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In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (13)

Articles by Tonya J. Webb in JoVE

 JoVE Immunology and Infection

Artificial Antigen Presenting Cell (aAPC) Mediated Activation and Expansion of Natural Killer T Cells

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland


JoVE 4333

Here we describe a method for activating and expanding human NKT cells from bulk T cell populations using artificial antigen presenting cells (aAPC). The use of CD1d-based aAPC provides a standardized method for generating high numbers of functional NKT cells.

Other articles by Tonya J. Webb on PubMed

Flt3-ligand, IL-4, GM-CSF, and Adherence-mediated Isolation of Murine Lung Dendritic Cells: Assessment of Isolation Technique on Phenotype and Function

Lung dendritic cells (DCs) are difficult to study due to their limited quantities and the complexities required for isolation. Although many procedures have been used to overcome this challenge, the effects of isolation techniques on lung DCs have not been reported. The current study shows that freshly isolated DCs (CD11c+) have limited ability to induce proliferation in allogeneic T cells, and are immature as indicated by low cell surface expression of costimulatory molecules compared with liver or splenic DCs. DCs isolated after overnight culture or from mice treated with Flt3L are phenotypically mature and potent stimulators of allogeneic T cells. DCs could not be propagated from lung mononuclear cells in response to IL-4 and GM-CSF. Contrary to data reported for nonpulmonary DCs, expression of CCR6 was decreased on mature lung DCs, and only a subset of mature DCs expressed higher levels of CCR7. Absence of CD8alpha expression indicates that freshly isolated DCs are myeloid-type, whereas mature DCs induced by overnight culture are both "lymphoid" (CD8alpha+) and "myeloid" (CD8alpha-). DCs from mice genetically deficient in CD8alpha expression were strong simulators of allogeneic T cells which was consistent with data showing that CD8alpha- DCs from CD8alpha-sufficient mice are better APCs compared with CD8alpha+ DCs from the same mice. These data show that freshly isolated lung DCs are phenotypically and functionally distinct, and that the isolation technique alters the biology of these cells. Therefore, lung DC phenotype and function must be interpreted relative to the technique used for isolation.

Virus-induced Inhibition of CD1d1-mediated Antigen Presentation: Reciprocal Regulation by P38 and ERK

A critical component of the host's innate immune response involves lipid Ag presentation by CD1d molecules to NK T cells. In this study we used murine CD1d1-transfected L (L-CD1) cells to study the effect of viruses on CD1d-mediated Ag presentation to NKT cells and found that an infection with vesicular stomatitis and vaccinia (but not lymphocytic choriomeningitis) virus inhibited murine CD1d1-mediated Ag presentation. This was under the reciprocal control of the MAPKs, p38 and ERK, and was due to changes in the intracellular trafficking of CD1d1. The reciprocal regulation of CD1d1-mediated Ag presentation by MAPK suggests that the targeting of these pathways is a novel means of immune evasion by viruses.

The Phenotype and Function of Lung Dendritic Cells

Dendritic cells (DCs) are central to the integration of innate and adaptive immunity. In contrast to B and T lymphocytes, DCs have retained many of the pattern recognition receptors and are thus uniquely able to sense stimuli such as tissue damage, necrosis, and bacterial and viral infection. Also, immature DCs respond to danger signals in the environment, which leads to their maturation, upon which DCs differentiate and acquire the ability to direct the development of the primary immune response. The ability of lung DCs to elicit specific CD4 and CD8 T lymphocyte responses have made them attractive targets for vaccine development strategies in the treatment and prevention of diseases such as allograft rejection responses, allergy, and asthma, as well as autoimmune disease and cancer.

Inhibition of CD1d1-mediated Antigen Presentation by the Vaccinia Virus B1R and H5R Molecules

Vaccinia virus (VV) has been most commonly used as the vaccine to protect individuals against the causative agent of smallpox (variola virus), but it also uses a number of strategies meant to evade or blunt the host's antiviral immune response. Natural killer T (NKT) cells are a subset of immunoregulatory CD1d-restricted T lymphocytes believed to bridge the innate and adaptive immune responses. It is shown here that the VV-encoded molecules, B1R and H5R, play a role in the ability of VV to inhibit CD1d-mediated antigen presentation to NKT cells. These are the first poxvirus-encoded molecules identified that can play such a role in the evasion of an important component of the innate immune response.

Dendritic Cell-T Cell Interactions: CD8 Alpha Alpha Expressed on Dendritic Cells Regulates T Cell Proliferation

Expression of the CD8 alpha alpha homodimer has been used to differentiate lymphoid (CD8alpha(+)) from myeloid (CD8alpha(-)) dendritic cells (DCs). We have reported that CD8alpha(+) and CD8alpha(-) DCs have differential abilities to stimulate proliferation in allogeneic T cells. However, no specific function has been attributed to DC-derived CD8alpha. The current study examines the hypothesis that CD8 alpha alpha expression on DCs regulates DC-induced T cell activation. CD8alpha(-) transduced bone marrow-derived DCs were more potent stimulators of T cell proliferation, and produced significantly greater quantities of IL-12 in co-culture with T cells. LCK, a kinase whose expression is reported to be T cell-restricted and known to bind to the cytoplasmic tail of CD8 alpha beta in T cells, was detected readily in primary CD8alpha(+) splenic DCs and at greater levels than CD8alpha(-) DCs from the same tissues. LCK also co-precipitated with CD8alpha on immunblots strongly suggesting its role in CD8alpha(+) DC-induced T cell activation. Collectively, these data show that CD8alpha expressed on DC may not only be a lineage/maturation marker but also contribute to DC function.

Ascites Specific Inhibition of CD1d-mediated Activation of Natural Killer T Cells

Natural killer T (NKT) cells recognize lipid antigen presented by CD1 molecules. NKT cells can both directly, through cytotoxicity, and indirectly, through activation of other effector cells, mediate antitumor immunity. It has been shown, however, that tumor-associated lipids are frequently shed into the tumor microenvironment, which can mediate immunosuppressive activity. Given that ovarian cancer-associated ascites has been reported to have increased levels of gangliosides, we examined the effect of tumor-associated and other ascites on CD1d-mediated antigen presentation to NKT cells.

Ex Vivo Induction and Expansion of Natural Killer T Cells by CD1d1-Ig Coated Artificial Antigen Presenting Cells

Natural killer T (NKT) cells play a pivotal role in maintaining immune homostasis. They recognize lipid antigen in the context of CD1d molecules and subsequently produce cytokines that activate cells of both the innate and adaptive immune responses. Many studies examining patients with autoimmune disease or cancer have shown that there is a reduction in both NKT cell number and function. Due to the complexities of manipulating NKT cells in vivo, ex vivo expanded effector NKT cells would be an excellent therapeutic modality. To date, immunotherapy utilizing the NKT/CD1d system has been dependent on the use of autologous DC in the presence or absence of a synthetic glycolipid, alpha-galactocylceramide. Here we report a novel technique that facilitates the growth and analysis of NKT cells through the use of CD1d-expressing aAPC. CD1d-based aAPC can effectively propagate both canonical (iNKT cells) and noncanonical (Valpha14(-)) NKT cells. Importantly, CD1d-Ig aAPC can expand NKT cells from cancer patients. Thus, CD1d-expressing aAPC will enhance our knowledge of NKT cell biology and could potentially be used as a novel tool in adoptive immunotherapeutic strategies.

Ovarian Cancer-associated Ascites Demonstrates Altered Immune Environment: Implications for Antitumor Immunity

To identify immunosuppressive elements present in ovarian cancer associated ascites.

The Interaction Between Regulatory T Cells and NKT Cells in the Liver: a CD1d Bridge Links Innate and Adaptive Immunity

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) and natural killer T (NKT) cells are two distinct lymphocyte subsets that independently regulate hepatic adaptive and innate immunity, respectively. In the current study, we examine the interaction between Tregs and NKT cells to understand the mechanisms of cross immune regulation by these cells.

Molecular Identification of GD3 As a Suppressor of the Innate Immune Response in Ovarian Cancer

Tumors often display mechanisms to avoid or suppress immune recognition. One such mechanism is the shedding of gangliosides into the local tumor microenvironment, and a high concentration of circulating gangliosides is associated with poor prognosis. In this study, we identify ganglioside GD3, which was isolated from the polar lipid fraction of ovarian cancer-associated ascites, as an inhibitory factor that prevents innate immune activation of natural killer T (NKT) cells. Purified GD3 displayed a high affinity for both human and mouse CD1d, a molecule involved in the presentation of lipid antigens to T cells. Purified GD3, as well as substances within the ascites, bound to the CD1d antigenic-binding site and did not require additional processing for its inhibitory effect on NKT cells. Importantly, in vivo administration of GD3 inhibited α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer)-induced NKT cell activation in a dose-dependent manner. These data therefore indicate that ovarian cancer tumors may use GD3 to inhibit the antitumor NKT cell response as an early mechanism of tumor immune evasion.

Connecting the Dots: Artificial Antigen Presenting Cell-mediated Modulation of Natural Killer T Cells

Natural killer T (NKT) cells constitute an important subset of T cells that can both directly and indirectly mediate antitumor immunity. However, we and others have reported that cancer patients have a reduction in both NKT cell number and function. NKT cells can be stimulated and expanded with α-GalCer and cytokines and these expanded NKT cells retain their phenotype, remain responsive to antigenic stimulation, and display cytotoxic function against tumor cell lines. These data strongly favor the use of ex vivo expanded NKT cells in adoptive immunotherapy. NKT cell based-immunotherapy has been limited by the use of autologous antigen-presenting cells, which can vary substantially in their quantity and quality. A standardized system that relies on artificial antigen-presenting cells (aAPCs) could produce the stimulating effects of dendritic cell (DC) without the pitfalls of allo- or xenogeneic cells. In this review, we discuss the progress that has been made using CD1d-based aAPC and how this acellular antigen presenting system can be used in the future to enhance our understanding of NKT cell biology and to develop NKT cell-specific adoptive immunotherapeutic strategies.

Raising the Roof: The Preferential Pharmacological Stimulation of Th1 and Th2 Responses Mediated by NKT Cells

Natural killer T (NKT) cells serve as a bridge between the innate and adaptive immune systems, and manipulating their effector functions can have therapeutic significances in the treatment of autoimmunity, transplant biology, infectious disease, and cancer. NKT cells are a subset of T cells that express cell-surface markers characteristic of both natural killer cells and T cells. These unique immunologic cells have been demonstrated to serve as a link between the innate and adaptive immune systems through their potent cytokine production following the recognition of a range of lipid antigens, mediated through presentation of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I like CD1d molecule, in addition to the NKT cell's cytotoxic capabilities upon activation. Although a number of glycolipid antigens have been shown to complex with CD1d molecules, most notably the marine sponge derived glycolipid alpha-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer), there has been debate as to the identity of the endogenous activating lipid presented to the T-cell receptor (TCR) via the CD1d molecule on antigen-presenting cells (APCs). This review aims to survey the use of pharmacological agents and subsequent structure-activity relationships (SAR) that have given insight into the binding interaction of glycolipids with both the CD1d molecules as well as the TCR and the subsequent immunologic response of NKT cells. These studies not only elucidate basic binding interactions but also pave the way for future pharmacological modulation of NKT cell responses.

Boosting the Immune Response: The Use of INKT Cell Ligands As Vaccine Adjuvants

Natural killer T (NKT) cells comprise a small, but important T cell subset and are thought to bridge the innate and adaptive immune responses. The discovery of NKT cells and extensive research on their activating ligands have paved the way for modulation of these potent immunoregulatory cells in order to improve the outcome of various clinical conditions. Efforts to modulate NKT cell effector functions have ranged from therapy for influenza to anti-tumor immunotherapy. These approaches have also led to the use of NKT cell agonists such as α-Galactosylceramide (α-GalCer) and its analogs as vaccine adjuvants, an approach that is aimed at boosting specific B and T cell responses to a vaccine candidate by concomitant activation of NKT cells. In this review we will provide a comprehensive overview of the efforts made in using α-GalCer and its analogs as vaccine adjuvants. The diverse array of vaccination strategies used, as well as the role of NKT cell activating adjuvants will be discussed, with focus on vaccines against malaria, HIV, influenza and tumor vaccines. Collectively, these studies demonstrate the efficacy of NKT cell-specific agonists as adjuvants and further suggest that these compounds warrant serious consideration during the development of vaccination strategies.

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