In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (12)

Articles by Angelika Schmidt in JoVE

Other articles by Angelika Schmidt on PubMed

Decision-related Uncertainties Perceived by People with Cancer--modelling the Subject of Shared Decision Making

Psycho-oncology. Jan, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 17385189

Aim was to survey distinctive qualities of decision-related uncertainty in cancer. Assessment of differential perception of uncertainties is a prerequisite for the study of cognitive coping as mediated by risk communication. A theory building process was initiated. Using in-depth interviews with cancer patients subjective representations of uncertainty associated with medical decisions were explored. Grounded theory techniques were applied to extract categories out of the interview material. The qualitative process led to an eight-dimensional model. Five raters achieved a Fleiss agreement coefficient of 0.61 attributing raw material from interviews to the categories. Patients expressed uncertainties concerning (1) disease-related issues (prognosis/diagnosis, treatment), (2) risk communication issues (deciphering information, role in the medical dyad, physician's trustability) and (3) aspects of coping with life considering the disease (mastering requirements, social integration, causal attribution). We found support for a multidimensional model of uncertainty. This approach can be helpful in the investigation of further issues concerning communication and coping with uncertainty related to medical decisions in cancer and other diseases. It sharpens shared decision making theoretically and thereby provides the basis for a measurement concept.

FOXP3+CD25- Tumor Cells with Regulatory Function in Sézary Syndrome

The Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Dec, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19626037

Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) has been suggested by in vitro experiments to represent a malignant CD4+ T-cell proliferation with a regulatory T-cell (Treg) phenotype (CD4+CD25+FOXP3+). We investigated percentages of FOXP3+ and CD25+ cells in the blood of 15 Sézary, 14 mycosis fungoides (MF), and 10 psoriasis (Pso) patients and 20 normal healthy donors (NHDs). We found similar numbers of FOXP3+ cells in MF (10.4% of blood CD4+ cells) and Pso (11.1%) patients and NHDs (9.8%). In 8 of 15 (53%) Sézary patients, significantly reduced percentages of FOXP3+ cells were seen in blood (2.9%) and skin (10.4%). Interestingly, 6 of 15 (40%) Sézary patients showed significantly increased percentages of FOXP3+ cells (39.7% (blood), 20.3% (skin)); however, these cells did not express CD25. In these latter patients, clone-specific TCR-Vbeta-chain antibodies were used to demonstrate that these FOXP3+CD25- cells were monoclonal CTCL tumor cells. FOXP3+CD25- CTCL tumor cells showed a highly demethylated status of the foxp3 gene locus similar to Treg cells, and they were functionally able to suppress IL-2 mRNA induction in TCR-stimulated conventional T cells. Thus, FOXP3+CD25- CTCL tumor cells with functional features of Treg cells define a subgroup of Sézary patients who might carry a different prognosis and might require differential treatment.

Foxp3-mediated Suppression of CD95L Expression Confers Resistance to Activation-induced Cell Death in Regulatory T Cells

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21746966

CD4(+)CD25(++)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) control self-reactive cells to maintain peripheral tolerance. Treg homeostasis has to be controlled tightly to ensure balanced Treg-mediated suppression. One mechanism that regulates the CD4(+) T cell pool is activation-induced cell death (AICD). This is mimicked in vitro by TCR restimulation-induced expression of the death ligand CD95L (FasL/APO-1L/CD178) in expanded T cells. These cells express the death receptor CD95 (Fas/APO-1), and binding of CD95L to CD95 results in AICD. In contrast, Tregs do not undergo AICD upon TCR (re)stimulation in vitro despite a functional CD95 cell death pathway. In this study, we show that human and murine Tregs express low levels of CD95L upon stimulation. Knockdown of the transcriptional repressor Foxp3 partially rescues CD95L expression and AICD in human Tregs. Moreover, upon stimulation Foxp3-mutant Tregs from Scurfy mice express CD95L similar to conventional T cells. We further addressed whether exogenous CD95 stimulation provides a mechanism of Treg homeostatic control in vivo in mice. Triggering of CD95 reduced Treg numbers systemically as reflected by in vivo imaging and decreased GFP(+) Treg numbers ex vivo. Our study reveals that Foxp3 negatively regulates CD95L expression in Tregs and demonstrates that Tregs are susceptible to homeostatic control by CD95 stimulation.

Human Regulatory T Cells Rapidly Suppress T Cell Receptor-induced Ca(2+), NF-κB, and NFAT Signaling in Conventional T Cells

Science Signaling. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22375050

CD4(+)CD25(hi)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (T(regs)) are critical mediators of self-tolerance, which is crucial for the prevention of autoimmune disease, but T(regs) can also inhibit antitumor immunity. T(regs) inhibit the proliferation of CD4(+)CD25(-) conventional T cells (T(cons)), as well as the ability of these cells to produce effector cytokines; however, the molecular mechanism of suppression remains unclear. Here, we showed that human T(regs) rapidly suppressed the release of calcium ions (Ca(2+)) from intracellular stores in response to T cell receptor (TCR) activation in T(cons). The inhibition of Ca(2+) signaling resulted in decreased dephosphorylation, and thus decreased activation, of the transcription factor nuclear factor of activated T cells 1 (NFAT1) and reduced the activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). In contrast, Ca(2+)-independent events in T(cons), such as TCR-proximal signaling and activation of the transcription factor activator protein 1 (AP-1), were not affected during coculture with T(regs). Despite suppressing intracellular Ca(2+) mobilization, coculture with T(regs) did not block the generation of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate in TCR-stimulated T(cons). The T(reg)-induced suppression of the activity of NFAT and NF-κB and of the expression of the gene encoding the cytokine interleukin-2 was reversed in T(cons) by increasing the concentration of intracellular Ca(2+). Our results elucidate a previously unrecognized and rapid mechanism of T(reg)-mediated suppression. This increased understanding of T(reg) function may be exploited to generate possible therapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Molecular Mechanisms of Treg-mediated T Cell Suppression

Frontiers in Immunology. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22566933

CD4(+)CD25(high)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) can suppress other immune cells and, thus, are critical mediators of peripheral self-tolerance. On the one hand, Tregs avert autoimmune disease and allergies. On the other hand, Tregs can prevent immune reactions against tumors and pathogens. Despite the importance of Tregs, the molecular mechanisms of suppression remain incompletely understood and controversial. Proliferation and cytokine production of CD4(+)CD25(-) conventional T cells (Tcons) can be inhibited directly by Tregs. In addition, Tregs can indirectly suppress Tcon activation via inhibition of the stimulatory capacity of antigen presenting cells. Direct suppression of Tcons by Tregs can involve immunosuppressive soluble factors or cell contact. Different mechanisms of suppression have been described, so far with no consensus on one universal mechanism. Controversies might be explained by the fact that different mechanisms may operate depending on the site of the immune reaction, on the type and activation state of the suppressed target cell as well as on the Treg activation status. Further, inhibition of T cell effector function can occur independently of suppression of proliferation. In this review, we summarize the described molecular mechanisms of suppression with a particular focus on suppression of Tcons and rapid suppression of T cell receptor-induced calcium (Ca(2+)), NFAT, and NF-κB signaling in Tcons by Tregs.

Quantification of Signaling Lipids by Nano-Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (Nano-ESI MS/MS)

Metabolites. Jan, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 24957368

Lipids, such as phosphoinositides (PIPs) and diacylglycerol (DAG), are important signaling intermediates involved in cellular processes such as T cell receptor (TCR)-mediated signal transduction. Here we report identification and quantification of PIP, PIP2 and DAG from crude lipid extracts. Capitalizing on the different extraction properties of PIPs and DAGs allowed us to efficiently recover both lipid classes from one sample. Rapid analysis of endogenous signaling molecules was performed by nano-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (nano-ESI MS/MS), employing lipid class-specific neutral loss and multiple precursor ion scanning for their identification and quantification. Profiling of DAG, PIP and PIP2 molecular species in primary human T cells before and after TCR stimulation resulted in a two-fold increase in DAG levels with a shift towards 1-stearoyl-2-arachidonoyl-DAG in stimulated cells. PIP2 levels were slightly reduced, while PIP levels remained unchanged.

Checkpoint Kinase 2 is Required for Efficient Immunoglobulin Diversification

Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25483076

Maintenance of genome integrity relies on multiple DNA repair pathways as well as on checkpoint regulation. Activation of the checkpoint kinases Chk1 and Chk2 by DNA damage triggers cell cycle arrest and improved DNA repair, or apoptosis in case of excessive damage. Chk1 and Chk2 have been reported to act in a complementary or redundant fashion, depending on the physiological context. During secondary immunoglobulin (Ig) diversification in B lymphocytes, DNA damage is abundantly introduced by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) and processed to mutations in a locus-specific manner by several error-prone DNA repair pathways. We have previously shown that Chk1 negatively regulates Ig somatic hypermutation by promoting error-free homologous recombination and Ig gene conversion. We now report that Chk2 shows opposite effects to Chk1 in the regulation of these processes. Chk2 inactivation in B cells leads to decreased Ig hypermutation and Ig class switching, and increased Ig gene conversion activity. This is linked to defects in non-homologous end joining and increased Chk1 activation upon interference with Chk2 function. Intriguingly, in the context of physiological introduction of substantial DNA damage into the genome during Ig diversification, the 2 checkpoint kinases thus function in an opposing manner, rather than redundantly or cooperatively.

The Folate-coupled Enzyme MTHFD2 is a Nuclear Protein and Promotes Cell Proliferation

Scientific Reports. Oct, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26461067

Folate metabolism is central to cell proliferation and a target of commonly used cancer chemotherapeutics. In particular, the mitochondrial folate-coupled metabolism is thought to be important for proliferating cancer cells. The enzyme MTHFD2 in this pathway is highly expressed in human tumors and broadly required for survival of cancer cells. Although the enzymatic activity of the MTHFD2 protein is well understood, little is known about its larger role in cancer cell biology. We here report that MTHFD2 is co-expressed with two distinct gene sets, representing amino acid metabolism and cell proliferation, respectively. Consistent with a role for MTHFD2 in cell proliferation, MTHFD2 expression was repressed in cells rendered quiescent by deprivation of growth signals (serum) and rapidly re-induced by serum stimulation. Overexpression of MTHFD2 alone was sufficient to promote cell proliferation independent of its dehydrogenase activity, even during growth restriction. In addition to its known mitochondrial localization, we found MTHFD2 to have a nuclear localization and co-localize with DNA replication sites. These findings suggest a previously unknown role for MTHFD2 in cancer cell proliferation, adding to its known function in mitochondrial folate metabolism.

Metabolite Profiling and Stable Isotope Tracing in Sorted Subpopulations of Mammalian Cells

Analytical Chemistry. Mar, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26855138

Biological samples such as tissues, blood, or tumors are often complex and harbor heterogeneous populations of cells. Separating out specific cell types or subpopulations from such complex mixtures to study their metabolic phenotypes is challenging because experimental procedures for separation may disturb the metabolic state of cells. To address this issue, we developed a method for analysis of cell subpopulations using stable isotope tracing and fluorescence-activated cell sorting followed by liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry. To ensure a faithful representation of cellular metabolism after cell sorting, we benchmarked sorted extraction against direct extraction. While peak areas differed markedly with lower signal for amino acids but higher signal for nucleotides, mass isotopomer distributions from sorted cells were generally in good agreement with those obtained from direct extractions, indicating that they reflect the true metabolic state of cells prior to sorting. In proof-of-principle studies, our method revealed metabolic phenotypes specific to T cell subtypes, and also metabolic features of cells in the committed phase of the cell division cycle. Our approach enables studies of a wide range of adherent and suspension cell subpopulations, which we anticipate will be of broad importance in cell biology and biomedicine.

Comparative Analysis of Protocols to Induce Human CD4+Foxp3+ Regulatory T Cells by Combinations of IL-2, TGF-beta, Retinoic Acid, Rapamycin and Butyrate

PloS One. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26886923

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) suppress other immune cells and are critical mediators of peripheral tolerance. Therapeutic manipulation of Tregs is subject to numerous clinical investigations including trials for adoptive Treg transfer. Since the number of naturally occurring Tregs (nTregs) is minute, it is highly desirable to develop a complementary approach of inducing Tregs (iTregs) from naïve T cells. Mouse studies exemplify the importance of peripherally induced Tregs as well as the applicability of iTreg transfer in different disease models. Yet, procedures to generate iTregs are currently controversial, particularly for human cells. Here we therefore comprehensively compare different established and define novel protocols of human iTreg generation using TGF-β in combination with other compounds. We found that human iTregs expressed several Treg signature molecules, such as Foxp3, CTLA-4 and EOS, while exhibiting low expression of the cytokines Interferon-γ, IL-10 and IL-17. Importantly, we identified a novel combination of TGF-β, retinoic acid and rapamycin as a robust protocol to induce human iTregs with superior suppressive activity in vitro compared to currently established induction protocols. However, iTregs generated by these protocols did not stably retain Foxp3 expression and did not suppress in vivo in a humanized graft-versus-host-disease mouse model, highlighting the need for further research to attain stable, suppressive iTregs. These results advance our understanding of the conditions enabling human iTreg generation and may have important implications for the development of adoptive transfer strategies targeting autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

PARP Activation Promotes Nuclear AID Accumulation in Lymphoma Cells

Oncotarget. Mar, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26921193

Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) initiates immunoglobulin diversification in germinal center B cells by targeted introduction of DNA damage. As aberrant nuclear AID action contributes to the generation of B cell lymphoma, the protein's activity is tightly regulated, e.g. by nuclear/cytoplasmic shuttling and nuclear degradation. In the present study, we asked whether DNA damage may affect regulation of the AID protein. We show that exogenous DNA damage that mainly activates base excision repair leads to prevention of proteasomal degradation of AID and hence its nuclear accumulation. Inhibitor as well as knockout studies indicate that activation of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) by DNA damaging agents promotes both phenomena. These findings suggest that PARP inhibitors influence DNA damage dependent AID regulation, with interesting implications for the regulation of AID function and chemotherapy of lymphoma.

Human Macrophages Induce CD4(+)Foxp3(+) Regulatory T Cells Via Binding and Re-release of TGF-β

Immunology and Cell Biology. Sep, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27075967

While pro-inflammatory immune responses are a requirement to combat microbes, uncontrolled self-directed inflammatory immune responses are the hallmark of autoimmune diseases. Restoration of immunological tolerance involves both suppression of ongoing tissue-destructive immune responses and re-education of the host immune system. Both functionally immunosuppressive macrophages (M2) and regulatory T cells (Tregs) are implicated in these processes. Their mutual interaction is synergistic in this context and adoptive transfer of each cell type has been functioning as immunotherapy in experimental models, being particularly effective when using M2 macrophages generated with an optimized interleukin-4 (IL-4)/interleukin-10 (IL-10)/transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) combination. As a prerequisite for eventual translation of M2 therapy into clinical settings we herein studied the induction, stability and mechanism of generation of human induced Tregs (iTregs) by M2 macrophages generated with IL-4/IL-10/TGF-β. The supernatants of monocyte-derived human M2 macrophages robustly induced FOXP3 and other Treg signature molecules such as CTLA-4 and IKZF4 in human naïve CD4 T cells. M2-induced iTregs displayed enhanced FOXP3 stability and low expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines interferon-γ and IL-17, as well as functional immunosuppressive activity compared with control T cells. The FOXP3-inducing activity was dependent on TGF-β, which was both expressed and captured with re-release by M2 macrophages into the soluble supernatant fraction, in which the TGF-β was not confined to extracellular vesicles such as exosomes. We propose that adoptive transfer of human M2 macrophages may be exploited in the future to induce Tregs in situ by delivering TGF-β, which could be developed as a therapeutic strategy to target autoimmune and other inflammatory diseases.

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