentation of epitopes from membrane Ag was robust in p40phox-deficient B cells. These studies reveal a role for NADPH oxidase and p40phox in skewing epitope selection and T cell recognition of self Ag.
Human B cells; MHC class II presentation; NADPH oxidase
To maintain tolerance, autoreactive B cells must regulate signal transduction from the B cell receptor and Toll-like receptors. We recently identified that dendritic cells and macrophages regulate autoreactive cells during TLR4 activation by releasing IL-6 and soluble CD40L (sCD40L). These cytokines selectively repress antibody secretion from autoreactive, but not antigenically naïve, B cells. How IL-6 and sCD40L repress autoantibody production is unknown. In this paper, we show that IL-6 and sCD40L are required for low-affinity/avidity autoreactive B cells to maintain tolerance through a mechanism involving receptor crosstalk between the BCR, TLR4, and the IL-6 receptor or CD40. We show that acute signaling through IL-6 receptor or CD40 integrates with chronic BCR-mediated ERK activation to restrict pERK from the nucleus and repress TLR4-induced Blimp-1 and XBP-1 expression. Tolerance is disrupted in 2-12H/MRL/lpr mice where IL-6 and sCD40L fail to spatially restrict pERK and fail to repress TLR4-induced Ig secretion. In the case of CD40, acute signaling in B cells from 2-12H/MRL/lpr mice is intact, but the chronic activation of pERK emanating from the BCR is attenuated. Re-establishing chronically active ERK through retroviral expression of constitutively active MEK1 restores tolerance upon sCD40L, but not IL-6, stimulation indicating that regulation by IL-6 requires another signaling effector. These data define the molecular basis for the regulation of low-affinity autoreactive B cells during TLR4 stimulation, they explain how autoreactive but not naïve B cells are repressed by IL-6 and sCD40L, and they identify B cell defects in lupus-prone mice that lead to TLR4-induced autoantibody production.
Blood-borne lymphocytes home to lymph nodes by interacting with and crossing high endothelial venules (HEVs). The transendothelial migration (TEM) step is poorly understood. Autotaxin (ATX) is an ecto-enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) to lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a bioactive lipid and a close relative of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). HEVs produce and secrete ATX into the blood. A prior study has implicated ATX in the overall homing process but the step in which it functions and its mechanism of action have not been defined. Here, we show that HA130, an inhibitor of the enzymatic activity of ATX, slows T cell migration across lymph node HEVs in vivo. Ex vivo, ATX plus LPC or LPA itself induces the polarization of mouse naïve T cells and stimulates their motility on an ICAM-1 substratum. Under physiologic shear conditions in a flow chamber, LPA or ATX/LPC strongly enhances TEM of integrin-arrested T cells across an endothelial monolayer. HA130 blunts the TEM-promoting activity of ATX, paralleling its in vivo effects. T cells possess Mn+2-activatable receptors for ATX, which are localized at the leading edge of polarized cells. ATX must bind to these receptors in order to elicit a maximal TEM response, providing a mechanism to focus the action of LPA onto arrested lymphocytes in flowing blood. Our results indicate that LPA produced via ATX facilitates T cell entry into lymph nodes by stimulating TEM, substantiating an additional step in the homing cascade. This entry role for LPA complements the efflux function of S1P.
APOBEC3 (A3) proteins are virus restriction factors that provide intrinsic immunity against infections by viruses like HIV-1 and MMTV. A3 proteins are inducible by inflammatory stimuli such as LPS and IFNα via mechanisms that are not yet fully defined. Using genetic and pharmacological studies on C57BL/6 mice and cells, we show that IFNα and LPS induce A3 via different pathways independent of each other. IFNα positively regulates mA3 mRNA expression through IFNαR•PKC•STAT1 and negatively regulates mA3 mRNA expression via IFNαR•MAPKs signaling pathways. Interestingly, LPS shows some variation in its regulatory behavior. While LPS mediated positive regulation of mA3 mRNA occurs through TLR4•TRIF•IRF3•PKC, it negatively modulates mA3 mRNA via TLR4•MyD88•MAPK signaling pathways. Additional studies on human PBMCs reveal that PKC differentially regulates IFNα and LPS induction of human A3A, A3F, and A3G mRNA expression. In summary, we have identified important signaling targets downstream of IFNαR and TLR4 that mediate A3 mRNA induction by both LPS and IFNα. Our results provide new insights into the signaling targets that could be manipulated to enhance intracellular store of A3 and potentially enhance A3 anti-viral function in the host.
APOBEC3; interferon alpha; interferon beta; interferon alpha receptor; interferon regulatory factor 3; lipopolysaccharide; myeloid differentiation primary response gene (88); TIR-domain-containing adapter-inducing interferon-β; protein kinase C delta; Toll-like receptor 4; MAPK; ERK; JNK; P38
The ability of the transmembrane adaptor protein LAT to regulate T cell development, activation, survival, and homeostasis depends upon phosphorylation of its multiple tyrosine residues. The mutation of tyrosine 136 on LAT abrogates its interaction with PLC-γ1, causing severe ramifications on TCR-mediated signaling. Mice harboring this mutation, LATY136F mice, have significantly impaired thymocyte development; however, they rapidly develop a fatal lymphoproliferative disease marked by the uncontrolled expansion of Th2-skewed CD4+ T cells, high levels of IgE and IgG1, and autoantibody production. In this study, we assessed the contribution of multiple signaling pathways in LATY136F disease development. The deletion of the critical signaling proteins Gads and RasGRP1 caused a further block in thymocyte development but, over time, could not prevent CD4+ T cell hyperproliferation. Also, restoring signaling through the NF-κB and NFAT pathways was unable to halt the development of disease. However, expression of a constitutively active Raf transgene enhanced lymphoproliferation, indicating a role for the Ras-MAPK pathway in LAT-mediated disease.
CD8+ T cell memory inflation, first described in murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection, is characterized by the accumulation of high-frequency, functional antigen-specific CD8+ T cell pools with an effector-memory phenotype and enrichment in peripheral organs. Although persistence of antigen is considered essential, the rules underpinning memory inflation are still unclear. The MCMV model is, however, complicated by the virus’s low-level persistence, and stochastic reactivation. We developed a new model of memory inflation based upon a βgal-recombinant adenovirus vector (Ad-LacZ). After i.v. administration in C57BL/6 mice we observe marked memory inflation in the βgal96 epitope, while a second epitope, βgal497, undergoes classical memory formation. The inflationary T cell responses show kinetics, distribution, phenotype and functions similar to those seen in MCMV and are reproduced using alternative routes of administration. Memory inflation in this model is dependent on MHC Class II. As in MCMV, only the inflating epitope showed immunoproteasome-independence. These data define a new model for memory inflation, which is fully replication-independent, internally controlled and reproduces the key immunologic features of the CD8+ T cell response. This model provides insight into the mechanisms responsible for memory inflation, and since it is based on a vaccine vector, also is relevant to novel T cell-inducing vaccines in humans.
Thymic epithelial cells provide unique cues for the life-long selection and differentiation of a repertoire of functionally diverse T cells. Rendered miRNA deficient, these stromal cells in the mouse lose their capacity to instruct the commitment of haematopoietic precursors to a T cell fate, to effect thymocyte positive selection and to achieve promiscuous gene expression required for central tolerance induction. Over time, the microenvironment created by miRNA-deficient thymic epithelia assumes the cellular composition and structure of peripheral lymphoid tissue where thympoiesis fails to be supported. These findings emphasize a global role for miRNA in the maintenance and function of the thymic epithelial cell scaffold and establish a novel mechanism how these cells control peripheral tissue antigen expression to prompt central immunological tolerance.