The tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)–mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway is a key regulator of cellular metabolism. We used conditional deletion of Tsc1 to address how quiescence is associated with the function of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). We demonstrate that Tsc1 deletion in the HSCs drives them from quiescence into rapid cycling, with increased mitochondrial biogenesis and elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Importantly, this deletion dramatically reduced both hematopoiesis and self-renewal of HSCs, as revealed by serial and competitive bone marrow transplantation. In vivo treatment with an ROS antagonist restored HSC numbers and functions. These data demonstrated that the TSC–mTOR pathway maintains the quiescence and function of HSCs by repressing ROS production. The detrimental effect of up-regulated ROS in metabolically active HSCs may explain the well-documented association between quiescence and the “stemness” of HSCs.
Activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) cascades after Toll-like receptor (TLR) stimulation contributes to innate immune responses. Signal regulatory protein (SIRP) α, a member of the SIRP family that is abundantly expressed in macrophages, has been implicated in regulating MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways. In addition, SIRPα can negatively regulate the phagocytosis of host cells by macrophages, indicating an inhibitory role of SIRPα in innate immunity. We provide evidences that SIRPα is an essential endogenous regulator of the innate immune activation upon lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure. SIRPα expression was promptly reduced in macrophages after LPS stimulation. The decrease in SIRPα expression levels was required for initiation of LPS-induced innate immune responses because overexpression of SIRPα reduced macrophage responses to LPS. Knockdown of SIRPα caused prolonged activation of MAPKs and NF-κB pathways and augmented production of proinflammatory cytokines and type I interferon (IFN). Mice transferred with SIRPα-depleted macrophages were highly susceptible to endotoxic shock, developing multiple organ failure and exhibiting a remarkable increase in mortality. SIRPα may accomplish this mainly through its association and sequestration of the LPS signal transducer SHP-2. Thus, SIRPα functions as a biologically important modulator of TLR signaling and innate immunity.
B7H/B7RP (hereby called B7H) is a new member of the B7 family of costimulatory molecules and interacts with inducible costimulatory molecule (ICOS). Its function for CD8 T cells has not been reported. We report here that expression of B7H on the tumor cells reduced tumorigenicity and induced immunity to subsequent challenge with parental tumor cells. The immune protection correlates with an enhanced cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response against P1A, the major tumor antigen expressed in the J558 tumor. To understand the mechanism of immune protection, we adoptively transferred transgenic T cells specific for tumor antigen P1A into mice that bore P1A-expressing tumors. We found that while the transgenic T cells divided faster in mice bearing the B7H+ tumors, optimal B7H-induced clonal expansion of P1CTL required costimulation by B7–1 and B7–2 on the endogenous host antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Interestingly, when B7H+ and B7H− tumors were coinjected, P1CTL selectively eliminated the B7H+ tumor cells. Moreover, B7H expressed on the tumor cells made them highly susceptible to destruction by CTL in vivo, even if the CTL was administrated into mice with large tumor burdens. Tumors that recurred in the P1CTL-treated mice lost transfected B7H and/or H-2Ld, the class I molecule that presents the P1A peptide. Taken together, our results reveal that B7H costimulates clonal expansion of, and cognate destruction by CD8+ T lymphocytes in vivo.
cytotoxic T lymphocytes; tumor immunity; B7H; effector function; clonal expansion
As shown in humanized mice, a population of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells can reduce the severity and mortality of disease caused by infection with human and avian influenza viruses.
There are few antiviral drugs for treating influenza, and the emergence of antiviral resistance has further limited the available therapeutic options. Furthermore, antivirals are not invariably effective in severe influenza, such as that caused by H5N1 viruses. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop alternative therapeutic strategies. Here, we show that human Vγ9Vδ2 T cells expanded by the aminobisphosphonate pamidronate (PAM) kill influenza virus–infected cells and inhibit viral replication in vitro. In Rag2−/−γc−/− immunodeficient mice reconstituted with human peripheral mononuclear cells (huPBMCs), PAM reduces disease severity and mortality caused by human seasonal H1N1 and avian H5N1 influenza virus, and controls the lung inflammation and viral replication. PAM has no such effects in influenza virus–infected Rag2−/−γc−/− mice reconstituted with Vγ9Vδ2 T cell–depleted huPBMCs. Our study provides proof-of-concept of a novel therapeutic strategy for treating influenza by targeting the host rather than the virus, thereby reducing the opportunity for the emergence of drug-resistant viruses. As PAM has been commonly used to treat osteoporosis and Paget’s disease, this new application of an old drug potentially offers a safe and readily available option for treating influenza.
Memory CD4+ T cells that produce both Th2 and Th17 cytokines are increased in the blood of patients with atopic asthma and in the lungs of asthmatic mice, where they contribute to inflammation.
The inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-17 is involved in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases. However, the identity and functions of IL-17–producing T cells during the pathogenesis of allergic diseases remain unclear. Here, we report a novel subset of TH2 memory/effector cells that coexpress the transcription factors GATA3 and RORγt and coproduce TH17 and TH2 cytokines. Classical TH2 memory/effector cells had the potential to produce IL-17 after stimulation with proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-21. The number of IL-17-TH2 cells was significantly increased in blood of patients with atopic asthma. In a mouse model of allergic lung diseases, IL-17–producing CD4+ TH2 cells were induced in the inflamed lung and persisted as the dominant IL-17–producing T cell population during the chronic stage of asthma. Treating cultured bronchial epithelial cells with IL-17 plus TH2 cytokines induced strong up-regulation of chemokine eotaxin-3, Il8, Mip1b, and Groa gene expression. Compared with classical TH17 and TH2 cells, antigen-specific IL-17–producing TH2 cells induced a profound influx of heterogeneous inflammatory leukocytes and exacerbated asthma. Our findings highlight the plasticity of TH2 memory cells and suggest that IL-17–producing TH2 cells may represent the key pathogenic TH2 cells promoting the exacerbation of allergic asthma.
Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 2 (NOD2) polymorphisms are independent risk factors for Crohn's disease and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In Crohn's disease, the proinflammatory state resulting from NOD2 mutations have been associated with a loss of antibacterial function of enterocytes such as paneth cells. NOD2 has not been studied in experimental allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT). Using chimeric recipients with NOD2−/− hematopoietic cells, we demonstrate that NOD2 deficiency in host hematopoietic cells exacerbates GVHD. We found that proliferation and activation of donor T cells was enhanced in NOD-deficient allo-BMT recipients, suggesting that NOD2 plays a role in the regulation of host antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Next, we used bone marrow chimeras in an experimental colitis model and observed again that NOD2 deficiency in the hematopoietic cells results in increased intestinal inflammation. We conclude that NOD2 regulates the development of GVHD through its inhibitory effect on host APC function.
If irradiated tumor cells could be rendered immunogenic, they would provide a safe, broad, and patient-specific array of antigens for immunotherapies. Prior approaches have emphasized genetic transduction of live tumor cells to express cytokines, costimulators, and surrogate foreign antigens. We asked if immunity could be achieved by delivering irradiated, major histocompatibility complex–negative plasmacytoma cells to maturing mouse dendritic cells (DCs) within lymphoid organs. Tumor cells injected intravenously (i.v.) were captured by splenic DCs, whereas subcutaneous (s.c.) injection led only to weak uptake in lymph node or spleen. The natural killer T (NKT) cells mobilizing glycolipid α-galactosyl ceramide, used to mature splenic DCs, served as an effective adjuvant to induce protective immunity. This adjuvant function was mimicked by a combination of poly IC and agonistic αCD40 antibody. The adjuvant glycolipid had to be coadministered with tumor cells i.v. rather than s.c. Specific resistance was generated both to a plasmacytoma and lymphoma. The resistance afforded by a single vaccination lasted >2 mo and required both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Mature tumor capturing DCs stimulated the differentiation of P1A tumor antigen-specific, CD8+ T cells and uniquely transferred tumor resistance to naive mice. Therefore, the access of dying tumor cells to DCs that are maturing to activated NKT cells efficiently induces long-lived adaptive resistance.
In the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model for multiple sclerosis (MS), autoreactive T cells must be activated and clonally expand in the lymphoid organs, and then migrate into the central nervous system (CNS) where they undergo further activation. It is unclear whether the autoreactive T cells further expand in the CNS and if so, what interactions are required for this process. We have demonstrated previously that expression by the host cells of the heat-stable antigen (CD24), which was recently identified as a genetic modifier for MS, is essential for their susceptibility to EAE. Here we show that CD24 is essential for local clonal expansion and persistence of T cells after their migration into the CNS, and that expression of CD24 on either hematopoietic cells or nonhematopoietic antigen-presenting cells in the recipient is sufficient to confer susceptibility to EAE.
costimulatory molecules; autoimmune diseases; central nervous system; multiple sclerosis; clonal expansion
B7H1 (PDL1) and B7DC (PDL2) are two new members of the B7 family that can interact with PD-1, a putative negative regulator for immune function. Recent studies have provided evidence for inhibitory functions of both members via PD-1. Meanwhile, compelling evidence exists for costimulatory function of both members. Here we demonstrate that expression of B7DC on the tumor cells promotes CD8 T cell–mediated rejection of tumor cells, at both the induction and effector phase of antitumor immunity. Moreover, B7DC binds to PD-1(−/−) cells and enhances T cell killing in a PD-1–independent mechanism. Our results demonstrate a novel pathway for B7DC to promote tumor immunity and may reconcile the apparently contradictory findings on the function of B7DC.
tumor immunity; costimulatory molecules; cytolytic T lymphocytes
A number of in vitro studies have suggested that costimulatory molecules B7-1 and B7-2 and their receptor CD28 can promote clonal deletion, and limited in vivo studies have indicated that CD28 is involved in the clonal deletion of some T cells. However, the significance of B7-mediated clonal deletion in preventing autoimmune diseases has not been studied systematically. Here we report that the perinatal blockade of B7-1 and B7-2 substantially inhibits the clonal deletion of T cells in the thymus and leads to an accumulation of T cells capable of inducing fatal multiorgan inflammation. These results reveal a critical role for costimulatory molecules B7-1 and B7-2 in deleting pathogenic autoreactive T cells in the thymus. The critical role of B7-1 and B7-2 in T cell clonal deletion may explain, at least in part, the paradoxical increase of autoimmune disease in mice deficient for this family of costimulatory molecules, such as cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated molecule 4, CD28, and B7-2. The strong pathogenicity of the self-reactive T cells supports a central hypothesis in immunology, which is that clonal deletion plays an important role in preventing autoimmune diseases.
autoimmunity; clonal deletion; B7-1 and B7-2; CD28; CTLA-4
Immunological tolerance to self-antigen impairs humoral responses to HIV-1.
Many human monoclonal antibodies that neutralize multiple clades of HIV-1 are polyreactive and bind avidly to mammalian autoantigens. Indeed, the generation of neutralizing antibodies to the 2F5 and 4E10 epitopes of HIV-1 gp41 in man may be proscribed by immune tolerance because mice expressing the VH and VL regions of 2F5 have a block in B cell development that is characteristic of central tolerance. This developmental blockade implies the presence of tolerizing autoantigens that are mimicked by the membrane-proximal external region of HIV-1 gp41. We identify human kynureninase (KYNU) and splicing factor 3b subunit 3 (SF3B3) as the primary conserved, vertebrate self-antigens recognized by the 2F5 and 4E10 antibodies, respectively. 2F5 binds the H4 domain of KYNU which contains the complete 2F5 linear epitope (ELDKWA). 4E10 recognizes an epitope of SF3B3 that is strongly dependent on hydrophobic interactions. Opossums carry a rare KYNU H4 domain that abolishes 2F5 binding, but they retain the SF3B3 4E10 epitope. Immunization of opossums with HIV-1 gp140 induced extraordinary titers of serum antibody to the 2F5 ELDKWA epitope but little or nothing to the 4E10 determinant. Identification of structural motifs shared by vertebrates and HIV-1 provides direct evidence that immunological tolerance can impair humoral responses to HIV-1.
Bcl11a regulates development of lymphoid cells in adult mice in part by inhibiting expression of p53.
Transcription factors play important roles in lymphopoiesis. We have previously demonstrated that Bcl11a is essential for normal lymphocyte development in the mouse embryo. We report here that, in the adult mouse, Bcl11a is expressed in most hematopoietic cells and is highly enriched in B cells, early T cell progenitors, common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs), and hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). In the adult mouse, Bcl11a deletion causes apoptosis in early B cells and CLPs and completely abolishes the lymphoid development potential of HSCs to B, T, and NK cells. Myeloid development, in contrast, is not obviously affected by the loss of Bcl11a. Bcl11a regulates expression of Bcl2, Bcl2-xL, and Mdm2, which inhibits p53 activities. Overexpression of Bcl2 and Mdm2, or p53 deficiency, rescues both lethality and proliferative defects in Bcl11a-deficient early B cells and enables the mutant CLPs to differentiate to lymphocytes. Bcl11a is therefore essential for lymphopoiesis and negatively regulates p53 activities. Deletion of Bcl11a may represent a new approach for generating a mouse model that completely lacks an adaptive immune system.
Disrupting the α7nAChR–NMDAR complex blocks cue-induced nicotine seeking.
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and premature death. Nicotine, the main psychoactive drug in tobacco, is one of the most heavily used addictive substances, and its continued use is driven through activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Despite harmful consequences, it is difficult to quit smoking because of its positive effects on mood and cognition that are strong reinforcers contributing to addiction. Furthermore, a formidable challenge for the treatment of nicotine addiction is the high vulnerability to relapse after abstinence. There is no currently available smoking cessation product able to achieve a >20% smoking cessation rate after 52 wk, and there are no medications that directly target the relapse process. We report here that the α7nAChR forms a protein complex with the NMDA glutamate receptor (NMDAR) through a direct protein–protein interaction. Chronic nicotine exposure promotes α7nAChR–NMDAR complex formation. Interestingly, administration of an interfering peptide that disrupts the α7nAChR–NMDAR complex decreased extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activity and blocked cue-induced reinstatement of nicotine seeking in rat models of relapse, without affecting nicotine self-administration or locomotor activity. Our results may provide a novel therapeutic target for the development of medications for preventing nicotine relapse.
OX40 engagement induces a cytotoxic CD4+ T cell subpopulation to eradicate advance melanomas
Harnessing the adaptive immune response to treat malignancy is now a clinical reality. Several strategies are used to treat melanoma; however, very few result in a complete response. CD4+ T cells are important and potent mediators of anti-tumor immunity and adoptive transfer of specific CD4+ T cells can promote tumor regression in mice and patients. OX40, a costimulatory molecule expressed primarily on activated CD4+ T cells, promotes and enhances anti-tumor immunity with limited success on large tumors in mice. We show that OX40 engagement, in the context of chemotherapy-induced lymphopenia, induces a novel CD4+ T cell population characterized by the expression of the master regulator eomesodermin that leads to both terminal differentiation and central memory phenotype, with concomitant secretion of Th1 and Th2 cytokines. This subpopulation of CD4+ T cells eradicates very advanced melanomas in mice, and an analogous population of human tumor-specific CD4+ T cells can kill melanoma in an in vitro system. The potency of the therapy extends to support a bystander killing effect of antigen loss variants. Our results show that these uniquely programmed effector CD4+ T cells have a distinctive phenotype with increased tumoricidal capability and support the use of immune modulation in reprogramming the phenotype of CD4+ T cells.
A novel Bcl6 reporter mouse is used to dissect the developmental requirements, plasticity, and genetic profile of Tfh cells.
T follicular helper cells (Tfh cells) play a pivotal role in germinal center reactions, which require B cell lymphoma 6 (Bcl6) transcription factor. To analyze their relationships with other effector T cell lineages and their stability in vivo, we developed and analyzed a new Bcl6 reporter mouse alone or together with other lineage reporter systems. Assisted with genome-wide transcriptome analysis, we show substantial plasticity of T cell differentiation in the early phase of immune response. At this stage, CXCR5 appears to be expressed in a Bcl6-independent manner. Once Bcl6 is highly expressed, Tfh cells can persist in vivo and some of them develop into memory cells. Together, our results indicate Bcl6 as a bona fide marker for Tfh polarized program.
Conventional DCs from mice lacking zDC (also known as Zbtb46) express more MHCII and produce more VEGF in the steady state.
Classical dendritic cells (cDCs) process and present antigens to T cells. Under steady-state conditions, antigen presentation by cDCs induces tolerance. In contrast, during infection or inflammation, cDCs become activated, express higher levels of cell surface MHC molecules, and induce strong adaptive immune responses. We recently identified a cDC-restricted zinc finger transcription factor, zDC (also known as Zbtb46 or Btbd4), that is not expressed by other immune cell populations, including plasmacytoid DCs, monocytes, or macrophages. We define the zDC consensus DNA binding motif and the genes regulated by zDC using chromatin immunoprecipitation and deep sequencing. By deleting zDC from the mouse genome, we show that zDC is primarily a negative regulator of cDC gene expression. zDC deficiency alters the cDC subset composition in the spleen in favor of CD8+ DCs, up-regulates activation pathways in steady-state cDCs, including elevated MHC II expression, and enhances cDC production of vascular endothelial growth factor leading to increased vascularization of skin-draining lymph nodes. Consistent with these observations, zDC protein expression is rapidly down-regulated after TLR stimulation. Thus, zDC is a TLR-responsive, cDC-specific transcriptional repressor that is in part responsible for preventing cDC maturation in the steady state.
HMGB1 orchestrates leukocyte recruitment and their induction to secrete inflammatory cytokines by switching between mutually exclusive redox states.
Tissue damage causes inflammation, by recruiting leukocytes and activating them to release proinflammatory mediators. We show that high-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) orchestrates both processes by switching among mutually exclusive redox states. Reduced cysteines make HMGB1 a chemoattractant, whereas a disulfide bond makes it a proinflammatory cytokine and further cysteine oxidation to sulfonates by reactive oxygen species abrogates both activities. We show that leukocyte recruitment and activation can be separated. A nonoxidizable HMGB1 mutant in which serines replace all cysteines (3S-HMGB1) does not promote cytokine production, but is more effective than wild-type HMGB1 in recruiting leukocytes in vivo. BoxA, a HMGB1 inhibitor, interferes with leukocyte recruitment but not with activation. We detected the different redox forms of HMGB1 ex vivo within injured muscle. HMGB1 is completely reduced at first and disulfide-bonded later. Thus, HMGB1 orchestrates both key events in sterile inflammation, leukocyte recruitment and their induction to secrete inflammatory cytokines, by adopting mutually exclusive redox states.
By suppressing expression of TRAF6 and IRAK1, miR-146a regulates NF-κB activation in T cells through a negative feedback loop and controls the resolution of T cell responses in mice.
T cell responses in mammals must be tightly regulated to both provide effective immune protection and avoid inflammation-induced pathology. NF-κB activation is a key signaling event induced by T cell receptor (TCR) stimulation. Dysregulation of NF-κB is associated with T cell–mediated inflammatory diseases and malignancies, highlighting the importance of negative feedback control of TCR-induced NF-κB activity. In this study we show that in mice, T cells lacking miR-146a are hyperactive in both acute antigenic responses and chronic inflammatory autoimmune responses. TCR-driven NF-κB activation up-regulates the expression of miR-146a, which in turn down-regulates NF-κB activity, at least partly through repressing the NF-κB signaling transducers TRAF6 and IRAK1. Thus, our results identify miR-146a as an important new member of the negative feedback loop that controls TCR signaling to NF-κB. Our findings also add microRNA to the list of regulators that control the resolution of T cell responses.
A new method is used to isolate neutralizing antibodies recognizing a new epitope on the cell surface–expressed, but not soluble, HIV-1 spike.
Two to three years after infection, a fraction of HIV-1–infected individuals develop serologic activity that neutralizes most viral isolates. Broadly neutralizing antibodies that recognize the HIV-1 envelope protein have been isolated from these patients by single-cell sorting and by neutralization screens. Here, we report a new method for anti–HIV-1 antibody isolation based on capturing single B cells that recognize the HIV-1 envelope protein expressed on the surface of transfected cells. Although far less efficient than soluble protein baits, the cell-based capture method identified antibodies that bind to a new broadly neutralizing epitope in the vicinity of the V3 loop and the CD4-induced site (CD4i). The new epitope is expressed on the cell surface form of the HIV-1 spike, but not on soluble forms of the same envelope protein. Moreover, the new antibodies complement the neutralization spectrum of potent broadly neutralizing anti-CD4 binding site (CD4bs) antibodies obtained from the same individual. Thus, combinations of potent broadly neutralizing antibodies with complementary activity can account for the breadth and potency of naturally arising anti–HIV-1 serologic activity. Therefore, vaccines aimed at eliciting anti–HIV-1 serologic breadth and potency should not be limited to single epitopes.
The zinc finger transcription factor zDC is uniquely expressed by the cDC lineage among immune cells, and the insertion of diphtheria toxin receptor cDNA into the zDC locus allows specific ablation of the cDC lineage in mice.
Classical dendritic cells (cDCs), monocytes, and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) arise from a common bone marrow precursor (macrophage and DC progenitors [MDPs]) and express many of the same surface markers, including CD11c. We describe a previously uncharacterized zinc finger transcription factor, zDC (Zbtb46, Btbd4), which is specifically expressed by cDCs and committed cDC precursors but not by monocytes, pDCs, or other immune cell populations. We inserted diphtheria toxin (DT) receptor (DTR) cDNA into the 3′ UTR of the zDC locus to serve as an indicator of zDC expression and as a means to specifically deplete cDCs. Mice bearing this knockin express DTR in cDCs but not other immune cell populations, and DT injection into zDC-DTR bone marrow chimeras results in cDC depletion. In contrast to previously characterized CD11c-DTR mice, non-cDCs, including pDCs, monocytes, macrophages, and NK cells, were spared after DT injection in zDC-DTR mice. We compared immune responses to Toxoplasma gondii and MO4 melanoma in DT-treated zDC- and CD11c-DTR mice and found that immunity was only partially impaired in zDC-DTR mice. Our results indicate that CD11c-expressing non-cDCs make significant contributions to initiating immunity to parasites and tumors.
Blocking Dll4–Notch signaling can reverse established diabetes via Flt3-independent induction of immature thymic DCs that enhance Treg cell generation in mice.
Delta-like ligand 4 (Dll4)–Notch signaling is essential for T cell development and alternative thymic lineage decisions. How Dll4–Notch signaling affects pro-T cell fate and thymic dendritic cell (tDC) development is unknown. We found that Dll4 pharmacological blockade induces accumulation of tDCs and CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ regulatory T cells (Treg cells) in the thymic cortex. Both genetic inactivation models and anti-Dll4 antibody (Ab) treatment promote de novo natural Treg cell expansion by a DC-dependent mechanism that requires major histocompatibility complex II expression on DCs. Anti-Dll4 treatment converts CD4−CD8−c-kit+CD44+CD25− (DN1) T cell progenitors to immature DCs that induce ex vivo differentiation of naive CD4+ T cells into Treg cells. Induction of these tolerogenic DN1-derived tDCs and the ensuing expansion of Treg cells are Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 (Flt3) independent, occur in the context of transcriptional up-regulation of PU.1, Irf-4, Irf-8, and CSF-1, genes critical for DC differentiation, and are abrogated in thymectomized mice. Anti-Dll4 treatment fully prevents type 1 diabetes (T1D) via a Treg cell–mediated mechanism and inhibits CD8+ T cell pancreatic islet infiltration. Furthermore, a single injection of anti-Dll4 Ab reverses established T1D. Disease remission and recurrence are correlated with increased Treg cell numbers in the pancreas-draining lymph nodes. These results identify Dll4–Notch as a novel Flt3-alternative pathway important for regulating tDC-mediated Treg cell homeostasis and autoimmunity.
GVHD is associated with significant shifts in the composition of the intestinal microbiota in human and mouse models; manipulating the microbiota can alter the severity of GVHD in mice.
Despite a growing understanding of the link between intestinal inflammation and resident gut microbes, longitudinal studies of human flora before initial onset of intestinal inflammation have not been reported. Here, we demonstrate in murine and human recipients of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) that intestinal inflammation secondary to graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is associated with major shifts in the composition of the intestinal microbiota. The microbiota, in turn, can modulate the severity of intestinal inflammation. In mouse models of GVHD, we observed loss of overall diversity and expansion of Lactobacillales and loss of Clostridiales. Eliminating Lactobacillales from the flora of mice before BMT aggravated GVHD, whereas reintroducing the predominant species of Lactobacillus mediated significant protection against GVHD. We then characterized gut flora of patients during onset of intestinal inflammation caused by GVHD and found patterns mirroring those in mice. We also identified increased microbial chaos early after allogeneic BMT as a potential risk factor for subsequent GVHD. Together, these data demonstrate regulation of flora by intestinal inflammation and suggest that flora manipulation may reduce intestinal inflammation and improve outcomes for allogeneic BMT recipients.
The PET imaging agent CuII(atsm) improves motor and cognitive function in Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive, chronic disease characterized by dyskinesia, rigidity, instability, and tremors. The disease is defined by the presence of Lewy bodies, which primarily consist of aggregated α-synuclein protein, and is accompanied by the loss of monoaminergic neurons. Current therapeutic strategies only give symptomatic relief of motor impairment and do not address the underlying neurodegeneration. Hence, we have identified CuII(atsm) as a potential therapeutic for PD. Drug administration to four different animal models of PD resulted in improved motor and cognition function, rescued nigral cell loss, and improved dopamine metabolism. In vitro, this compound is able to inhibit the effects of peroxynitrite-driven toxicity, including the formation of nitrated α-synuclein oligomers. Our results show that CuII(atsm) is effective in reversing parkinsonian defects in animal models and has the potential to be a successful treatment of PD.
B cells from Cernunnos-deficient patients contain aberrant class switch recombination junctions, and a dominant-negative Cernunnos mutation was detected in a diffuse large B cell lymphoma sample.
Cernunnos is involved in the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) process during DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair. Here, we studied immunoglobulin (Ig) class switch recombination (CSR), a physiological process which relies on proper repair of the DSBs, in B cells from Cernunnos-deficient patients. The pattern of in vivo generated CSR junctions is altered in these cells, with unusually long microhomologies and a lack of direct end-joining. The CSR junctions from Cernunnos-deficient patients largely resemble those from patients lacking DNA ligase IV, Artemis, or ATM, suggesting that these factors are involved in the same end-joining pathway during CSR. By screening 269 mature B cell lymphoma biopsies, we also identified a somatic missense Cernunnos mutation in a diffuse large B cell lymphoma sample. This mutation has a dominant-negative effect on joining of a subset of DNA ends in an in vitro NHEJ assay. Translocations involving both Ig heavy chain loci and clonal-like, dynamic IgA switching activities were observed in this tumor. Collectively, our results suggest a link between defects in the Cernunnos-dependent NHEJ pathway and aberrant CSR or switch translocations during the development of B cell malignancies.