Invariant NK T (iNKT) cells can provide help for B cell activation and Ab production. Because B cells are also capable of cytokine production, Ag presentation, and T cell activation, we hypothesized that iNKT cells will also influence these activities. Furthermore, subsets of iNKT cells based on CD4 and CD8 expression that have distinct functional activities may differentially affect B cell functions. We investigated the effects of coculturing expanded human CD4(+), CD8?(+), and CD4(-)CD8?(-) double-negative (DN) iNKT cells with autologous peripheral B cells in vitro. All iNKT cell subsets induced IgM, IgA, and IgG release by B cells without needing the iNKT cell agonist ligand ?-galactosylceramide. Additionally, CD4(+) iNKT cells induced expansions of cells with phenotypes of regulatory B cells. When cocultured with ?-galactosylceramide-pulsed B cells, CD4(+) and DN iNKT cells secreted Th1 and Th2 cytokines but at 10-1000-fold lower levels than when cultured with dendritic cells. CD4(+) iNKT cells reciprocally induced IL-4 and IL-10 production by B cells. DN iNKT cells expressed the cytotoxic degranulation marker CD107a upon exposure to B cells. Remarkably, whereas iNKT cell subsets could induce CD40 and CD86 expression by B cells, iNKT cell-matured B cells were unable to drive proliferation of autologous and alloreactive conventional T cells, as seen with B cells cultured in the absence of iNKT cells. Therefore, human CD4(+), CD8?(+), and DN iNKT cells can differentially promote and regulate the induction of Ab and T cell responses by B cells.
DNA repair and G2-phase cell cycle checkpoint responses are involved in the manifestation of hyper-radiosensitivity (HRS). The low-dose radioresponse of MSH2 isogenic endometrial carcinoma cell lines was examined. Defects in cell cycle checkpoint activation and the DNA damage response in irradiated cells (0.2 Gy) were evaluated. HRS was expressed solely in MSH2+ cells and was associated with efficient activation of the early G2-phase cell cycle checkpoint. Maintenance of the arrest was associated with persistent MRE11, ?H2AX, RAD51 foci at 2 h after irradiation. Persistent MRE11 and RAD51 foci were also evident 24 h after 0.2 Gy. MSH2 significantly enhances cell radiosensitivity to low dose IR.
CD1d-restricted invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells have diverse immune stimulatory/regulatory activities through their ability to release cytokines and to kill or transactivate other cells. Activation of iNKT cells can protect against multiple diseases in mice but clinical trials in humans have had limited impact. Clinical studies to date have targeted polyclonal mixtures of iNKT cells and we proposed that their subset compositions will influence therapeutic outcomes. We sorted and expanded iNKT cells from healthy donors and compared the phenotypes, cytotoxic activities and cytokine profiles of the CD4(+), CD8?(+) and CD4(-)CD8?(-) double-negative (DN) subsets. CD4(+) iNKT cells expanded more readily than CD8?(+) and DN iNKT cells upon mitogen stimulation. CD8?(+) and DN iNKT cells most frequently expressed CD56, CD161 and NKG2D and most potently killed CD1d(+) cell lines and primary leukemia cells. All iNKT subsets released Th1 (IFN-? and TNF-?) and Th2 (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13) cytokines. Relative amounts followed a CD8?>DN>CD4 pattern for Th1 and CD4>DN>CD8? for Th2. All iNKT subsets could simultaneously produce IFN-? and IL-4, but single-positivity for IFN-? or IL-4 was strikingly rare in CD4(+) and CD8?(+) fractions, respectively. Only CD4(+) iNKT cells produced IL-9 and IL-10; DN cells released IL-17; and none produced IL-22. All iNKT subsets upregulated CD40L upon glycolipid stimulation and induced IL-10 and IL-12 secretion by dendritic cells. Thus, subset composition of iNKT cells is a major determinant of function. Use of enriched CD8?(+), DN or CD4(+) iNKT cells may optimally harness the immunoregulatory properties of iNKT cells for treatment of disease.
Megakaryopoiesis is a complex process that involves major cellular and nuclear changes and relies on controlled coordination of cellular proliferation and differentiation. These mechanisms are orchestrated in part by transcriptional regulators. The key hematopoietic transcription factor stem cell leukemia (SCL)/TAL1 is required in early hematopoietic progenitors for specification of the megakaryocytic lineage. These early functions have, so far, prevented full investigation of its role in megakaryocyte development in loss-of-function studies. Here, we report that SCL critically controls terminal megakaryocyte maturation. In vivo deletion of Scl specifically in the megakaryocytic lineage affects all key attributes of megakaryocyte progenitors (MkPs), namely, proliferation, ploidization, cytoplasmic maturation, and platelet release. Genome-wide expression analysis reveals increased expression of the cell-cycle regulator p21 in Scl-deleted MkPs. Importantly, p21 knockdown-mediated rescue of Scl-mutant MkPs shows full restoration of cell-cycle progression and partial rescue of the nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation defects. Therefore, SCL-mediated transcriptional control of p21 is essential for terminal maturation of MkPs. Our study provides a mechanistic link between a major hematopoietic transcriptional regulator, cell-cycle progression, and megakaryocytic differentiation.
Parasitic-infection studies on rhesus macaque monkeys have shown juvenile animals to be more susceptible to infection than adults, but the immunological mechanism for this is not known. In this study, we investigated the age-dependent genesis of helminth-induced type 2 immune responses using adult (6-8-wk-old) and juvenile (21-28-d-old) mice. Following infection with the parasitic nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis, juvenile mice had increased susceptibility to infection relative to adult mice. Juvenile mice developed a delayed type 2 immune response with decreased Th2 cytokine production, IgE Ab responses, mouse mast cell protease 1 levels, and intestinal goblet cell induction. This innate immune defect in juvenile mice was independent of TLR signaling, dendritic cells, or CD4(+) cell function. Using IL-4-eGFP mice, it was demonstrated that the numbers of IL-4-producing basophil and eosinophils were comparable in young and adult naive mice; however, following helminth infection, the early induction of these cells was impaired in juvenile mice relative to older animals. In nonhelminth models, there was an innate in vivo defect in activation of basophils, but not eosinophils, in juvenile mice compared with adult animals. The specific role for basophils in this innate defect in helminth-induced type 2 immunity was confirmed by the capacity of adoptively transferred adult-derived basophils, but not eosinophils, to restore the ability of juvenile mice to expel N. brasiliensis. The defect in juvenile mice with regard to helminth-induced innate basophil-mediated type 2 response is relevant to allergic conditions.
Although CD8(+) T cells play an important role in the containment of adult HIV-1 replication, their role in infant HIV-1 infection is not as well understood. Impaired HIV-specific CD8(+) T cell responses may underlie the persistently high viral loads observed in infants. We examined the frequency and phenotype of infant HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells in 7 HIV-infected antiretroviral therapy-naïve infants during the first 2 years of life, using class I HLA tetramers and IFN-?-ELISPOT. The frequency (0.088-3.9% of CD3(+)CD8(+) cells) and phenotype (CD27(+)CD28(-), CD45RA(+/-), CD57(+/-), HLA-DR(+), CD95(+)) of infant HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells were similar to reports in adults undergoing early infection. Unlike adults, at 23-24 months post-infection a high frequency of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells expressed HLA-DR (mean 80%, range 68-85%) and CD95 (mean 88%, range 79-96%), suggesting sustained activation and vulnerability to apoptosis. Despite comparable expansion of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells of a similar phenotype to adults during early infection, infant T cells failed to contain HIV-1 replication, and remained persistently activated and vulnerable to apoptosis during chronic infection.
Understanding the pattern of gene expression during erythropoiesis is crucial for a synthesis of erythroid developmental biology. Here, we isolated 4 distinct populations at successive erythropoietin-dependent stages of erythropoiesis, including the terminal, pyknotic stage. The transcriptome was determined using Affymetrix arrays. First, we demonstrated the importance of using defined cell populations to identify lineage and temporally specific patterns of gene expression. Cells sorted by surface expression profile not only express significantly fewer genes than unsorted cells but also demonstrate significantly greater differences in the expression levels of particular genes between stages than unsorted cells. Second, using standard software, we identified more than 1000 transcripts not previously observed to be differentially expressed during erythroid maturation, 13 of which are highly significantly terminally regulated, including RFXAP and SMARCA4. Third, using matched filtering, we identified 12 transcripts not previously reported to be continuously up-regulated in maturing human primary erythroblasts. Finally, using transcription factor binding site analysis, we identified potential transcription factors that may regulate gene expression during terminal erythropoiesis. Our stringent lists of differentially regulated and continuously expressed transcripts containing many genes with undiscovered functions in erythroblasts are a resource for future functional studies of erythropoiesis. Our Human Erythroid Maturation database is available at https://cellline.molbiol.ox.ac.uk/eryth/index.html. [corrected].
The relationships between normal and leukemic stem/progenitor cells are unclear. We show that in ?80% of primary human CD34+ acute myeloid leukemia (AML), two expanded populations with hemopoietic progenitor immunophenotype coexist in most patients. Both populations have leukemic stem cell (LSC) activity and are hierarchically ordered; one LSC population gives rise to the other. Global gene expression profiling shows the LSC populations are molecularly distinct and resemble normal progenitors but not stem cells. The more mature LSC population most closely mirrors normal granulocyte-macrophage progenitors (GMP) and the immature LSC population a previously uncharacterized progenitor functionally similar to lymphoid-primed multipotential progenitors (LMPPs). This suggests that in most cases primary CD34+ AML is a progenitor disease where LSCs acquire abnormal self-renewal potential.
Precise spatiotemporal control of Gata1 expression is required in both early hematopoietic progenitors to determine erythroid/megakaryocyte versus granulocyte/monocyte lineage output and in the subsequent differentiation of erythroid cells and megakaryocytes. An enhancer element upstream of the mouse Gata1 IE (1st exon erythroid) promoter, mHS-3.5, can direct both erythroid and megakaryocytic expression. However, loss of this element ablates only megakaryocytes, implying that an additional element has erythroid specificity. Here, we identify a double DNaseI hypersensitive site, mHS-25/6, as having erythroid but not megakaryocytic activity in primary cells. It binds an activating transcription factor complex in erythroid cells where it also makes physical contact with the Gata1 promoter. Deletion of mHS-25/6 or mHS-3.5 in embryonic stem cells has only a modest effect on in vitro erythroid differentiation, whereas loss of both elements ablates both primitive and definitive erythropoiesis with an almost complete loss of Gata1 expression. Surprisingly, Gata2 expression was also concomitantly low, suggesting a more complex interaction between these 2 factors than currently envisaged. Thus, whereas mHS-3.5 alone is sufficient for megakaryocytic development, mHS-3.5 and mHS-25/6 collectively regulate erythroid Gata1 expression, demonstrating lineage-specific differences in Gata1 cis-element use important for development of these 2 cell types.
Parasitic helminth infections of humans have been shown to suppress the immune response to allergens. Experimentally, infection of mice with the helminth Schistosoma mansoni prevents allergic airway inflammation and anaphylaxis via IL-10 and B cells.
Natural killer (NK) cells play an important role in the containment of HIV replication during primary infection, though their functions are impaired during chronic HIV infection. Infants experience more rapid HIV disease progression than adults, but contributions of infant NK cells to containing HIV infection are unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of HIV infection on infant NK cell phenotype by evaluating samples and data from a cohort study of women and their infants, conducted in Nairobi, Kenya between 1999 and 2003. The percentage and phenotype of NK cells was evaluated longitudinally by multi-parameter flow cytometry over the first year of life in HIV-infected (HIV+, = 16), HIV-exposed uninfected (HIV-EU, n = 6), and healthy unexposed controls (HIV-, n = 4). At birth, NK subset distributions based on expression of CD56 and CD16 did not differ between HIV+, HIV-EU, or HIV- infants. However, HIV infection was associated with a subsequent decline in NK cells as a percentage of total lymphocytes (p < 0.001), and an expanding proportion of CD56-CD16+ NK cells (p < 0.001). Activated CD38(bright)CD69+ NK cells were more frequent in the HIV+ infants, followed by HIV-EU and HIV- infants, in both CD56(dim) (p = 0.005) and CD56(bright) compartments (p = 0.03). HIV infection and exposure was also associated with a significant decline in the percentage of perforin-expressing NK cells in the CD56(dim) compartment over the first year of life, with HIV+ infants losing approximately 2.5% (p < 0.001) and HIV-EU infants losing 3.0% (p = 0.01) of perforin+ cells per month. Thus, infant HIV infection is associated with alterations in NK cell subsets, activation, and cytolytic potential that could contribute to their poor control over HIV infection. Furthermore, exposure to HIV infection in infants who escaped infection is also associated with alterations in NK cells that may contribute to the reduced ability to fight infections that is observed in HIV-EU infants.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) coinfection is associated with infant HIV-1 disease progression and mortality. In a cohort of Kenyan HIV-infected infants, the frequencies of activated (CD38(+) HLA-DR(+)) and apoptosis-vulnerable (CD95(+) Bcl-2(-)) CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells increased substantially during acute CMV infection. The frequency of activated CD4(+) T cells was strongly associated with both concurrent CMV coinfection (P = 0.001) and HIV-1 viral load (P = 0.05). The frequency of apoptosis-vulnerable cells was also associated with CMV coinfection in the CD4 (P = 0.02) and CD8 (P < 0.001) T cell subsets. Similar observations were made in HIV-exposed uninfected infants. CMV-induced increases in T cell activation and apoptosis may contribute to the rapid disease progression in coinfected infants.
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