The pathogenesis of various inflammatory cutaneous diseases such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and mycosis fungoides relies greatly on the abnormal function of T cells. Fundamental knowledge of the role of T cells in the cutaneous immune response has led to the development and production of biologic molecules designed to block T cell function at various steps, specifically activation (i.e. alefacept, efalizumab), trafficking into inflamed skin (i.e. efalizumab) and effector function under cytokine control (i.e. etanercept, infliximab, adalimumab, and anti-IL-12 antibody). We review the immune abnormalities and the role of T cells in psoriasis, and the recent biologic therapies, which share the common mission to hinder T cell activity in inflammatory diseases. An advantage from the preciseness of these biologic therapies is the potential limit of non-specific and potentially devastating organ toxicity, which commonly plagues other systemic therapies.
T cell; TNF-alpha; Psoriasis; Inflammation; Biologics; Skin disease
Semaphorin 7A (Sema7A) plays a major role in TGF-β1-induced lung fibrosis. Based on the accumulating evidence that eosinophils contribute to fibrosis/remodeling in the airway, we hypothesized that airway eosinophils may be a significant source of sema7A. In vivo, sema7A was expressed on the surface of circulating eosinophils and upregulated on bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophils obtained after segmental bronchoprovocation with allergen. Based on mRNA levels in unfractionated and isolated bronchoalveolar cells, eosinophils are the predominant source of sema7A. In vitro, among the members of the IL-5-family cytokines, sema7A protein on the surface of blood eosinophils was increased more by IL-3 than by GM-CSF or IL-5. Cytokine-induced expression of cell surface sema7A required translation of newly synthetized protein. Finally, a recombinant sema7A induced alpha-smooth muscle actin production in human bronchial fibroblasts. Semaphorin 7A is a potentially important modulator of eosinophil profibrotic functions in the airway remodeling of patients with chronic asthma.
Eosinophil; semaphorin 7A; IL-3; fibrosis; translation
Class II major histocompatibility molecules (MHC) confer disease risk for multiple autoimmune disorders including type 1 diabetes. The interaction between the components of the trimolecular complex (CD4+ T cell receptors, self-peptide, and MHC class II molecules) plays a pivotal role in autoimmune disease pathogenesis. The development of therapies targeting various components of the trimolecular complex for the prevention of type 1 diabetes is actively being pursued. This review focuses on the components of the anti-insulin trimolecular complex, registers of insulin peptide binding to ‘diabetogenic’ MHC class II molecules, and therapies targeting each component of the trimolecular complex.
diabetes; autoimmunity; immune therapies; insulin; autoreactive T cells; antigen presentation
Therapeutic targeting of proinflammatory cytokines is clinically beneficial in several autoimmune disorders. Several of these cytokines are directly implicated in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes, suggesting opportunities for design of clinical trials in type 1 diabetes that incorporate selective cytokine blockade as a component of preventative or interventional immunotherapy. The rationale and status of inhibitory therapy directed against IL-1, TNF, IL-12, IL-23, and IL-6 are discussed, towards a goal of using cytokine inhibition as a therapeutic platform to establish an in vivo milieu suitable for modulating the immune response in T1D.
Immunotherapy; autoimmunity; regulatory T cells; anti-inflammatory
Low-dose tolerance therapy with nucleosomal histone peptide epitopes blocks lupus disease in mouse models, but effect in humans is unknown. Herein, we found that CD4+CD25highFoxP3+ or CD4+CD45RA+FoxP3low T-cells, and CD8+CD25+FoxP3+ T-cells were all induced durably in PBMCs from inactive lupus patients and healthy subjects by the histone peptide/s themselves, but in active lupus, dexamethasone or hydroxychloroquine unmasked Treg-induction by the peptides. The peptide-induced Treg depended on TGFβ/ALK-5/ pSmad 2/3 signaling, and they expressed TGF-β precursor LAP. Lupus patients’ sera did not inhibit Treg induction. The peptide epitope-induced T cells markedly suppressed type I IFN related gene expression in lupus PBMC. Finally, the peptide epitopes suppressed pathogenic autoantibody production by PBMC from active lupus patients to baseline levels by additional mechanisms besides Treg induction, and as potently as anti-IL6 antibody. Thus, low-dose histone peptide epitopes block pathogenic autoimmune response in human lupus by multiple mechanisms to restore a stable immunoregulatory state.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Human, T cells; Peptide epitopes; Tolerance; Autoimmunity
The NKG2D activating receptor has been implicated in numerous autoimmune diseases. We tested the role of NKG2D in models of autoimmunity and inflammation using NKG2D knockout mice and antibody blockade experiments. The severity of experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE) was decreased in NKG2D-deficient mice when the disease was induced with a limiting antigen dose, but unchanged with an optimal antigen dose. Surprisingly, however, NKG2D deficiency had no detectable effect in several other models, including two models of type 1 diabetes, and a model of intestinal inflammation induced by poly(I:C). NKG2D antibody blockade in normal mice also failed to inhibit disease in the NOD diabetes model or the intestinal inflammation model. Published evidence using NKG2D knockout mice demonstrated a role for NKG2D in mouse models of atherosclerosis and liver inflammation, as well as in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Therefore, our results suggest that NKG2D plays selective roles in inflammatory diseases.
NKG2D; NK cells; EAE; NOD; type 1 diabetes; intestinal inflammation
We report that polyclonal CD8regs generated in one week ex-vivo with anti-CD3/28 beads and cytokines rapidly developed suppressive activity in vitro sustained by TGF-β. In immunodeficient mice, these CD8regs demonstrated a markedly protective, IL-10 dependent activity against a xeno-GVHD. They expressed IL-2Rα/β, Foxp3, TNFR2, and the negative co-stimulatory receptors CTLA-4, PD-1, PD-L1 and Tim-3. Suppressive activity in vitro correlated better with TNFR2 and PD-L1 than Foxp3. Blocking studies suggested that TNF enhanced PD-L1 expression and the suppressive activity of the CD8regs generated. Unlike other polyclonal CD4 and CD8 Tregs, these CD8regs preferentially targeted allogeneic T cells, but they lacked cytotoxic activity against them even after sensitization. Unlike CD4regs, these CD8regs could produce IL-2 and proliferate while inhibiting target cells. If these CD8regs can persist in foreign hosts without impairing immune surveillance, they could serve as a practical remission-inducing product for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, graft-versus-host disease, and allograft rejection.
We have identified Tspan33 as a gene encoding a transmembrane protein exhibiting a restricted expression pattern including expression in activated B cells. TSPAN33 is a member of the tetraspanin family. TSPAN33 is not expressed in resting B cells, but is strongly induced in primary human B cells following activation. Human 2E2 cells, a Burkitt’s lymphoma-derived B cell model of activation and differentiation, also upregulate TSPAN33 upon activation. TSPAN33 is expressed in several lymphomas including Hodgkin’s and Diffuse large B Cell Lymphoma. TSPAN33 is also expressed in some autoimmune diseases where B cells participate in the pathology, including rheumatoid arthritis patients, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and in spleen B cells from MRL/Faslpr/lpr mice (a mouse model of SLE). We conclude that TSPAN33 may be used as a diagnostic biomarker or as a target for therapeutic antibodies for treatment of certain B cell lymphomas or autoimmune diseases.
Tetraspanin 33; B cells; lymphoma; Lupus erythematosus; Rheumatoid arthritis; biomarker
As the population ages, more individuals with autoimmune diseases are experiencing reproductive senescence. Understanding the impact of menopause and age-related androgen decline on disease onset and course, as well as the potential for hormonal interventions, is critically important. In men, lupus erythematosis (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and multiple sclerosis (MS) are associated with lower androgen levels. However, the impact of age-related declines in testosterone, as well as of testosterone replacement, on disease course remains underexplored. In women, the course of all three diseases with onset after the age of menopause differs from that with onset before menopause. Early age at menopause is associated with increased disease risk, and after menopause, disease course changes in SLE and RA. Less is known about MS. This article summarizes what is known about the relationship between reproductive aging and autoimmune diseases in men and women, and highlights areas for further investigation.
Multiple sclerosis; Systemic lupus erythematosus; Rheumatoid arthritis; Menopause; Andropause; Hormone replacement therapy
In multiple sclerosis (MS) and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), relapses are markedly reduced during pregnancy. Exosomes are lipid-bound vesicles and are more abundant in the serum during pregnancy. We demonstrate that serum exosomes suppress T cell activation, promote the maturation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC), and pregnancy exosomes facilitate OPC migration into active CNS lesions. However, exosomes derived from both pregnant and non-pregnant mice reduced the severity of established EAE. Thus, during pregnancy, serum exosomes modulate the immune and central nervous systems and contribute to pregnancy-associated suppression of EAE.
Pregnancy; Multiple Sclerosis; Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis; Exosome; Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cell
Sex differences in autoimmune diseases are evolutionarily tied to the fact that the female immune system is confronted with intense alterations during menstrual cycles, pregnancy and childbirth. These events may be associated with breaches in the mucosal epithelial layers that are shielding us from environmental factors. Associations between environmental agents and autoimmune diseases have been described extensively in prior studies. Little evidence, however, exists for sex-specific environmental effects on autoimmune diseases. In this review, we summarize studies involving this often-neglected aspect. We give examples of environmental factors that may influence the sex bias in autoimmunity. We conclude that most studies do not give insight into sex-specific environmental effects due to the influence of gender-selective social, occupational or other exposures. Prospective studies are needed in order to determine true sex-biased environmental influences. Finally, humanized murine models might aid in better understanding the mechanisms involved in sex-specific environmental effects on autoimmune diseases.
autoimmunity; chemicals; smoking; infectious agents; commensal bacteria; microbiota
Autosomal Recessive Hyperimmunoglobulin E Syndrome (AR-HIES); Atopic dermatitis; STAT3; DOCK8; Eosinophilia; Job Syndrome; Primary immunodeficiency; T cell receptor excision circle (TREC)
PPAR-γ agonists can suppress autoimmune responses and renal inflammation in murine lupus but the mechanisms implicated in this process remain unclear. We tested the effect of the PPAR-γ agonist pioglitazone in human lupus and control PBMCs with regards to gene regulation and various functional assays. By Affymetrix microarray analysis, several T cell-related pathways were significantly highlighted in pathway analysis in lupus PBMCs. Transcriptional network analysis showed IFN-γ as an important regulatory node, with pioglitazone treatment inducing transcriptional repression of various genes implicated in T cell responses. Confirmation of these suppressive effects was observed specifically in purified CD4+ T cells. Pioglitazone downregulated lupus CD4+ T cell effector proliferation and activation, while it significantly increased proliferation and function of lupus T regulatory cells. We conclude that PPAR-γ agonists selectively modulate CD4+ T cell function in SLE. supporting the concept that pioglitazone and related-agents should be explored as potential therapies in this disease.
systemic lupus erythematosus; T cells; gene expression
Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood. Current therapies are toxic and not always curative that necessitates development of targeted immunotherapy. However, little is known about immunobiology of this tumor. In this study, we show that MB cells in 9 of 20 primary tumors express CD1d, an antigen-presenting molecule for Natural Killer T cells (NKTs). Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of 61 primary tumors revealed an elevated level of CD1d mRNA expression in a molecular subgroup characterized by overactivation of Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) oncogene compared with Group 4. CD1d-positive MB cells cross-presented glycolipid antigens to activate NKT-cell cytotoxicity. Intracranial injection of NKTs resulted in regression of orthotopic MB xenografts in NOD/SCID mice. Importantly, the numbers and function of peripheral blood type-I NKTs were preserved in MB patients. Therefore, CD1d is expressed on tumor cells in a subset of MB patients and represents a novel target for immunotherapy.
CCR5 expression on CD4+CD25highFoxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) has been reported to be crucial for limiting Th1 inflammation associated with autoimmunity and bacterial infections. We inquired whether abnormalities in chemokine receptors expressed on Tregs might be involved in the psoriatic pathogenesis. Indeed, the proportion of CCR5+Treg was 58.8% in healthy individuals (n=9), whereas only half as many CCR5+Treg cells were found in psoriatic individuals (29.1%, n=8, p<0.01). The flow-enriched control CCR5+Tregs consistently exceeded the suppressive capacity of unsorted Tregs in autologous MLR assays (n=5, p<0.05) showing that CCR5+Treg subset is a high potency regulatory T cell population. Interestingly, psoriatic CCR5+Treg cells exhibited significantly less migratory capacity toward CCR5 ligands MIP-1β and RANTES in vitro compared to CCR5+Treg controls (n=3, p<0.05). Our data demonstrate that psoriatic CCR5+Tregs cells are numerically-, functionally- and chemotactically-deficient compared to controls and may pose a triple impairment on the ability of psoriatic Tregs to restrain inflammation.
Psoriasis; regulatory T cells; immunosuppression
STAT5A and STAT5B are highly homologous proteins whose distinctive roles in human immunity remain unclear. However, STAT5A sufficiency cannot compensate for STAT5B defects, and human STAT5B deficiency, a rare autosomal recessive primary immunodeficiency, is characterized by chronic lung disease, growth failure and autoimmunity associated with regulatory T cell (Treg) reduction. We therefore hypothesized that STAT5A and STAT5B play unique roles in CD4+ T cells. Upon knocking down STAT5A or STAT5B in human primary T cells, we found differentially regulated expression of FOXP3 and IL-2R in STAT5B knockdown T cells and down-regulated Bcl-X only in STAT5A knockdown T cells. Functional ex vivo studies in homozygous STAT5B-deficient patients showed reduced FOXP3 expression with impaired regulatory function of STAT5B-null Treg cells, also of increased memory phenotype. These results indicate that STAT5B and STAT5A act partly as non-redundant transcription factors and that STAT5B is more critical for Treg maintenance and function in humans.
STAT5; Regulatory T cells (Treg); T cell development
Interferon alpha (IFNα) may play a significant role in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) pathogenesis. Recent literature suggests that IFNα does not correlate with disease activities and blockade of IFNα is not effective in treating SLE. This study aims to delineate further the role of IFNα in SLE. 12-week old NZM2328 and its congenic NZM2328.Lc1R27 (R27) female mice were challenged with adenovirus-IFNα (adeno-IFNα) or adenovirus-LacZ (adeno-LacZ). Only adeno-IFNα treated NZM2328 developed severe proteinuria and died of chronic glomerulonephritis (GN) and end stage renal disease. Adeno-IFNα treated R27 did develop immune complex-mediated GN but had normal renal function. Adeno-LacZ treated NZM2328 showed enlarged glomeruli and increased cellularity without immune complex deposition. Adeno-LacZ treated R27 did not show serological and histological abnormalities. Adeno-IFNα induced anti-dsDNA and anti-kidney autoantibodies in NZM2328 and R27. These results suggest that end organ damage is host-dependent and less related to autoimmunity and may have significant implications in SLE pathogenesis.
SLE; Interferon α; Mouse model for lupus nephritis
The pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP) is still unclear. To evaluate the role of regulatory T cells (Treg) in the pathogenesis of nasal polyposis, we tested migration potential of Treg purified from subjects with CRSwNP, CRS without NP and controls. The nasal tissue expressions of FOXP3 were analyzed by means of RT-PCR and double immunohistochemistry. Chemotaxis assays were used to evaluate the migration potential of Treg onto bronchial epithelial cells and primary nasal epithelial cells, and toward chemokines. FOXP3+CD3+ cells frequency and FOXP3 transcript expression in nasal tissue, and migration potentials of Treg toward airway epithelial cells and CCL1 were significantly lower in CRSwNP compared with other groups (P<0.05). These results indicate that migration potential of Treg is decreased in CRSwNP subjects, and this may be one of the reasons why tissue infiltration of Treg was decreased as seen in the immunohistochemistry of nasal polyps from CRSwNP subjects.
Chronic rhinosinusitis; Nasal polyp; T regulatory cells; FOXP3; Chemotaxis
Idiopathic neutropenia (IN) in children is characterized by decreased neutrophil counts (<1500/μl), can be acute or chronic (greater than 6 months duration). The pathophysiology is not well understood; therefore, potential mechanisms of pediatric IN were investigated. An increase in Fas transcripts in neutrophils of IN patients compared to age-matched healthy control (HC) neutrophils was observed (p<0.005). Increased expression of Fas protein was found in IN neutrophils, while Fas surface expression on other immune cells was similar. Plasma from acute IN patients had higher protein levels of soluble FasL than chronic IN patients. When HC neutrophils were incubated in plasma from IN patients, greater rates of apoptosis were observed. Biochemical studies suggest the apoptotic factor(s) in plasma is heat-sensitive, non-IgG, and 12–50 kD protein. Addition of anti-sFasL blocking antibodies to patient plasma caused a statistically significant decrease in neutrophil apoptosis. These studies show that the Fas/FasL pathway could be associated with neutrophil apoptosis in childhood IN.
Neutropenia; Apoptosis; Fas; Fas ligand; Idiopathic neutropenia; Pediatric neutropenia; Neutrophil disorder
Advances in the understanding of the cellular biological events that underlie systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have led to the identification of key molecules and signaling pathways that are aberrantly expressed. The parallel development of small molecules drugs that inhibit or interfere with the specific perturbations identified, offers perspective for more rational, effective and less toxic therapy. In this review, we present data from preclinical and clinical studies of such emerging novel therapies with a particular focus on kinase inhibitors and other compounds that modulate signal transduction. Moreover, we highlight the use of chromatin-modifying medications, bringing attention to the central role of epigenetics in SLE pathogenesis.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; kinase inhibitors; Jak; Syk; HDAC inhibitors
Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) play important biological roles in cell–matrix adhesion processes and are essential regulators of growth actions. The expression of the different HSPGs in itself is tightly regulated providing strict controls on the activities of the bound ligands. Human liver is a target for a number of pathogens, and HSPGs have been demonstrated in several cases to play a pivotal role in infectivity. Despite HSPGs important biological functions, little is known about its cell-specific distribution patterns. Human liver HSPG was isolated, and a specific monoclonal antibody (mAb) 1E4-1C2 was produced. Distribution of HSPG reactive to this mAb was studied in normal blood cells, hematopoietic cell lines and blood cells isolated from patients with various hematologic disorders using indirect immunofluorescence. There was no expression of molecules recognized by this mAb on lymphoid (Daudi, Jurkat, SupT-1) and monocytoid (U937) cell lines. Peripheral blood cells, normal bone marrow, together with leukocytes isolated from patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic myelocytic leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease or Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, were also negative. In contrast, 1E4-1C2 showed significant positive results on human myeloid cell lines HL-60 and K562. Moreover, it is interesting that this mAb also recognized epitopes on leukocytes isolated from acute myeloblastic leukemia. These results suggest that malignancies of cells in myeloid lineage may cause expression of HSPGs that are detected by this specific mAb, making it a potential co-marker for the diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia.
Heparan sulfate; Monoclonal antibodies; Diagnosis; Acute myeloid leukemia
HCV and HIV infections impair dendritic cell function. We evaluated the impact of HCV, HIV, and HCV-HIV infection on MDC–NK interactions by analyzing CD3 depleted PBMC for NK cell IFN-γ in response to IL-12 or poly (I:C). Purified MDC and NK cells were analyzed for TLR ligand-dependent, MDC-dependent NK activity. In HIV infection, IFN-γ production by CD3 depleted PBMC was reduced in response to poly (I:C), while response to IL-12 was intact in HCV and HIV infections. Poly (I:C) induced activity was dependent on MDC and partially dependent on IL-12, consistent with accessory cell help. In purified MDC–NK co-cultures, MDC dependent NK IFN-γ and Granzyme B was intact in both HCV and HIV infections, while MDC numerical defects were observed in HIV infection. These data indicate that during viral infection with HIV, accessory cell dependent NK function in the periphery is impaired. This impairment may be related to the identified MDC numerical defect.
Human; Natural killer cell; IL-12; Dendritic cell; IFN-gamma; HIV; HCV