To fend off foreign genetic elements, prokaryotes have developed several defense systems. The most recently discovered defense system, CRISPR/Cas, is sequence-specific, adaptive and heritable. The two central components of this system are the Cas proteins and the CRISPR RNA. The latter consists of repeat sequences that are interspersed with spacer sequences. The CRISPR locus is transcribed into a precursor RNA that is subsequently processed into short crRNAs. CRISPR/Cas systems have been identified in bacteria and archaea, and data show that many variations of this system exist. We analyzed the requirements for a successful defense reaction in the halophilic archaeon Haloferax volcanii. Haloferax encodes a CRISPR/Cas system of the I-B subtype, about which very little is known. Analysis of the mature crRNAs revealed that they contain a spacer as their central element, which is preceded by an eight-nucleotide-long 5′ handle that originates from the upstream repeat. The repeat sequences have the potential to fold into a minimal stem loop. Sequencing of the crRNA population indicated that not all of the spacers that are encoded by the three CRISPR loci are present in the same abundance. By challenging Haloferax with an invader plasmid, we demonstrated that the interaction of the crRNA with the invader DNA requires a 10-nucleotide-long seed sequence. In addition, we found that not all of the crRNAs from the three CRISPR loci are effective at triggering the degradation of invader plasmids. The interference does not seem to be influenced by the copy number of the invader plasmid.
archaea; Haloferax volcanii; CRISPR/Cas; crRNA; PAM; seed sequence
Vaccination against tumor-associated antigens is one promising approach to immunotherapy against malignant gliomas. While previous vaccine efforts have focused exclusively on HLA class I-restricted peptides, class II-restricted peptides are necessary to induce CD4+ helper T cells and sustain effective anti-tumor immunity. In this report we investigated the ability of five candidate peptide epitopes derived from glioma-associated antigens MAGE and IL-13 receptor α2 to detect and characterize CD4+ helper T cell responses in the peripheral blood of patients with malignant gliomas.
Primary T cell responses were determined by stimulating freshly isolated PBMCs from patients with primary glioblastoma (GBM) (n = 8), recurrent GBM (n = 5), meningioma (n = 7), and healthy controls (n = 6) with each candidate peptide, as well as anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (mAb) and an immunodominant peptide epitope derived from myelin basic protein (MBP) serving as positive and negative controls, respectively. ELISA was used to measure IFN-γ and IL-5 levels, and the ratio of IFN-γ/IL-5 was used to determine whether the response had a predominant Th1 or Th2 bias.
We demonstrate that novel HLA Class-II restricted MAGE-A3 and IL-13Rα2 peptides can detect T cell responses in patients with GBMs as well as in healthy subjects. Stimulation with a variety of peptide antigens over-expressed by gliomas is associated with a profound reduction in the IFN-γ/IL-5 ratio in GBM patients relative to healthy subjects. This bias is more pronounced in patients with recurrent GBMs.
Therapeutic vaccine strategies to shift tumor antigen-specific T cell response to a more immunostimulatory Th1 bias may be needed for immunotherapeutic trials to be more successful clinically.
CD4+ T cells are responsible for the progressive lung damage seen in patients with chronic beryllium disease (CBD), a granulomatous lung disorder in which antigen-specific, Th1-type cytokine-secreting T cells have been characterized. Compared to beryllium (Be)-sensitized subjects, an increased number of Be-responsive T cells are present in the blood of CBD patients.
The aim of this study was to determine whether the number of Be-specific T cells in blood predicted the development of CBD in a cohort of Be-exposed subjects.
Using IFN-γ ELISPOT and proliferation-based assays, we determined the frequency and proliferative capacity of Be-responsive T cells in blood.
Compared with the Be lymphocyte proliferation test which detected an abnormal Be-induced proliferative response in 11 of 260 (4.2%) workers from a Be-machining facility, IFN-γ ELISPOT detected a sensitization rate of 10% (χ2 = 55.7; P < 0.0001). A significant positive correlation was also noted between the number of Be-responsive CD4+ T cells in blood and lung of CBD patients. Importantly, the transition from Be sensitization to CBD was associated with an increased number of antigen-specific T cells in blood.
These findings have important implications for Be-induced disease and potentially other immune-mediated disorders, suggesting that the frequency of antigen-specific T cells in blood can serve as a noninvasive biomarker to predict disease development and severity of the Be-specific CD4+ T cell alveolitis.
These findings suggest that the number of Be-responsive T cells in the circulation can serve as a biomarker of disease progression and as an estimate of the severity of Be-induced lung inflammation.
Human; Lung; CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes; Beryllium; Cytokines; Granuloma; ELISPOT
Nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) species cause self-limiting diarrhea and sometimes severe disease. Antibiotic treatment is considered only in severe cases and immune-compromised patients. The beneficial effects of antibiotic therapy and the consequences for adaptive immune responses are not well understood. We used a mouse model for Salmonella diarrhea to assess the effects of per os treatment with ciprofloxacin (15 mg/kg of body weight intragastrically 2 times/day, 5 days) or parenteral ceftriaxone (50 mg/kg intraperitoneally, 5 days), two common drugs used in human patients. The therapeutic and adverse effects were assessed with respect to generation of a protective adaptive immune response, fecal pathogen excretion, and the emergence of nonsymptomatic excreters. In the mouse model, both therapies reduced disease severity and reduced the level of fecal shedding. In line with clinical data, in most animals, a rebound of pathogen gut colonization/fecal shedding was observed 2 to 12 days after the end of the treatment. Yet, levels of pathogen shedding and frequency of appearance of nonsymptomatic excreters did not differ from those for untreated controls. Moreover, mice treated intraperitoneally with ceftriaxone developed an adaptive immunity protecting the mice from enteropathy in wild-type Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium challenge infections. In contrast, the mice treated intragastrically with ciprofloxacin were not protected. Thus, antibiotic treatment regimens can disrupt the adaptive immune response, but treatment regimens may be optimized in order to preserve the generation of protective immunity. It might be of interest to determine whether this also pertains to human patients. In this case, the mouse model might be a tool for further mechanistic studies.
Live attenuated vaccines are of great value for preventing infectious diseases. They represent a delicate compromise between sufficient colonization-mediated adaptive immunity and minimizing the risk for infection by the vaccine strain itself. Immune defects can predispose to vaccine strain infections. It has remained unclear whether vaccine safety could be improved via mutations attenuating a vaccine in immune-deficient individuals without compromising the vaccine's performance in the normal host. We have addressed this hypothesis using a mouse model for Salmonella diarrhea and a live attenuated Salmonella Typhimurium strain (ssaV). Vaccination with this strain elicited protective immunity in wild type mice, but a fatal systemic infection in immune-deficient cybb−/−nos2−/− animals lacking NADPH oxidase and inducible NO synthase. In cybb−/−nos2−/− mice, we analyzed the attenuation of 35 ssaV strains carrying one additional mutation each. One strain, Z234 (ssaV SL1344_3093), was >1000-fold attenuated in cybb−/−nos2−/− mice and ≈100 fold attenuated in tnfr1−/− animals. However, in wt mice, Z234 was as efficient as ssaV with respect to host colonization and the elicitation of a protective, O-antigen specific mucosal secretory IgA (sIgA) response. These data suggest that it is possible to engineer live attenuated vaccines which are specifically attenuated in immuno-compromised hosts. This might help to improve vaccine safety.
Prokaryotes have developed several strategies to defend themselves against foreign genetic elements. One of those defense mechanisms is the recently identified CRISPR/Cas system, which is used by approximately half of all bacterial and almost all archaeal organisms. The CRISPR/Cas system differs from the other defense strategies because it is adaptive, hereditary and it recognizes the invader by a sequence specific mechanism. To identify the invading foreign nucleic acid, a crRNA that matches the invader DNA is required, as well as a short sequence motif called protospacer adjacent motif (PAM). We recently identified the PAM sequences for the halophilic archaeon Haloferax volcanii, and found that several motifs were active in triggering the defense reaction. In contrast, selection of protospacers from the invader seems to be based on fewer PAM sequences, as evidenced by comparative sequence data. This suggests that the selection of protospacers has stricter requirements than the defense reaction. Comparison of CRISPR-repeat sequences carried by sequenced haloarchaea revealed that in more than half of the species, the repeat sequence is conserved and that they have the same CRISPR/Cas type.
Haloferax volcanii; CRISPR/Cas; PAM; archaea; prokaryotic immune system; haloarchaea
Non-coding RNAs are key players in many cellular processes within organisms from all three domains of life. The range and diversity of small RNA functions beyond their involvement in translation and RNA processing was first recognized for eukaryotes and bacteria. Since then, small RNAs were also found to be abundant in archaea. Their functions include the regulation of gene expression and the establishment of immunity against invading mobile genetic elements. This review summarizes our current knowledge about small RNAs used for regulation and defence in archaea.
sRNA; Lsm; Hfq; Archaea; CRISPR; crRNA
Background: CRISPR/Cas systems allow archaea and bacteria to resist invasion by foreign nucleic acids.
Results: The CRISPR/Cas system in Haloferax recognized six different PAM sequences that could trigger a defense response.
Conclusion: The PAM sequence specificity of the defense response in type I CRISPR systems is more relaxed than previously thought.
Significance: The PAM sequence requirements for interference and adaptation appear to differ markedly.
The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) system provides adaptive and heritable immunity against foreign genetic elements in most archaea and many bacteria. Although this system is widespread and diverse with many subtypes, only a few species have been investigated to elucidate the precise mechanisms for the defense of viruses or plasmids. Approximately 90% of all sequenced archaea encode CRISPR/Cas systems, but their molecular details have so far only been examined in three archaeal species: Sulfolobus solfataricus, Sulfolobus islandicus, and Pyrococcus furiosus. Here, we analyzed the CRISPR/Cas system of Haloferax volcanii using a plasmid-based invader assay. Haloferax encodes a type I-B CRISPR/Cas system with eight Cas proteins and three CRISPR loci for which the identity of protospacer adjacent motifs (PAMs) was unknown until now. We identified six different PAM sequences that are required upstream of the protospacer to permit target DNA recognition. This is only the second archaeon for which PAM sequences have been determined, and the first CRISPR group with such a high number of PAM sequences. Cells could survive the plasmid challenge if their CRISPR/Cas system was altered or defective, e.g. by deletion of the cas gene cassette. Experimental PAM data were supplemented with bioinformatics data on Haloferax and Haloquadratum.
Archaea; Microbiology; RNA; RNA Metabolism; RNA Processing; CRISPR/Cas; Haloferax volcanii; PAM
Rationale: Beryllium sensitization (BeS) and chronic beryllium disease (CBD) are determined by at least one genetic factor, a glutamic acid at position 69 (E69) of the HLA-DPB1 gene, and by exposure to beryllium. The relationship between exposure and the E69 genotype has not been well characterized.
Objectives: The study goal was to define the relationship between beryllium exposure and E69 for CBD and BeS.
Methods: Workers (n = 386) from a U.S. nuclear weapons facility were enrolled into a case–control study (70 BeS, 61 CBD, and 255 control subjects). HLA-DPB1 genotypes were determined by sequence-specific primer-polymerase chain reaction. Beryllium exposures were reconstructed on the basis of worker interviews and historical exposure measurements.
Measurements and Main Results: Any E69 carriage increased odds for CBD (odds ratio [OR], 7.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.66–15.84) and each unit increase in lifetime weighted average exposure increased the odds for CBD (OR, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.26–4.09). Compared with E69-negative genotypes, a single E69-positive *02 allele increased the odds for BeS (OR, 12.01; 95% CI, 4.28–33.71) and CBD (OR, 3.46; 95% CI, 1.42–8.43). A single non-*02 E69 allele further increased the odds for BeS (OR, 29.54; 95% CI, 10.33–84.53) and CBD (OR, 11.97; 95% CI, 5.12–28.00) and two E69 allele copies conferred the highest odds for BeS (OR, 55.68; 95% CI, 14.80–209.40) and CBD (OR, 22.54; 95% CI, 7.00–72.62).
Conclusions: E69 and beryllium exposure both contribute to the odds of CBD. The increased odds for CBD and BeS due to E69 appear to be differentially distributed by genotype, with non-*02 E69 carriers and E69 homozygotes at higher odds than those with *02 genotypes.
berylliosis; genetics; case–control studies; occupational exposure; HLA-DP antigens
IL-1F6, IL-1F8 and IL-1F9 and the IL-1R6(RP2) receptor antagonist IL-1F5 constitute a novel IL-1 signaling system that is poorly characterized in skin. To further characterize these cytokines in healthy and inflamed skin, we studied their expression in healthy control (NN), uninvolved psoriasis (PN) and psoriasis plaque (PP) skin using QRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Expression of IL-1F5, -1F6, -1F8, and -1F9 were increased 2-3 orders of magnitude in PP versus PN skin, which was supported immunohistologically. Moreover, treatment of psoriasis with etanercept led to significantly decreased IL-1F5, -1F6, -1F8 and -1F9 mRNAs, concomitant with clinical improvement. Similarly increased expression of IL-1F5, -1F6, -1F8 and -1F9 was seen in the involved skin of two mouse models of psoriasis. Suggestive of their importance in inflamed epithelia, IL-1α and TNF-α induced IL-1F5, -1F6, -1F8, and -1F9 transcript expression by normal human keratinocytes. Microarray analysis revealed that these cytokines induce the expression of anti-microbial peptides and matrix metalloproteins by reconstituted human epidermis. In particular, IL-1F8 increased mRNA expression of HBD2, HBD3 and CAMP and protein secretion of HBD2 and HBD3. Collectively, our data suggest important roles for these novel cytokines in inflammatory skin diseases and identify these peptides as potential targets for antipsoriatic therapies.
Skin; inflammation; cytokine; IL-1; psoriasis; anti-microbial peptides
During the last decade, there have been concerted efforts to reduce beryllium (Be) exposure in the workplace and thereby reduce potential cases of this occupational lung disorder. Despite these efforts, it is estimated that there are at least one million Be-exposed individuals in the U.S. who are potentially at risk for developing chronic beryllium disease (CBD). Previously, we reviewed the current CBD literature and proposed that CBD represents a model interaction between innate and acquired immunity (Sawyer et al., Int Immunopharmacol 2:249–261, 2002). We closed this review with a section on “future directions” that identified key gaps in our understanding of the pathogenesis of CBD. In the intervening period, progress has been made to fill in some of these gaps, and the current review will provide an update on that progress. Based on recent findings, we provide a new hypothesis to explain how Be drives sustained chronic inflammation and granuloma formation in CBD leading to progressive compromised lung function in CBD patients. This paradigm has direct implications for our understanding of the development of an immune response to Be, but is also likely applicable to other immune-mediated lung diseases of known and unknown etiology.
Beryllium; Chronic beryllium disease; Granuloma; Innate immunity; Acquired immunity
Occupational exposure to beryllium (Be) results in Be sensitization (BeS) that can progress to pulmonary granulomatous inflammation associated with chronic Be disease (CBD). Be-specific lymphocytes are present in the blood of patients with BeS and in the blood and lungs of patients with CBD. Sulfasalazine and its active metabolite, mesalamine, are clinically used to ameliorate chronic inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease. We tested whether sulfasalazine or mesalamine could decrease Be-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) proliferation in subjects with CBD and BeS and Be-induced cytokine production in CBD bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells. CBD (n = 25), BeS (n = 12) and healthy normal control (n = 6) subjects were enrolled and ex vivo proliferation and cytokine production were assessed in the presence of Be and sulfasalazine or mesalamine. Be-stimulated PBMC proliferation was inhibited by treatment with either sulfasalazine or mesalamine. Be-stimulated CBD BAL cell IFN-γ and TNF-α cytokine production was decreased by treatment with sulfasalazine or mesalamine. Our data suggest that both sulfasalazine and mesalamine interfere with Be-stimulated PBMC proliferation in CBD and BeS and dampens Be-stimulated CBD BAL cell proinflammatory cytokine production. These studies demonstrate that sulfasalazine and mesalamine can disrupt inflammatory pathways critical to the pathogenesis of chronic granulomatous inflammation in CBD, and may serve as novel therapy for human granulomatous lung diseases.
granulomatous inflammation; IFN-γ; TNF-α; lymphocyte proliferation; berylliosis
Most diseases, including asthma, result from the interaction between environmental exposures and genetic variants. Functional variants of CD14 negatively affect lung function in farm workers and children exposed to animal allergens and endotoxin.
We hypothesized that CD14 polymorphisms interact with inhaled endotoxin and/or allergen to decrease airways function in laboratory animal workers.
369 Caucasian workers completed a symptom and work exposure questionnaire, prick skin testing, and spirometry. Individual exposure estimates for endotoxin and mouse allergen were calculated by weighting task-based breathing zone concentrations by time reported for each task and length of time in current job. Real-time PCR was used to assess CD14/-1619, -550, and -159 alleles. Multiple linear regression predicting airways function included an interaction term between genotype and exposure.
Workers at the highest quartile of the natural log transformed cumulative endotoxin exposure and with the endotoxin responsive CD14/-1619 G allele had significantly lower FEV1 and FEF25–75 percent predicted compared to workers with an AA, with no significant differences noted at lower endotoxin levels for either genotype. The gene by environment effect was marked for atopic workers. Laboratory animal allergy, mouse allergen exposure, CD14/-159 or -550 genotype, and a gene-exposure interaction term for these genotypes and exposures did not predict changes in lung function.
A significant gene by environment interaction affects airways function in laboratory animal workers. More highly endotoxin exposed workers with CD14/-1619G alleles have significantly lower FEV1 and FEF25–75 percent predicted than those with CD14/-1619AA. Atopic workers are particularly affected by cumulative endotoxin exposures.
CD14/-1619; occupational asthma; endotoxin; mouse allergen; CD14/-159; laboratory animal allergy
Rationale: Chronic beryllium disease (CBD) is a CD4+ T cell–mediated disorder characterized by persistent lung inflammation. Naturally occurring regulatory T (Treg) cells modulate adaptive immune responses. The role of this T-cell subset in beryllium-induced lung disease is unknown.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine whether dysfunctional Treg cells in the lung contribute to the “unchecked” inflammatory response that characterizes CBD.
Methods: Using blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells from normal control subjects and individuals with beryllium-induced disease, we determined the frequency and function of naturally occurring Treg cells.
Measurements and Main Results: A significantly decreased percentage and expression of FoxP3 in BAL CD4+ T cells from CBD patients compared with beryllium-sensitized subjects was seen, and the percentage of FoxP3-expressing CD4+ Treg cells in BAL inversely correlated with disease severity. In contrast to blood Treg cells derived from beryllium-sensitized subjects and patients with CBD that completely suppressed blood responder T-cell proliferation, BAL FoxP3-expressing Treg cells from patients with CBD are unable to suppress anti–CD3-mediated BAL T-cell proliferation. Mixing studies showed that blood Treg cells are capable of suppressing autologous BAL responder T cells. Conversely, BAL CD4+ Treg cells are incapable of suppressing blood T cells, confirming that the failure of BAL Treg cells to suppress T-cell proliferation is caused by a dysfunctional Treg cell subset and not by resistance of BAL effector T cells to suppression.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that the deficient and dysfunctional Treg cells in the lung of patients with CBD contribute to the persistent inflammatory response in this disease.
fibrosis; human; granuloma; inflammation
Workplace surveillance identifies chronic beryllium disease (CBD) but it remains unknown over what time frame mild CBD will progress to a more severe form.
We examined physiology and treatment in 229 beryllium sensitization (BeS) and 171 CBD surveillance-identified cases diagnosed from 1982 to 2002. Never smoking CBD cases (81) were compared to never smoking BeS patients (83) to assess disease progression. We compared CBD machinists to non-machinists to examine effects of exposure.
At baseline, CBD and BeS cases did not differ significantly in exposure time or physiology. CBD patients were more likely to have machined beryllium. Of CBD cases, 19.3% went on to require oral immunosuppressive therapy. At 30 years from first exposure, measures of gas exchange were significantly worse and total lung capacity was lower for CBD subjects. Machinists had faster disease progression as measured by pulmonary function testing and gas exchange.
Medical surveillance for CBD identifies individuals at significant risk of disease progression and impairment with sufficient time since first exposure.
beryllium; chronic beryllium disease; medical surveillance
Beryllium exposure in the workplace can result in chronic beryllium disease, a granulomatous lung disorder characterized by CD4+ T cell alveolitis and progressive lung fibrosis. A large number of the CD4+ T cells recruited to the lung in chronic beryllium disease recognize beryllium in an Ag-specific manner and express Th1-type cytokines following T cell activation. Beryllium-responsive CD4+ T cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) express an effector memory T cell phenotype and recognize beryllium in a CD28-independent manner. In this study, we show that the majority of beryllium-responsive CD4+ T cells in BAL have lost CD27 expression, whereas a subset of beryllium-responsive cells in blood retains expression of this costimulatory molecule. In addition, loss of CD27 on BAL CD4+ T cells inversely correlates with markers of lung inflammation. A small population of BAL CD4+ T cells retains CD27 expression, and these CD4+CD27+ T cells contain the FoxP3-expressing, naturally occurring regulatory T (Treg) cell subset. Coexpression of CD27 and CD25 identifies the majority of FoxP3-expressing Treg cells in blood and BAL, and these cells express potent suppressor function. Taken together, these findings suggest that CD27 is differentially expressed between effector T cells from the inflamed lung and can be used in conjunction with CD25 to isolate Treg cells and assess their functional capacity in an ongoing adaptive immune response in a target organ.
In contrast to naive T cells, reactivation of memory cells is less dependent on CD28-mediated costimulation. We have shown that circulating beryllium-specific CD4+ T cells from chronic beryllium disease patients remain CD28-dependent, while those present in the lung no longer require CD28 for T cell activation. In the present study, we analyzed whether other costimulatory molecules are essential for beryllium-induced T cell function in the lung. Enhanced proliferation of a beryllium-responsive, HLA-DP2-restricted T cell line was seen after the induction of 4-1BB ligand expression on the surface of HLA-DP2-expressing fibroblasts. Following beryllium exposure, CD4+ T cells from blood and bronchoalveolar lavage of chronic beryllium disease patients up-regulate 4-1BB expression, and the majority of beryllium-responsive, IFN-γ-producing CD4+ T cells in blood coexpress CD28 and 4-1BB. Conversely, a significant fraction of IFN-γ-producing bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) T cells express 4-1BB in the absence of CD28. In contrast to blood, inhibition of the 4-1BB ligand-4-1BB interaction partially blocked beryllium-induced proliferation of BAL CD4+ T cells, and a lack of 4-1BB expression on BAL T cells was associated with increased beryllium-induced cell death. Taken together, these findings suggest an important role of 4-1BB in the costimulation of beryllium-responsive CD4+ T cells in the target organ.
Although the physiologic pathways that control regulatory T cells (Foxp3-expressing regulatory T cells, IL-10-secreting Tr1 cells) and Th17 cells in rodents have been defined, the factors that control these differentiation pathways in humans are not well understood. In this study, we show that IL-27 promotes the differentiation of IL-10-secreting Tr1 cells while inhibiting Th17 generation and molecules associated with Th17 function. Furthermore, IL-27 inhibits IL-17-polarizing cytokines on dendritic cells, which in turn decrease IL-17 secretion from T cells. Our results demonstrate that IL-27 plays a key role in human T cells by promoting IL-10-secreting Tr1 cells and inhibiting Th17 cells and thus provides a dual regulatory mechanism to control autoimmunity and tissue inflammation.
QPCR; PRT; Copy number variant; type 1 diabetes; CCL4L1; CCL4; CCL3; CCL3L1
Genome-wide association (GWA) studies provide insight into multigenic diseases through the identification of susceptibility genes and etiological pathways. In addition, identification of shared variants among autoimmune disorders provides insight into common disease pathways. We previously reported association of a nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (nsSNP) rs763361/Gly307Ser in the immune response gene CD226 on chromosome 18q22 with type 1 diabetes (T1D) susceptibility. Here, we report efforts towards identifying the causal variant by exonic resequencing and tag SNP mapping of the 18q22 region in both T1D and multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition to the analysis of newly available samples in T1D (2,088 cases and 3,289 controls) and autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) (821 cases and 1,920 controls), resulting in strong support for the Ser307 association with T1D (P= 3.46 × 10−9) and continued potential evidence for AITD (P = 0.0345), we provide convincing evidence for association of Gly307Ser with MS (P = 4.20 × 10−4) and some evidence for another autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (P = 0.017). The Ser307 allele of rs763361 in exon 7 of CD226 predisposes to T1D, MS, possibly AITD and possibly RA, and based on the tag SNP analysis, could be the causal variant.
type 1 diabetes; multiple sclerosis; rheumatoid arthritis; CD226; DNAM-1
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on chromosome 6 is associated with susceptibility to more common diseases than any other region of the human genome, including almost all disorders classified as autoimmune. In type 1 diabetes the major genetic susceptibility determinants have been mapped to the MHC class II genes HLA-DQB1 and HLA-DRB1 (refs 1-3), but these genes cannot completely explain the association between type 1 diabetes and the MHC region4-11. Owing to the region’s extreme gene density, the multiplicity of disease-associated alleles, strong associations between alleles, limited genotyping capability, and inadequate statistical approaches and sample sizes, which, and how many, loci within the MHC determine susceptibility remains unclear. Here, in several large type 1 diabetes data sets, we analyse a combined total of 1,729 polymorphisms, and apply statistical methods—recursive partitioning and regression—to pinpoint disease susceptibility to the MHC class I genes HLA-B and HLA-A (risk ratios>1.5; Pcombined=2.01×10-19 and 2.35×10-13, respectively) in addition to the established associations of the MHC class II genes. Other loci with smaller and/or rarer effects might also be involved, but to find these, future searches must take into account both the HLA class II and class I genes and use even larger samples. Taken together with previous studies4-8,10-16, we conclude that MHC-class-I-mediated events, principally involving HLA-B*39, contribute to the aetiology of type 1 diabetes.
Natural Killer (NK) cells from nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice induced with poly I:C in vivo exhibit low cytotoxicity against a range of target cells, but the genetic mechanisms controlling this defect are yet to be elucidated. Defects in the expression of NKG2D and its ligands, the RAE-1 molecules, have been hypothesized to contribute to the reduced NK function present in NOD mice. Here we show that segregation of the NK-mediated killing phenotype did not correlate with the NOD Raet1 haplotype, and that the large alterations in NKG2D expression previously reported on NK cells expanded in vitro were not observed in primary, poly I:C-elicited NK cells in vivo. Additional studies indicate a complex genetic control of defective NOD NK cells, including genes linked to the MHC and possibly those that are associated with an altered cytokine response to the TLR3-agonist, poly I:C.
Rationale: Occupational exposure to beryllium (Be) can result in chronic granulomatous inflammation characterized by the presence of Be-specific CD4+ T cells. Studies show that oxidative stress plays a role in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory disorders.
Objectives: We hypothesized that Be-induced oxidative stress modulates the proliferation of Be-specific CD4+ T cells.
Methods: Thirty-three subjects with chronic beryllium disease (CBD), 15 subjects with beryllium sensitization, and 28 healthy normal control subjects were consecutively enrolled from the Occupational and Environmental Health Clinic of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center.
Measurements and Main Results: All studies were performed with Ficoll-Hypaque–isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from subsets of the study subjects. Decreased intracellular levels of the thiol antioxidants, glutathione and cysteine, were observed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from subjects with beryllium sensitization and CBD, as compared with healthy control subjects. Beryllium stimulation decreased intracellular thiol antioxidants by more than 40%, accompanied by increased reactive oxygen species levels and the proliferation of Be-specific blood CD4+ T cells from subjects with CBD. Be-induced T-cell proliferation was inhibited by treatment with the thiol antioxidant N-acetylcysteine or the catalytic antioxidant manganese(III) 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(4-benzoic acid)porphyrin (MnTBAP). MnTBAP treatment also inhibited T-cell proliferation in response to the unrelated, MHC class II–restricted antigen tetanus toxoid. Treatment of CBD blood lymphocytes, but not antigen-presenting cells, with MnTBAP decreased Be-induced T-cell proliferation by more than 40%.
Conclusions: Beryllium can mediate a thiol imbalance leading to oxidative stress that may modulate the proliferation and clonal expansion of Be-specific blood CD4+ T cells. These data suggest that Be-induced oxidative stress plays a role in the pathogenesis of granulomatous inflammation in CBD.
T cells; reactive oxygen species; glutathione; N-acetylcysteine; oxidative stress
Immunosuppression by gliomas contributes to tumor progression and treatment resistance. It is not known when immunosuppression occurs during tumor development but it likely involves cross-talk among tumor cells, tumor-associated macrophages and microglia (TAMs), and peripheral as well as tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs).
We have performed a kinetic study of this immunomodulation, assessing the dynamics of immune infiltration and function, within the central nervous system (CNS) and peripherally. PDGF-driven murine glioma cells were injected into the white matter of 13 mice. Four mice were sacrificed 13 days post-injection (dpi), four mice at 26 dpi, and five mice at 40 dpi. Using multiparameter flow cytometry, splenic T cells were assessed for FoxP3 expression to identify regulatory T cells (Tregs) and production of IFN-γ and IL-10 after stimulation with PMA/ionomycin; within the CNS, CD4+ TILs were quantified, and TAMs were quantified and assessed for TNF-α and IL-10 production after stimulation with LPS. Peripheral changes associated with tumor development were noted prior to effects within the CNS. The percentage of FoxP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) increased by day 26, with elevated frequencies throughout the duration of the study. This early increase in Tregs was paralleled by an increase in IL-10 production from Tregs. At the final time points examined (tumor morbidity or 40 dpi), there was an increase in the frequency of TAMs with decreased capacity to secrete TNF-α. An increase in TIL frequency was also observed at these final time points.
These data provide insight into the kinetics of the immunosuppressive state associated with tumor growth in a murine model of human gliomas. Functional impairment of TAMs occurs relatively late in the course of GBM tumor growth, potentially providing a window of opportunity for therapeutic strategies directed towards preventing their functional impairment.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) and type 1 diabetes (T1D) are organ-specific autoimmune disorders with significant heritability, part of which is conferred by shared alleles. For decades, the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) complex was the only known susceptibility locus for both T1D and MS, but loci outside the HLA complex harboring risk alleles have been discovered and fully replicated. A genome-wide association scan for MS risk genes and candidate gene association studies have previously described the IL2RA gene region as a shared autoimmune locus. In order to investigate whether autoimmunity risk at IL2RA was due to distinct or shared alleles, we performed a genetic association study of three IL2RA variants in a DNA collection of up to 9,407 healthy controls, 2,420 MS, and 6,425 T1D subjects as well as 1,303 MS parent/child trios. Here, we report “allelic heterogeneity” at the IL2RA region between MS and T1D. We observe an allele associated with susceptibility to one disease and risk to the other, an allele that confers susceptibility to both diseases, and an allele that may only confer susceptibility to T1D. In addition, we tested the levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2RA) in the serum from up to 69 healthy control subjects, 285 MS, and 1,317 T1D subjects. We demonstrate that multiple variants independently correlate with sIL-2RA levels.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) and type 1 diabetes (T1D) are common, organ-specific inflammatory disorders that continue to increase in global prevalence. The processes leading to both T1D and MS are genetically determined and are thought to involve an autoimmune mechanism. After decades of research into the genetic basis of both MS and T1D, the Human Leukocyte Antigen Complex was the only known susceptibility locus for both T1D and MS. The sequencing of the human genome followed by the generation of the haplotype map, a catalogue of common genetic variation, has allowed the elucidation of allelic variants that define disease risk. Our groups have performed genome-wide association scans and candidate gene studies in both T1D and MS; the final results have identified loci outside the HLA harboring fully replicated risk alleles. Here, we show that the IL-2RA gene encoding a critical regulator of immune responses, the alpha chain of the interleukin-2 receptor, harbors variants that differentially confer risk to MS and T1D. In addition, several independent variants correlate with levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptor in the serum. This finding has critical implications for the field of complex disease genetics as it emphasizes the caution that must be taken when interpreting results for such a complex region with multiple susceptibility alleles.