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1.  Targeting Activation Induced Cytidine Deaminase Overcome Tumor Evasion of Immunotherapy by Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes 
Activation induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is an enzyme essential for the generation of antibody diversity in B cells and is considered to be a general gene mutator. In addition, AID expression was also implicated in the pathogenesis of human B cell malignancies and associated with poor prognosis. Here we report that siRNA silencing of AID in plasmacytoma dramatically increased its susceptibility to immunotherapy by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. AID silencing did not decrease the mutation frequencies of tumor antigen gene P1A. Gene-array analysis showed dramatically altered expression of a number of genes in AID-silenced plasmacytoma cells and upregulation of CD200 was shown to be in favor of tumor eradication by CTL. Taken together, we demonstrate a novel function of AID in tumor evasion of CTL therapy and that targeting AID should be beneficial in the immunotherapy of AID positive tumors.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.0903322
PMCID: PMC2874093  PMID: 20404277
Activation induced cytidine deaminase; Plasmacytoma; Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes; Immune evasion
2.  Tumor-derived IL-35 promotes tumor growth by enhancing myeloid cell accumulation and angiogenesis 
IL-35 is a member of the IL-12 family of cytokines consisting of IL-12 p35 subunit and IL-12 p40-related protein subunit, EBV-induced gene 3 (EBI3). IL-35 functions through IL-35R and has a potent immune suppressive activity. Although IL-35 has been demonstrated to be produced by regulatory T cells, gene expression analysis has revealed that IL-35 is likely to have wider distribution including expression in cancer cells. In this study we have demonstrated that IL-35 is produced in human cancer tissues such as large B cell lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and melanoma. In order to determine the roles of tumor-derived IL-35 in tumorigenesis and tumor immunity, we generated IL-35 producing plasmacytoma J558 and B16 melanoma cells, and observed that the expression of IL-35 in cancer cells does not affect their growth and survival in vitro, but stimulates tumorigenesis in both immune competent and Rag1/2 deficient mice. Tumor-derived IL-35 increases CD11b+Gr1+ myeloid cell accumulation in tumor microenvironment, and thereby promotes tumor angiogenesis. In immune competent mice, spontaneous CTL responses to tumors are diminished. IL-35 does not directly inhibit tumor antigen specific CD8+ T cell activation, differentiation and effector functions. However, IL-35-treated cancer cells had increased expression of gp130 and reduced sensitivity to CTL destruction. Thus, our study indicates novel functions of IL-35 in promoting tumor growth via enhancing myeloid cell accumulation, tumor angiogenesis and suppression of tumor immunity.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1202535
PMCID: PMC3578001  PMID: 23345334
3.  Olfactomedin 4 inhibits cathepsin C-mediated protease activities, thereby modulating neutrophil killing of S. aureus and E. coli in mice1 
Neutrophils kill bacteria generally through oxidative and nonoxidative mechanisms. Whereas much research has focused on the enzymes essential for neutrophil killing, little is known about the regulatory molecules responsible for such killing. In this study we investigated the role of olfactomedin 4 (OLFM4), an olfactomedin-related glycoprotein, in neutrophil bactericidal capability and host innate immunity. Neutrophils from OLFM4−/− mice have increased intracellular killing of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in vitro. The OLFM4−/− mice have enhanced in vivo bacterial clearance and are more resistant to sepsis when challenged with S. aureus or E. coli by intraperitoneal injection. OLFM4 was found to interact with cathepsin C, a cysteine protease that plays an important role in bacterial killing and immune regulation. We demonstrated that OLFM4 inhibited cathepsin C activity in vitro and in vivo. The cathepsin C activity in neutrophils from OLFM4−/− mice was significantly higher than that in neutrophils from wild-type littermate mice. The activities of three serine proteases (neutrophil elastase, cathepsin G, and proteinase 3), which require cathepsin C activity for processing and maturity, were also significantly higher in OLFM4−/− neutrophils. The bacterial killing and clearance capabilities observed in OLFM4−/− mice that was enhanced relative to WT mice was significantly compromised by the additional loss of cathepsin C in mice with OLFM4 and cathepsin C double deficiency. These results indicate that OLFM4 is an important negative regulator of neutrophil bactericidal activity by restricting cathepsin C activity and its downstream granule-associated serine proteases.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1103179
PMCID: PMC3424379  PMID: 22844115
4.  B Cells Have Distinct Roles in Host Protection against Different Nematode Parasites 
B cells can mediate protective responses against nematode parasites by supporting Th2 cell development and/or by producing Abs. To examine this, B cell-deficient mice were inoculated with Nippostrongylus brasiliensis or Heligmosomoides polygyrus. B cell-deficient and wild type mice showed similar elevations in Th2 cytokines and worm expulsion after N. brasiliensis inoculation. Worm expulsion was inhibited in H. polygyrus-inoculated B cell-deficient mice, although Th2 cytokine elevations in mucosal tissues were unaffected. Impaired larval migration and development was compromised as early as day 4 after H. polygyrus challenge, and administration of immune serum restored protective immunity in B cell-deficient mice, indicating a primary role for Ab. Immune serum even mediated protective effects when administered to naive mice prior to inoculation. This study suggests variability in the importance of B cells in mediating protection against intestinal nematode parasites, and it indicates an important role for Ab in resistance to tissue-dwelling parasites.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.0902879
PMCID: PMC3729113  PMID: 20357259
5.  Distinct regulation of murine lupus susceptibility genes by the IRF5-Blimp-1 axis 
Genome-wide association studies have identified lupus susceptibility genes such as IRF5 and PRDM1 (encoding for the IRF5 and Blimp-1) in the human genome. Accordingly, the murine Irf5 and Prdm1 genes have been shown to play a role in lupus susceptibility. However, it remains unclear how IRF5 and Blimp-1 (a transcriptional target of IRF5) contribute to lupus susceptibility. Given that the murine lupus susceptibility locus Nba2 includes the interferon-regulated genes Ifi202 (encoding for the p202 protein), Aim2 (encoding for the Aim2 protein), and Fcgr2b (encoding for the FcγRIIB receptor), we investigated whether the IRF5-Blimp-1 axis could regulate the expression of these genes. We found that an Irf5-deficiency in mice decreased the expression of Blimp-1 and reduced the expression of the Ifi202. However, the deficiency increased the expression of Aim2 and Fcgr2b. Correspondingly, increased expression of IRF5 in cells increased levels of Blimp-1 and p202 protein. Moreover, Blimp-1 expression increased the expression of Ifi202, whereas it reduced the expression of Aim2. Interestingly, an Aim2-deficiency in female mice increased the expression of IRF5. Similarly, the Fcgr2b-deficient mice expressed increased levels of IRF5. Moreover, increased expression of IRF5 and Blimp-1 in lupus-prone B6.Nba2, NZB, and B6.Sle123 female mice (as compared to age-matched C57BL/6 female mice) was associated with increased levels of the p202 protein. Together, our observations demonstrate that the IRF5-Blimp-1 axis differentially regulates the expression of Nba2 lupus susceptibility genes, and suggest an important role for the IRF5-Blimp-1-p202 axis in murine lupus susceptibility.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1102311
PMCID: PMC3244553  PMID: 22116829
IRF5; Blimp-1; Nba2 locus; p202; interferon; autoimmunity; SLE
6.  Microbiotadown regulates dendritic cell expression of miR-10a which targets IL-12/IL-23p40 
Commensal flora plays important roles in the regulation of the gene expression involved in many intestinal functions and the maintenance of immune homeostasis, as well as in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small, non-coding RNAs, act as key regulators in many biological processes. The miRNAs are highly conserved among species and appear to play important roles in both innate and adaptive immunity, as they can control the differentiation of various immune cells as well as their functions. However, it is still largely unknown how microbiota regulates miRNA expression, thereby contributing to intestinal homeostasis and pathogenesis of IBD. In our current study, we found that microbiota negatively regulated intestinal miR-10a expression, in that the intestines, as well as intestinal epithelial cells and dendritic cells of specific pathogen-free (SPF) mice, expressed much lower levels of miR-10a compared to those in germ-free (GF) mice. Commensal bacteria downregulated DC miR-10a expression via TLR-TLR ligand interactions through a MyD88-dependent pathway. We identified IL-12/IL-23p40, a key molecule for innate immune responses to commensal bacteria, as a target of miR-10a. The ectopic expression of miR-10a precursor inhibited, whereas miR-10a inhibitor promoted, the expression of IL-12/IL-23p40 in DC. Mice with colitis expressing higher levels of IL-12/IL-23p40 exhibit lower levels of intestinal miR-10a compared to that in the control mice. Collectively, our data demonstrated that microbiota negatively regulates host miR-10a expression, which may contribute to the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis by targeting IL-12/IL-23p40 expression.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1100535
PMCID: PMC3226774  PMID: 22068236
7.  The Tuberous Sclerosis Complex -mTOR Pathway Maintains the Quiescence and Survival of Naïve T Cells 
Naïve T cells receive stimulation from the positive selecting ligand in the periphery for their survival. This stimulation does not normally lead to overt activation of T cells, as the T cells remain largely quiescent until they receive either antigenic or lymphopenic stimuli. The underlying mechanism responsible for survival and quiescence of the naïve T cells remain largely unknown. Here we report that T cell-specific deletion of Tsc1, a negative regulator of mTOR, resulted in both spontaneous losses of quiescence and cellularity, especially within the CD8 subset. The Tsc1-deficient T cells have increased cell proliferation and apoptosis. Tsc1 deletion affects the survival and quiescence of T cells in the absence of antigenic stimulation. Loss of quiescence but not cellularity was inhibited by rapamycin. Our data demonstrate that TSC-mTOR maintains quiescence and survival of T cells.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1003968
PMCID: PMC3151493  PMID: 21709159
8.  Discrete TCR repertoires and CDR3 features distinguish effector and Foxp3+ regulatory T lymphocytes in MOG-EAE 
Regulatory T lymphocytes (Treg) expressing the Forkhead Box Transcription Factor 3 (Foxp3) are critical modulators of autoimmunity. Foxp3+ Treg may develop in the thymus as a population distinct from conventional Foxp3− αβ T cells (Tconv). Alternatively, plasticity in Foxp3 expression may allow for the interconversion of mature Treg and Tconv. We examined >160,000 TCR sequences from Foxp3+ or Foxp3− populations in the spleens or CNS of wild type mice with experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) to determine their relatedness and identify distinguishing TCR features. Our results indicate that the CNS infiltrating Treg and Tconv arise predominantly from distinct sources. The repertoires of CNS Treg or Tconv TCR showed limited overlap with heterologous populations in either the CNS or spleen, indicating that they are largely unrelated. Indeed, Treg and Tconv TCR in the CNS were significantly less related than those populations in the spleen. In contrast, CNS Treg and Tconv repertoires strongly intersected those of the homologous cell type in the spleen. High frequency sequences more likely to be disease associated showed similar results, and some public TCR demonstrated Treg or Tconv-specific motifs. Different charge characteristics and amino acid use preferences were identified in the CDR3β of Treg and Tconv infiltrating the CNS, further indicating that their repertoires are qualitatively distinct. Therefore discrete populations of Treg and Tconv that do not substantially interconvert respond during EAE. Differences in sequence and physical characteristics distinguish Treg and Tconv TCR and imply dissimilar antigen recognition properties.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1001550
PMCID: PMC2944006  PMID: 20810983
9.  Neutrophils Clear Bacteria Associated with Parasitic Nematodes Augmenting the Development of an Effective Th2-Type Response1 
Infection with the parasitic nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis induces a potent Th2 response; however, little is known about early stages of the innate response that may contribute to protective immunity. To examine early events in this response, chemokine expression in the draining lymph node was examined after N. brasiliensis inoculation. Pronounced increases of several chemokines, including CCL2, were observed. Compared with wild-type mice, elevations in a Gr-1bright population in the draining lymph node was significantly decreased in CCL2−/− mice after N. brasiliensis inoculation. Further flow cytometric and immunofluorescent analysis showed that in wild-type mice, Gr-1+ cells transiently entered and exited the draining lymph node shortly after N. brasiliensis inoculation. The Gr-1bright population was comprised of neutrophils expressing TGF-β and TNF-α. Following Gr-1+ cell depletion, N. brasiliensis infection resulted in transient, but significantly increased levels of IFN-γ, increased serum IgG2a, reduced Th2 cytokines and serum IgE, greatly increased mortality, and delayed worm expulsion. Furthermore, bacteria were readily detected in vital organs. Infection of Gr-1+ cell-depleted mice with N. brasiliensis larvae that were pretreated with antibiotics prevented bacterial dissemination, Th1 inflammatory responses, and decreases in host survival. This study indicates that parasitic nematodes can be an important vector of potentially harmful bacteria, which is typically controlled by CCL2-dependent neutrophils that ensure the optimal development of Th2 immune responses and parasite resistance.
PMCID: PMC2288648  PMID: 18097048
10.  The Role of B Cells in the Development of CD4 Effector T Cells during a Polarized Th2 Immune Response1 
Previous studies have suggested that B cells promote Th2 cell development by inhibiting Th1 cell differentiation. To examine whether B cells are directly required for the development of IL-4-producing T cells in the lymph node during a highly polarized Th2 response, B cell-deficient and wild-type mice were inoculated with the nematode parasite, Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. On day 7, in the absence of increased IFN-γ, IL-4 protein and gene expression from CD4 T cells in the draining lymph nodes were markedly reduced in B cell-deficient mice and could not be restored by multiple immunizations. Using a DO11.10 T cell adoptive transfer system, OVA-specific T cell IL-4 production and cell cycle progression, but not cell surface expression of early activation markers, were impaired in B cell-deficient recipient mice following immunization with N. brasiliensis plus OVA. Laser capture microdissection and immunofluorescent staining showed that pronounced IL-4 mRNA and protein secretion by donor DO11.10 T cells first occurred in the T cell:B cell zone of the lymph node shortly after inoculation of IL-4−/− recipients, suggesting that this microenvironment is critical for initial Th2 cell development. Reconstitution of B cell-deficient mice with wild-type naive B cells, or IL-4−/− B cells, substantially restored Ag-specific T cell IL-4 production. However, reconstitution with B7-1/B7-2-deficient B cells failed to rescue the IL-4-producing DO11.10 T cells. These results suggest that B cells, expressing B7 costimulatory molecules, are required in the absence of an underlying IFN-γ-mediated response for the development of a polarized primary Ag-specific Th2 response in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2258088  PMID: 17785819
11.  IL-2 and Autocrine IL-4 Drive the In Vivo Development of Antigen-Specific Th2 T Cells Elicited by Nematode Parasites12 
The intestinal nematode parasite, Nippostrongylus brasiliensis, triggers potent type 2 immunity. Using OVA peptide as a model Ag, we have examined the adjuvant effects of this parasite on the in vivo development of Ag-specific Th2 cells from naive DO11.10 T cells. Our findings show that Th2 cells can develop from transferred naive OVA-specific DO11.10 T cells in recipient IL-4–/– mice inoculated with N. brasiliensis plus OVA. However, autocrine IL-4 is required for in situ Th2 cell differentiation since transferred IL-4Rα-deficient DO11.10 T cells showed greatly reduced Th2 cell development in inoculated IL-4–/– recipient mice. Surprisingly, we also found that IL-2 blockade promoted B7-dependent T cell cycling, but inhibited the development of OVA-specific Th2 cells. Furthermore, the effects of IL-2 occurred independently of CD25+ T regulatory cells. These studies establish a previously unrecognized requirement for autocrine IL-4 and IL-2 in Th2 responses elicited by nematode parasites.
PMCID: PMC1978543  PMID: 15699158
12.  Delta-like Ligand 4 Identifies a Previously Uncharacterized Population of Inflammatory Dendritic Cells That Plays Important Roles in Eliciting Allogeneic T-cell Responses in Mice1 
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) reflects an exaggerated inflammatory allogeneic T-cell response in hosts receiving allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Inhibition of pan-Notch receptor signaling in donor T cells causes reduction of GVHD. However, which Notch ligand(s) in what antigen-presenting cells are important for priming GVH reaction remains unknown. We demonstrate that δ-like ligand-4 (Dll4) and Dll4-positive (Dll4hi) inflammatory dendritic cells (i-DCs) play important roles in eliciting allogeneic T-cell responses. Host-type Dll4hi i-DCs occurred in the spleen and intestine of HSCT mice during GVHD induction phase. These Dll4hi i-DCs were CD11c+B220+PDCA-1+, resembling plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) of naïve mice. However, as compared to unstimulated pDCs, Dll4hi i-DCs expressed higher levels of costimulatory molecules, Notch ligands Jagged1 and Jagged2 and CD11b and, produced more Ifnb and Il23 but less Il12. In contrast, Dll4-negative (Dll4lo) i-DCs were CD11c+B220−PDCA-1−, and had low levels of Jagged1. In vitro assays showed that Dll4hi i-DCs induced significantly more IFN-γ- and IL-17-producing effector T cells (3- and 10-fold, respectively) than Dll4lo i-DCs. This effect could be blocked by anti-Dll4 antibody. In vivo administration of Dll4 antibody reduced donor alloreactive effector T cells producing IFN-γ and IL-17 in GVHD target organs, leading to reduction of GVHD and improved survival of mice after allogeneic HSCT. Our findings indicate that Dll4hi i-DCs represent a previously uncharacterized i-DC population distinctive from steady state DCs and Dll4lo i-DCs. Furthermore, Dll4 and Dll4hi i-DCs may be beneficial targets for modulating allogeneic T-cell responses, and could facilitate the discovery of human counterparts of mouse Dll4hi i-DCs.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1202820
PMCID: PMC3608722  PMID: 23440416
13.  1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D Promotes Negative Feedback Regulation of Toll-Like Receptor Signaling via Targeting MicroRNA-155-SOCS1 in Macrophages 
The negative feedback mechanism is essential to maintain effective immunity and tissue homeostasis. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D3) modulates innate immune response, but the mechanism remains poorly understood. Here we report that vitamin D receptor (VDR) signaling attenuates Toll-like receptor-mediated inflammation by enhancing the negative feedback inhibition. VDR inactivation leads to hyper inflammatory response in mice and macrophage cultures when challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), due to miR-155 overproduction that excessively suppresses SOCS1, a key regulator that enhances the negative feedback loop. Deletion of miR-155 attenuates vitamin D suppression of LPS-induced inflammation, confirming that 1,25(OH)2D3 stimulates SOCS1 by down-regulating miR-155. 1,25(OH)2D3 down-regulates bic transcription by inhibiting NF-κB activation, which is mediated by a κB cis-DNA element located within the first intron of the bic gene. Together these data identify a novel regulatory mechanism for vitamin D to control innate immunity.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1203273
PMCID: PMC3608760  PMID: 23436936
vitamin D; inflammation; macrophage; miR-155; SOCS1; negative feedback
14.  Leptin-induced RORγt expression in CD4+ T cells promotes Th17 responses in systemic lupus erythematosus1 
Th17 CD4+ cells promote inflammation and autoimmunity. Here we report that Th17 cell frequency is reduced in ob/ob mice that are genetically deficient in the adipokine leptin, and that the administration of leptin to ob/ob mice restored Th17 cell numbers to values comparable to those found in wild type animals. Leptin promoted Th17 responses in normal human CD4+ T cells and in mice, both in vitro and in vivo, by inducing RORγt transcription. Leptin also increased Th17 responses in (NZB × NZW)F1 lupus-prone mice, whereas its neutralization in those autoimmune-prone mice inhibited Th17 responses. Since Th17 cells play an important role in the development and maintenance of inflammation and autoimmunity, these findings envision the possibility to modulate abnormal Th17 responses via leptin manipulation, and reiterate the link between metabolism/nutrition and susceptibility to autoimmunity.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1203275
PMCID: PMC3608794  PMID: 23447682
15.  MicroRNA-375 regulation of thymic stromal lymphopoietin by diesel exhaust particles and ambient particulate matter in human bronchial epithelial cells§ 
Air pollution contributes to acute exacerbations of asthma and the development of asthma in children and adults. Airway epithelial cells interface innate and adaptive immune responses and have been proposed to regulate much of the response to pollutants. Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a pivotal cytokine linking innate and Th2 adaptive immune disorders and is upregulated by environmental pollutants, including ambient particulate matter (PM) and diesel exhaust particles (DEP). We now show that DEP and ambient fine PM upregulate TSLP mRNA and hsa-miR-375 in primary human bronchial epithelial cells (pHBEC). Moreover, transfection of pHBEC with anti-hsa-miR-375 reduced TSLP mRNA in DEP but not TNF-α treated cells. In silico pathway evaluation suggested the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) as one possible target of miR-375. DEP and ambient fine PM (3 μg/cm2), down regulated AhR mRNA. Transfection of mimic-hsa-miR-375 resulted in a small downregulation of AhR mRNA compared to resting AhR mRNA. AhR mRNA was increased in pHBEC treated with DEP after transfection with anti-hsa-miR-375. Our data show that two pollutants, DEP and ambient PM, upregulate TSLP in human bronchial epithelial cells by a mechanism that includes hsa-miR-375 with complex regulatory effects on AhR mRNA. The absence of this pathway in TNF-α-treated cells suggests multiple regulatory pathways for TSLP expression in these cells.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1201165
PMCID: PMC3665109  PMID: 23455502
TSLP; diesel exhaust particles; particulate matter; bronchial epithelial cells; miR-375; miRNA; Aryl hydrocarbon receptor; lung
16.  Parasite-derived arginase influences secondary anti-Leishmania immunity by regulating PD-1-mediated CD4+ T cell exhaustion1 
The breakdown of L-arginine to ornithine and urea by host arginase supports Leishmania proliferation in macrophages. Studies using arginase-null mutants show that Leishmania-derived arginase plays an important role in disease pathogenesis. We investigated the role of parasite-derived arginase in secondary (memory) anti-Leishmania immunity in the resistant C57BL/6 mice. We found that C57BL/6 mice infected with arginase deficient (arg−) L. major failed to completely resolve their lesion and maintained chronic pathology after 16 weeks, a time when the lesion induced by wild type (WT) L. major is completely resolved. This chronic disease was associated with impaired antigen-specific proliferation and IFN-γ production, a concomitant increase in programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) expression on CD4+ T cells and failure to induce protection against secondary L. major challenge. Treatment with anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody restored T cell proliferation and IFN-γ production in vitro and led to complete resolution of chronic lesion in arg− L. major-infected mice. These results show that infection with arg− L. major results in chronic disease due in part to PD-1-mediated clonal exhaustion of T cells, suggesting that parasite-derived arginase contributes to the overall quality of the host immune response and subsequent disease outcome in L. major-infected mice. They also indicate that persistent parasites alone do not regulate the quality of secondary anti-Leishmania immunity in mice and that the quality of the primary immune response may be playing a hitherto unrecognized dominant role in this process.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1202537
PMCID: PMC3737427  PMID: 23460745
Monocytes/macrophages; Th1/Th2 cells; parasitic-protozoan; cytokines; immunologic memory; T cell exhaustion
17.  DNA Microarray Gene Expression Profile of Marginal Zone versus Follicular B cells and Idiotype Positive Marginal Zone B cells Before and After Immunization with Streptococcus pneumoniae 1 
Marginal Zone (MZ) B cells play an important role in the clearance of blood-borne bacterial infections via rapid T-independent IgM responses. We have previously demonstrated that MZ B cells respond rapidly and robustly to bacterial particulates. To determine the MZ-specific genes that are expressed to allow for this response, MZ and Follicular (FO) B cells were sort-purified and analyzed via DNA microarray analysis. We identified 181 genes that were significantly different between the two B cell populations. 99 genes were more highly expressed in MZ B cells while 82 genes were more highly expressed in FO B cells. To further understand the molecular mechanisms by which MZ B cells respond so rapidly to bacterial challenge, idiotype positive and negative MZ B cells were sort-purified before (0 hour) or after (1 hour) i.v. immunization with heat killed Streptococcus pneumoniae, R36A, and analyzed via DNA microarray analysis. We identified genes specifically up regulated or down regulated at 1 hour following immunization in the idiotype positive MZ B cells. These results give insight into the gene expression pattern in resting MZ vs. FO B cells and the specific regulation of gene expression in antigen-specific MZ B cells following interaction with antigen.
PMCID: PMC3966313  PMID: 18453586
MZ B cell; FO B cell; microarray; cytokine; idiotype
18.  T-bet Knockout Prevents Helicobacter felis-Induced Gastric Cancer1 
Helicobacter infection is the primary risk factor for gastric cancer, with the cytokine environment within the gastric mucosa the strongest predictor of disease risk. Elevated TNF-α, IL-1β, and low IL-10 are associated with the highest risk. In this study, we used C57BL/6 mice to identify T-bet as a central regulator of the cytokine environment during Helicobacter felis infection. We infected male and female C57BL/6 and C57BL/6-T-bet knockout (KO) liter mates with H. felis and examined the bacterial colonization, immune response, and mucosal damage at varying time points. T-bet KO mice maintained infection for 15 mo at similar levels to wild-type mice. Infection and immune response did not differ between male and female mice. Despite sustained infection, T-bet KO mice respond with a blunted Th1 response associated with preservation of parietal and chief cells and protection from the development of gastric cancer. Unexpectedly, T-bet KO mice develop a gastric environment that would not be expected based on the phenotype of T-bet KO CD4 cells alone. T-bet KO mice respond to H. felis infection with a markedly blunted IL-1β and TNF-α and elevated IL-10 levels. Activity of this one master regulator modulates the expression of the key gastric mucosal cytokines associated with gastric cancer and may be a target for therapy to restore immune balance clinically in patients at risk for gastric cancer.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.0900511
PMCID: PMC3966469  PMID: 19535625
19.  Participation of the Receptor for Advanced Glycation End-products in Efferocytosis 
Clearance of apoptotic cells by macrophages and other phagocytic cells, called efferocytosis, is a central process in the resolution of inflammation. Although the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) has been shown to participate in a variety of acute and chronic inflammatory processes in the lungs and other organs, a role for RAGE in efferocytosis has not been reported. In the present studies, we examined the potential involvement of RAGE in efferocytosis. Macrophages from transgenic RAGE−/− mice showed a decreased ability to engulf apoptotic neutrophils and thymocytes. Pretreatment of RAGE+/+ macrophages with advanced glycation end products, which competitively bind to RAGE, or Abs against RAGE diminished phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. Overexpression of RAGE in human embryonic kidney 293 cells resulted in an increased ability to engulf apoptotic cells. Furthermore, we found that incubation with soluble RAGE enhances phagocytosis of apoptotic cells by both RAGE+/+ and RAGE−/− macrophages. Direct binding of RAGE to phosphatidylserine (PS), an “eat me” signal highly expressed on apoptotic cells, was shown by using solid-phase ELISA. The ability of RAGE to bind to PS on apoptotic cells was confirmed in an adhesion assay. Decreased uptake of apoptotic neutrophils by macrophages was found under in vivo conditions in the lungs and peritoneal cavity of RAGE−/− mice. These results demonstrate a novel role for RAGE in which it is able to enhance efferocytosis through binding to PS on apoptotic cells.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1004134
PMCID: PMC3955180  PMID: 21502377
20.  Tolerant Anti-insulin B Cells are Effective APCs1 
Autoreactive B lymphocytes that are not culled by central tolerance in the bone marrow frequently enter the peripheral repertoire in a state of functional impairment, termed anergy. These cells are recognized as a liability for autoimmunity, but their contribution to disease is not well-understood. Insulin-specific 125Tg B cells support T cell-mediated Type 1 diabetes (T1D) in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice, despite being anergic to B cell mitogens and T cell dependent immunization. Using this model, the potential of anergic, autoreactive B cells to present antigen and activate T cells was investigated. The data show that: a) insulin is captured and rapidly internalized by 125Tg BCRs, b) these antigen-exposed B cells are competent to activate both experienced and naïve CD4+ T cells, c) anergic 125Tg B cells are more efficient than naïve B cells at activating T cells when antigen is limiting, and d) 125Tg B cells are competent to generate low-affinity insulin B chain epitopes necessary for activation of diabetogenic anti-insulin BDC12-4.1 T cells, indicating the pathological relevance of anergic B cells in T1D. Thus, phenotypically tolerant B cells that are retained in the repertoire may promote autoimmunity by driving activation and expansion of autoaggressive T cells via antigen-presentation.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1202104
PMCID: PMC3652276  PMID: 23396943
21.  Virus-encoded TLR ligands reveal divergent functional responses of mononuclear phagocytes in pathogenic SIV infection 
The role of mononuclear phagocytes in the pathogenesis or control of HIV infection is unclear. Here, we monitored the dynamics and function of dendritic cells (DC) and monocytes/macrophages in rhesus macaques acutely infected with pathogenic SIVmac251 with and without antiretroviral therapy (ART). SIV infection was associated with monocyte mobilization and recruitment of plasmacytoid DC (pDC) and macrophages to lymph nodes which did not occur with ART treatment. SIVmac251 single-stranded RNA encoded several uridine-rich sequences that were potent TLR7/8 ligands in mononuclear phagocytes of naive animals, stimulating myeloid DC (mDC) and monocytes to produce TNF-α and pDC and macrophages to produce both TNF-α and IFN-α. Following SIV infection pDC and monocytes/macrophages rapidly became hyporesponsive to stimulation with SIV-encoded TLR ligands and influenza virus, a condition that was reversed by ART. The loss of pDC and macrophage function was associated with a profound but transient block in the capacity of lymph node cells to secrete IFN-α upon stimulation. In contrast to pDC and monocytes/macrophages, mDC increased TNF-α production in response to stimulation following acute infection. Moreover, SIV-infected rhesus macaques with stable infection had increased mDC responsiveness to SIV-encoded TLR ligands and influenza virus at set-point, whereas animals that progressed rapidly to AIDS had reduced mDC responsiveness. These findings indicate that SIV encodes immunostimulatory TLR ligands and that pDC, mDC and monocytes/macrophages respond to these ligands differently as a function of SIV infection. The data also suggest that increased responsiveness of mDC to stimulation following SIV infection may be beneficial to the host.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1201645
PMCID: PMC3577972  PMID: 23338235
22.  Crystal structure of interleukin 17 receptor B SEFIR domain 
Interleukin 17 (IL-17) cytokines play a crucial role in a variety of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. They signal through heterodimeric receptor complexes consisting of members of IL-17 receptor (IL-17R) family. A unique intracellular signaling domain was identified within all IL-17Rs, termed SEFIR [SEF (similar expression to fibroblast growth factor genes) and IL-17R]. SEFIR is also found in nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) activator 1 (Act1), an E3 ubiquitin ligase, and mediates its recruitment to IL-17Rs. Here we report the structure of the first SEFIR domain from IL-17RB at 1.8Å resolution. SEFIR displays a five-stranded parallel β-sheet that is wrapped by six helices. Site-directed mutagenesis on IL-17RB identified helix αC as being critical for its interaction with Act1 and IL-25 (IL-17E) signaling. Using the current SEFIR structure as a template, the key functional residues in Act1 are also mapped as part of helix αC, which is conserved in IL-17RA and RC, suggesting this helix as a common structural signature for heterotypic SEFIR-SERIR association. On the other hand, helix αB′ is important for homo-dimerization of Act1, implicating a dual ligand-binding model for SEFIR domain, with distinct structural motifs participating in either homotypic or heterotypic interactions. Furthermore, although IL-17RB-SEFIR structure resembles closest to the Toll/Interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) domain of TLR10 with low sequence homology, substantial differences were observed at helices αC, αD and DD′ loop. This study provides the first structural view of the IL-17 receptor intracellular signaling, unraveling the mechanism for the specificity of SEFIR versus TIR domain in their respective signaling pathways.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1202922
PMCID: PMC3578156  PMID: 23355738
23.  Mast cells recruited to mesenteric lymph nodes during helminth infection remain hypogranular and produce IL-4 and IL-6 
Mast cells (MC) and basophils (Ba) share expression of the high affinity receptor for IgE (FcεRI) but can be distinguished by their divergent expression of KIT and CD49b. In BALB/c mice, MC lineage cells expressing high levels of FcεRI by flow cytometry were seen only in bone marrow (BM) while those expressing intermediate levels of FcεRI were present in BM and spleen of naïve mice and in mesenteric lymph nodes (mLN) of Trichinella spiralis-infected mice. These FcεRI+KIT+CD49b− cells had a membrane phenotype like intraperitoneal connective tissue-type MC, but were smaller and hypogranular by flow cytometry forward and side scatter profiles, respectively. Consistent with this, they lacked the prominent secretory granules identified by histochemistry and immunodetection for the MC-specific granule proteases that are readily seen in mature jejunal mucosal MC (MMC) that also are induced by the infection and present at the same time. The concentration of these MC lineage cells in mLN determined by flow cytometry was comparable to that of MC progenitors (MCp) measured by limiting dilution and clonal expansion with maturation. We observed upregulation of IL-4 mRNA levels by MCp in mLN and spleens of helminth-infected 4get mice, and demonstrated by intracellular cytokine staining production of IL-4 and IL-6 by the mLN MCp in helminth-infected mice. Furthermore, treatment of helminth-infected mice with anti-FcεRI mAb, a protocol known to deplete Ba, also depleted mLN MCp. Thus, this study identifies a hypogranular subset of MCp recruited to mLN by helminth infection that may be an important unrecognized source of cytokines.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1202567
PMCID: PMC3563837  PMID: 23319739
24.  Activation of Toll-Like Receptor 4 Is Required for the Synergistic Induction of Dual Oxidase 2 and Dual Oxidase A2 by Interferon-γ and Lipopolysaccharide in Human Pancreatic Cancer Cell Lines§ 
Pancreatitis is associated with release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species and plays an important role in the development of pancreatic cancer. We recently demonstrated that dual oxidase 2 (Duox2), an NADPH oxidase essential for ROS-related, gastrointestinal host defense, is regulated by IFN-γ-mediated Stat1 binding to the Duox2 promoter in pancreatic tumor lines. Because lipopolysaccharide (LPS) enhances the development and invasiveness of pancreatic cancer in vivo following Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-related activation of NF-κB, we examined whether LPS, alone or combined with IFN-γ, regulated Duox2. We found that upregulation of TLR4 by IFN-γ in BxPC-3 and CFPAC-1 pancreatic cancer cells was augmented by LPS, resulting in activation of NF-κB, accumulation of NF-κB (p65) in the nucleus, and increased binding of p65 to the Duox2 promoter. TLR4 silencing with siRNAs, and two independent NF-κB inhibitors, attenuated LPS- and IFN-γ–mediated Duox2 upregulation in BxPC-3 cells. Induction of Duox2 expression by IFN-γ and LPS may result from IFN-γ-related activation of Stat1, acting in concert with NF-κB-related upregulation of Duox2. Sustained extracellular accumulation of H2O2 generated by exposure to both LPS and IFN-γ was responsible for an ≈ 50% decrease in BxPC-3 cell proliferation associated with a G1 cell cycle block, apoptosis, and DNA damage. We also demonstrated up-regulation of Duox expression in vivo, in pancreatic cancer xenografts and in patients with chronic pancreatitis. These results suggest that inflammatory cytokines can interact to produce a Duox-dependent pro-oxidant milieu that could increase the pathologic potential of pancreatic inflammation and pancreatic cancer cells.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1201725
PMCID: PMC3563939  PMID: 23296709
25.  Posttranscriptional regulation of IL-23 expression by IFN-γ through tristetraprolin 
Interleukin-23 (IL-23) plays an essential role in maintenance of IL-17-producing T helper (Th17) cells that are involved in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases. Regulation of Th17 cells is tightly controlled by multiple factors such as IL-27 and IFN-γ. However, the detailed mechanisms responsible for IFN-γ-mediated Th17 cell inhibition are still largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that IFN-γ differentially regulates IL-12 and IL-23 production in both dendritic cells and macrophages. IFN-γ suppresses IL-23 expression by selectively targeting p19 mRNA stability through its 3′untranslated region (3′UTR). Furthermore, IFN-γ enhances LPS-induced tristetraprolin (TTP) mRNA expression and protein production. Overexpression of TTP suppresses IL-23 p19 mRNA expression and p19 3′UTR-dependent luciferase activity. In addition, deletion of TTP completely abolishes IFN-γ-mediated p19 mRNA degradation. We further demonstrate that IFN-γ suppresses LPS-induced p38 phosphorylation and blockade of p38 MAPK signaling pathway with SB203580 inhibits IFN-γ and LPS induced p19 mRNA expression whereas overexpression of p38 increases p19 mRNA expression via reducing TTP binding to the p19 3′UTR. Finally, inhibition of p38 phosphorylation by IFN-γ leads to TTP dephosphorylation that could result in stronger binding of the TTP to the adenosine/uridine-rich elements in the p19 3′UTR and p19 mRNA degradation. In summary, our results reveal a direct link among TTP, IFN-γ and IL-23, indicating that IFN-γ-mediated Th17 cell suppression might act through TTP by increasing p19 mRNA degradation and therefore IL-23 inhibition.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1002672
PMCID: PMC3914637  PMID: 21515794

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