Intestinal CX3CR1+ mononuclear phagocytes regulate ILC3 in vivo in response to colitis associated microbial signals.
Interleukin (IL)-22–producing group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3) promote mucosal healing and maintain barrier integrity, but how microbial signals are integrated to regulate mucosal protection offered by these cells remains unclear. Here, we show that in vivo depletion of CX3CR1+ mononuclear phagocytes (MNPs) resulted in more severe colitis and death after infection with Citrobacter rodentium. This phenotype was rescued by exogenous IL-22, which was endogenously produced by ILC3 in close spatial proximity to CX3CR1+ MNPs that were dependent on MyD88 signaling. CX3CR1+ MNPs from both mouse and human tissue produced more IL-23 and IL-1β than conventional CD103+ dendritic cells (cDCs) and were more efficient than cDCs in supporting IL-22 production in ILC3 in vitro and in vivo. Further, colonic ILC3 from patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease had increased IL-22 production. IBD-associated SNP gene set analysis revealed enrichment for genes selectively expressed in human intestinal MNPs. The product of one of these, TL1A, potently enhanced IL-23– and IL-1β-induced production of IL-22 and GM-CSF by ILC3. Collectively, these results reveal a critical role for CX3CR1+ mononuclear phagocytes in integrating microbial signals to regulate colonic ILC3 function in IBD.
Transcriptional cofactor of the ETO family Mtg16 promotes pDCs and restricts cDC differentiation in part by repressing Id2.
Dendritic cells (DCs) comprise two major subsets, the interferon (IFN)-producing plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) and antigen-presenting classical DCs (cDCs). The development of pDCs is promoted by E protein transcription factor E2-2, whereas E protein antagonist Id2 is specifically absent from pDCs. Conversely, Id2 is prominently expressed in cDCs and promotes CD8+ cDC development. The mechanisms that control the balance between E and Id proteins during DC subset specification remain unknown. We found that the loss of Mtg16, a transcriptional cofactor of the ETO protein family, profoundly impaired pDC development and pDC-dependent IFN response. The residual Mtg16-deficient pDCs showed aberrant phenotype, including the expression of myeloid marker CD11b. Conversely, the development of cDC progenitors (pre-DCs) and of CD8+ cDCs was enhanced. Genome-wide expression and DNA-binding analysis identified Id2 as a direct target of Mtg16. Mtg16-deficient cDC progenitors and pDCs showed aberrant induction of Id2, and the deletion of Id2 facilitated the impaired development of Mtg16-deficient pDCs. Thus, Mtg16 promotes pDC differentiation and restricts cDC development in part by repressing Id2, revealing a cell-intrinsic mechanism that controls subset balance during DC development.
MAIT cells can discriminate between pathogen-derived ligands in a clonotype-dependent manner, and the TCR repertoire is distinct within individuals, indicating that the MAIT cell repertoire is shaped by prior microbial exposure.
Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells express a semi-invariant T cell receptor (TCR) that detects microbial metabolites presented by the nonpolymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC)–like molecule MR1. The highly conserved nature of MR1 in conjunction with biased MAIT TCRα chain usage is widely thought to indicate limited ligand presentation and discrimination within a pattern-like recognition system. Here, we evaluated the TCR repertoire of MAIT cells responsive to three classes of microbes. Substantial diversity and heterogeneity were apparent across the functional MAIT cell repertoire as a whole, especially for TCRβ chain sequences. Moreover, different pathogen-specific responses were characterized by distinct TCR usage, both between and within individuals, suggesting that MAIT cell adaptation was a direct consequence of exposure to various exogenous MR1-restricted epitopes. In line with this interpretation, MAIT cell clones with distinct TCRs responded differentially to a riboflavin metabolite. These results suggest that MAIT cells can discriminate between pathogen-derived ligands in a clonotype-dependent manner, providing a basis for adaptive memory via recruitment of specific repertoires shaped by microbial exposure.
Resident lymph node DCs rapidly locate viral influenza antigen to drive early activation of T cells, resulting in germinal center formation and B cell memory.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are well established as potent antigen-presenting cells critical to adaptive immunity. In vaccination approaches, appropriately stimulating lymph node–resident DCs (LNDCs) is highly relevant to effective immunization. Although LNDCs have been implicated in immune response, their ability to directly drive effective immunity to lymph-borne antigen remains unclear. Using an inactive influenza vaccine model and whole node imaging approaches, we observed surprising responsiveness of LNDC populations to vaccine arrival resulting in a transnodal repositioning into specific antigen collection sites within minutes after immunization. Once there, LNDCs acquired viral antigen and initiated activation of viral specific CD4+ T cells, resulting in germinal center formation and B cell memory in the absence of skin migratory DCs. Together, these results demonstrate an unexpected stimulatory role for LNDCs where they are capable of rapidly locating viral antigen, driving early activation of T cell populations, and independently establishing functional immune response.
Eosinophil degranulation of peroxidase promotes DC activation and mobilization from the intestine to LNs to induce Th2 immunity and food allergy.
Eosinophils natively inhabit the small intestine, but a functional role for them there has remained elusive. Here, we show that eosinophil-deficient mice were protected from induction of Th2-mediated peanut food allergy and anaphylaxis, and Th2 priming was restored by reconstitution with il4+/+ or il4−/− eosinophils. Eosinophils controlled CD103+ dendritic cell (DC) activation and migration from the intestine to draining lymph nodes, events necessary for Th2 priming. Eosinophil activation in vitro and in vivo led to degranulation of eosinophil peroxidase, a granule protein whose enzymatic activity promoted DC activation in mice and humans in vitro, and intestinal and extraintestinal mouse DC activation and mobilization to lymph nodes in vivo. Further, eosinophil peroxidase enhanced responses to ovalbumin seen after immunization. Thus, eosinophils can be critical contributors to the intestinal immune system, and granule-mediated shaping of DC responses can promote both intestinal and extraintestinal adaptive immunity.
Acid sphingomyelinase activity is increased in brain and plasma of mice and patients with Alzheimer’s disease and its inhibition represents a potential new therapeutic intervention for this disease.
In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), abnormal sphingolipid metabolism has been reported, although the pathogenic consequences of these changes have not been fully characterized. We show that acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) is increased in fibroblasts, brain, and/or plasma from patients with AD and in AD mice, leading to defective autophagic degradation due to lysosomal depletion. Partial genetic inhibition of ASM (ASM+/−) in a mouse model of familial AD (FAD; amyloid precursor protein [APP]/presenilin 1 [PS1]) ameliorated the autophagocytic defect by restoring lysosomal biogenesis, resulting in improved AD clinical and pathological findings, including reduction of amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition and improvement of memory impairment. Similar effects were noted after pharmacologic restoration of ASM to the normal range in APP/PS1 mice. Autophagic dysfunction in neurons derived from FAD patient induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) was restored by partial ASM inhibition. Overall, these results reveal a novel mechanism of ASM pathogenesis in AD that leads to defective autophagy due to impaired lysosomal biogenesis and suggests that partial ASM inhibition is a potential new therapeutic intervention for the disease.
A novel MAIT cell antagonist, Ac-6-FP, stabilizes MR1 and can inhibit MAIT cell activation with the flexible TCR β-chain serving to fine-tune the affinity of the TCR for antigen-MR1 complexes.
Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells express an invariant T cell receptor (TCR) α-chain (TRAV1-2 joined to TRAJ33, TRAJ20, or TRAJ12 in humans), which pairs with an array of TCR β-chains. MAIT TCRs can bind folate- and riboflavin-based metabolites restricted by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-related class I−like molecule, MR1. However, the impact of MAIT TCR and MR1-ligand heterogeneity on MAIT cell biology is unclear. We show how a previously uncharacterized MR1 ligand, acetyl-6-formylpterin (Ac-6-FP), markedly stabilized MR1, potently up-regulated MR1 cell surface expression, and inhibited MAIT cell activation. These enhanced properties of Ac-6-FP were attributable to structural alterations in MR1 that subsequently affected MAIT TCR recognition via conformational changes within the complementarity-determining region (CDR) 3β loop. Analysis of seven TRBV6-1+ MAIT TCRs demonstrated how CDR3β hypervariability impacted on MAIT TCR recognition by altering TCR flexibility and contacts with MR1 and the Ag itself. Ternary structures of TRBV6-1, TRBV6-4, and TRBV20+ MAIT TCRs in complex with MR1 bound to a potent riboflavin-based antigen (Ag) showed how variations in TRBV gene usage exclusively impacted on MR1 contacts within a consensus MAIT TCR-MR1 footprint. Moreover, differential TRAJ gene usage was readily accommodated within a conserved MAIT TCR-MR1-Ag docking mode. Collectively, MAIT TCR heterogeneity can fine-tune MR1 recognition in an Ag-dependent manner, thereby modulating MAIT cell recognition.
Phagocytic monocyte-derived macrophages associate with the nodes of Ranvier and initiate demyelination while microglia clear debris and display a suppressed metabolic gene signature in EAE.
In the human disorder multiple sclerosis (MS) and in the model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), macrophages predominate in demyelinated areas and their numbers correlate to tissue damage. Macrophages may be derived from infiltrating monocytes or resident microglia, yet are indistinguishable by light microscopy and surface phenotype. It is axiomatic that T cell–mediated macrophage activation is critical for inflammatory demyelination in EAE, yet the precise details by which tissue injury takes place remain poorly understood. In the present study, we addressed the cellular basis of autoimmune demyelination by discriminating microglial versus monocyte origins of effector macrophages. Using serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBF-SEM), we show that monocyte-derived macrophages associate with nodes of Ranvier and initiate demyelination, whereas microglia appear to clear debris. Gene expression profiles confirm that monocyte-derived macrophages are highly phagocytic and inflammatory, whereas those arising from microglia demonstrate an unexpected signature of globally suppressed cellular metabolism at disease onset. Distinguishing tissue-resident macrophages from infiltrating monocytes will point toward new strategies to treat disease and promote repair in diverse inflammatory pathologies in varied organs.
TPL2 is required for Th17-mediated neuroinflammation during EAE by regulating the TAK1 signaling axis downstream of the IL-17R in astrocytes.
Development of autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), involves the inflammatory action of Th1 and Th17 cells, but the underlying signaling mechanism is incompletely understood. We show that the kinase TPL2 is a crucial mediator of EAE and is required for the pathological action of Th17 cells. TPL2 serves as a master kinase mediating the activation of multiple downstream pathways stimulated by the Th17 signature cytokine IL-17. TPL2 acts by linking the IL-17 receptor signal to the activation of TAK1, which involves a dynamic mechanism of TPL2–TAK1 interaction and TPL2-mediated phosphorylation and catalytic activation of TAK1. These results suggest that TPL2 mediates TAK1 axis of IL-17 signaling, thereby promoting autoimmune neuroinflammation.
Gata6 regulates differentiation, metabolism and survival of peritoneal macrophages.
The transcription factor Gata6 regulates proliferation and differentiation of epithelial and endocrine cells and cancers. Among hematopoietic cells, Gata6 is expressed selectively in resident peritoneal macrophages. We thus examined whether the loss of Gata6 in the macrophage compartment affected peritoneal macrophages, using Lyz2-Cre x Gata6flox/flox mice to tackle this issue. In Lyz2-Cre x Gata6flox/flox mice, the resident peritoneal macrophage compartment, but not macrophages in other organs, was contracted, with only a third the normal number of macrophages remaining. Heightened rates of death explained the marked decrease in peritoneal macrophage observed. The metabolism of the remaining macrophages was skewed to favor oxidative phosphorylation and alternative activation markers were spontaneously and selectively induced in Gata6-deficient macrophages. Gene expression profiling revealed perturbed metabolic regulators, including aspartoacylase (Aspa), which facilitates generation of acetyl CoA. Mutant mice lacking functional Aspa phenocopied the higher propensity to death and led to a contraction of resident peritoneal macrophages. Thus, Gata6 regulates differentiation, metabolism, and survival of resident peritoneal macrophages.
Macrophage-derived 18-HEPE protects mice from cardiac remodeling by preventing proinflammatory activation of cardiac fibroblasts and subsequent fibrosis.
N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have potential cardiovascular benefit, although the mechanisms underlying this effect remain poorly understood. Fat-1 transgenic mice expressing Caenorhabditis elegans n-3 fatty acid desaturase, which is capable of producing n-3 PUFAs from n-6 PUFAs, exhibited resistance to pressure overload–induced inflammation and fibrosis, as well as reduced cardiac function. Lipidomic analysis revealed selective enrichment of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in fat-1 transgenic bone marrow (BM) cells and EPA-metabolite 18-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (18-HEPE) in fat-1 transgenic macrophages. BM transplantation experiments revealed that fat-1 transgenic BM cells, but not fat-1 transgenic cardiac cells, contributed to the antiremodeling effect and that the 18-HEPE–rich milieu in the fat-1 transgenic heart was generated by BM-derived cells, most likely macrophages. 18-HEPE inhibited macrophage-mediated proinflammatory activation of cardiac fibroblasts in culture, and in vivo administration of 18-HEPE reproduced the fat-1 mice phenotype, including resistance to pressure overload–induced maladaptive cardiac remodeling.
Dr. Tuveson and colleagues provide a comprehensive review on the fundamental role of cancer-associated fibroblasts in shaping the tumor microenvironment and promoting tumor initiation and progression.
Fibroblasts regulate the structure and function of healthy tissues, participate transiently in tissue repair after acute inflammation, and assume an aberrant stimulatory role during chronic inflammatory states including cancer. Such cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) modulate the tumor microenvironment and influence the behavior of neoplastic cells in either a tumor-promoting or tumor-inhibiting manner. These pleiotropic functions highlight the inherent plasticity of fibroblasts and may provide new avenues to understand and therapeutically intervene in malignancies. We discuss the emerging themes of CAF biology in the context of tumorigenesis and therapy.
Antibodies can regulate the quality and functionality of a subset of antiviral CD8+ T cell memory responses to influenza by promoting sustained DC antigen presentation during the contraction phase of primary responses.
The commitment of naive CD8 T cells to effector or memory cell fates can occur after a single day of antigenic stimulation even though virus-derived antigens (Ags) are still presented by DCs long after acute infection is resolved. However, the effects of extended Ag presentation on CD8 T cells are undefined and the mechanisms that regulate prolonged Ag presentation are unknown. We showed that the sustained presentation of two different epitopes from influenza virus by DCs prevented the premature contraction of the primary virus-specific CD8 T cell response. Although prolonged Ag presentation did not alter the number of memory CD8 T cells that developed, it was essential for programming the capacity of these cells to proliferate, produce cytokines, and protect the host after secondary challenge. Importantly, prolonged Ag presentation by DCs was dependent on virus-specific, isotype-switched antibodies (Abs) that facilitated the capture and cross-presentation of viral Ags by FcγR-expressing DCs. Collectively, our results demonstrate that B cells and Abs can regulate the quality and functionality of a subset of antiviral CD8 T cell memory responses and do so by promoting sustained Ag presentation by DCs during the contraction phase of the primary T cell response.
DOCK5 is a key signaling adaptor that orchestrates remodeling of the microtubule network essential for mast cell degranulation.
Mast cells play a key role in the induction of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening IgE-dependent allergic reaction, by secreting chemical mediators that are stored in secretory granules. Degranulation of mast cells is triggered by aggregation of the high-affinity IgE receptor, FcεRI, and involves dynamic rearrangement of microtubules. Although much is known about proximal signals downstream of FcεRI, the distal signaling events controlling microtubule dynamics remain elusive. Here we report that DOCK5, an atypical guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for Rac, is essential for mast cell degranulation. As such, we found that DOCK5-deficient mice exhibit resistance to systemic and cutaneous anaphylaxis. The Rac GEF activity of DOCK5 is surprisingly not required for mast cell degranulation. Instead, DOCK5 associated with Nck2 and Akt to regulate microtubule dynamics through phosphorylation and inactivation of GSK3β. When DOCK5–Nck2–Akt interactions were disrupted, microtubule formation and degranulation response were severely impaired. Our results thus identify DOCK5 as a key signaling adaptor that orchestrates remodeling of the microtubule network essential for mast cell degranulation.
Adherent neutrophils responding to chemoattractants release TNF in proximity of endothelial cell junctions to mediate microvascular leakage.
Microvascular plasma protein leakage is an essential component of the inflammatory response and serves an important function in local host defense and tissue repair. Mediators such as histamine and bradykinin act directly on venules to increase the permeability of endothelial cell (EC) junctions. Neutrophil chemoattractants also induce leakage, a response that is dependent on neutrophil adhesion to ECs, but the underlying mechanism has proved elusive. Through application of confocal intravital microscopy to the mouse cremaster muscle, we show that neutrophils responding to chemoattractants release TNF when in close proximity of EC junctions. In vitro, neutrophils adherent to ICAM-1 or ICAM-2 rapidly released TNF in response to LTB4, C5a, and KC. Further, in TNFR−/− mice, neutrophils accumulated normally in response to chemoattractants administered to the cremaster muscle or dorsal skin, but neutrophil-dependent plasma protein leakage was abolished. Similar results were obtained in chimeric mice deficient in leukocyte TNF. A locally injected TNF blocking antibody was also able to inhibit neutrophil-dependent plasma leakage, but had no effect on the response induced by bradykinin. The results suggest that TNF mediates neutrophil-dependent microvascular leakage. This mechanism may contribute to the effects of TNF inhibitors in inflammatory diseases and indicates possible applications in life-threatening acute edema.
CDK4 activation/RB phosphorylation occurs in 50% of indolent but high-risk follicular lymphomas and implies susceptibility to dual CDK4 and BCL2 inhibition.
Loss of cell cycle controls is a hallmark of cancer and has a well-established role in aggressive B cell malignancies. However, the role of such lesions in indolent follicular lymphoma (FL) is unclear and individual lesions have been observed with low frequency. By analyzing genomic data from two large cohorts of indolent FLs, we identify a pattern of mutually exclusive (P = 0.003) genomic lesions that impair the retinoblastoma (RB) pathway in nearly 50% of FLs. These alterations include homozygous and heterozygous deletions of the p16/CDKN2a/b (7%) and RB1 (12%) loci, and more frequent gains of chromosome 12 that include CDK4 (29%). These aberrations are associated with high-risk disease by the FL prognostic index (FLIPI), and studies in a murine FL model confirm their pathogenic role in indolent FL. Increased CDK4 kinase activity toward RB1 is readily measured in tumor samples and indicates an opportunity for CDK4 inhibition. We find that dual CDK4 and BCL2 inhibitor treatment is safe and effective against available models of FL. In summary, frequent RB pathway lesions in indolent, high-risk FLs indicate an untapped therapeutic opportunity.
Lymphotoxin expressed by RORγt+ innate lymphoid cells is critical for natural killer cell development.
Natural killer (NK) cell development relies on signals provided from the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment. It is thought that lymphotoxin (LT) α1β2 expressed by the NK cell lineage interacts with BM stromal cells to promote NK cell development. However, we now report that a small number of RORγt+ innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), and not CD3−NK1.1+ cells, express LT to drive NK development. Similar to LT−/− or RORγt−/− mice, the mice conditionally lacking LTα1β2 on RORγt+ ILCs experience a developmental arrest at the immature NK stages, between stages of NK development to the mature NK cell stage. This developmental block results in a functional deficiency in the clearance of NK-sensitive tumor cells. Reconstitution of Thy1+ ILCs from BM or purified RORγt+ ILCs from lamina propria lymphocytes into LT-deficient RORγt+ BM cultures rescues NK cell development. These data highlight a previously undiscovered role of RORγt+ ILCs for NK cell development and define LT from ILCs as an essential molecule for the stromal microenvironment supporting NK cell development.
Independent of its known role in NF-κB transcription, the HOIL-1L containing LUBAC is required for assembly and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome via linear ubiquitination of ASC.
Linear ubiquitination is a newly discovered posttranslational modification that is currently restricted to a small number of known protein substrates. The linear ubiquitination assembly complex (LUBAC), consisting of HOIL-1L, HOIP, and Sharpin, has been reported to activate NF-κB–mediated transcription in response to receptor signaling by ligating linear ubiquitin chains to Nemo and Rip1. Despite recent advances, the detailed roles of LUBAC in immune cells remain elusive. We demonstrate a novel HOIL-1L function as an essential regulator of the activation of the NLRP3/ASC inflammasome in primary bone marrow–derived macrophages (BMDMs) independently of NF-κB activation. Mechanistically, HOIL-1L is required for assembly of the NLRP3/ASC inflammasome and the linear ubiquitination of ASC, which we identify as a novel LUBAC substrate. Consequently, we find that HOIL-1L−/− mice have reduced IL-1β secretion in response to in vivo NLRP3 stimulation and survive lethal challenge with LPS. Together, these data demonstrate that linear ubiquitination is required for NLRP3 inflammasome activation, defining the molecular events of NLRP3 inflammasome activation and expanding the role of LUBAC as an innate immune regulator. Furthermore, our observation is clinically relevant because patients lacking HOIL-1L expression suffer from pyogenic bacterial immunodeficiency, providing a potential new therapeutic target for enhancing inflammation in immunodeficient patients.
S1PR2 and CXCR5 cooperatively regulate localization of Tfh cells in GCs to support GC responses.
Follicular helper T (Tfh) cells access the B cell follicle to promote antibody responses and are particularly important for germinal center (GC) reactions. However, the molecular mechanisms of how Tfh cells are physically associated with GCs are incompletely understood. We report that the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 2 (S1PR2) gene is highly expressed in a subpopulation of Tfh cells that localizes in GCs. S1PR2-deficient Tfh cells exhibited reduced accumulation in GCs due to their impaired retention. T cells deficient in both S1PR2 and CXCR5 were ineffective in supporting GC responses compared with T cells deficient only in CXCR5. These results suggest that S1PR2 and CXCR5 cooperatively regulate localization of Tfh cells in GCs to support GC responses.
Agonistic anti–4-1BB suppresses autoimmune and allergic inflammation via binding to Galectin-9, which facilitates 4-1BB aggregation, signaling, and functional activity.
Biologics to TNF family receptors are prime candidates for therapy of immune disease. Whereas recent studies have highlighted a requirement for Fcγ receptors in enabling the activity of CD40, TRAILR, and GITR when engaged by antibodies, other TNFR molecules may be controlled by additional mechanisms. Antibodies to 4-1BB (CD137) are currently in clinical trials and can both augment immunity in cancer and promote regulatory T cells that inhibit autoimmune disease. We found that the action of agonist anti–4-1BB in suppressing autoimmune and allergic inflammation was completely dependent on Galectin-9 (Gal-9). Gal-9 directly bound to 4-1BB, in a site distinct from the binding site of antibodies and the natural ligand of 4-1BB, and Gal-9 facilitated 4-1BB aggregation, signaling, and functional activity in T cells, dendritic cells, and natural killer cells. Conservation of the Gal-9 interaction in humans has important implications for effective clinical targeting of 4-1BB and possibly other TNFR superfamily molecules.