Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) virulence is decreased by genetic deletion of the lipoprotein LprG, but the function of LprG remains unclear. We report that LprG expressed in Mtb binds to lipoglycans, such as lipoarabinomannan (LAM), that mediate Mtb immune evasion. Lipoglycan binding to LprG was dependent on both insertion of lipoglycan acyl chains into a hydrophobic pocket on LprG and a novel contribution of lipoglycan polysaccharide components outside of this pocket. An lprG null mutant (Mtb ?lprG) had lower levels of surface-exposed LAM, revealing a novel role for LprG in determining the distribution of components in the Mtb cell envelope. Furthermore, this mutant failed to inhibit phagosome-lysosome fusion, an immune evasion strategy mediated by LAM. We propose that LprG binding to LAM facilitates its transfer from the plasma membrane into the cell envelope, increasing surface-exposed LAM, enhancing cell envelope integrity, allowing inhibition of phagosome-lysosome fusion and enhancing Mtb survival in macrophages.
The effects of heightened microbial translocation on B cells during HIV infection are unknown. We examined the in vitro effects of HIV and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on apoptosis of CD27+ IgD- memory B (mB) cells from healthy controls. In vivo analysis was conducted on a cohort of 82 HIV+ donors and 60 healthy controls. In vitro exposure of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to LPS and HIV led to mB cell death via the Fas/Fas ligand (FasL) pathway. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) produced FasL in response to HIV via binding to CD4 and chemokine coreceptors. HIV and LPS increased Fas expression on mB cells in PBMCs, which was dependent on the presence of pDCs and monocytes. Furthermore, mB cells purified from PBMCs and pretreated with both HIV and LPS were more sensitive to apoptosis when cocultured with HIV-treated pDCs. Blocking the interferon receptor (IFNR) prevented HIV-stimulated FasL production in pDCs, HIV-plus-LPS-induced Fas expression, and apoptosis of mB cells. In vivo or ex vivo, HIV+ donors have higher levels of plasma LPS, Fas expression on mB cells, and mB cell apoptosis than controls. Correspondingly, in HIV+ donors, but not in controls, a positive correlation was found between plasma FasL and HIV RNA levels and between Fas expression on mB cells and plasma LPS levels. This work reveals a novel mechanism of mB cell apoptosis mediated by LPS and HIV through the Fas/FasL pathway, with key involvement of pDCs and type I IFN, suggesting a role for microbial translocation in HIV pathogenesis.
?-Synuclein plays a crucial role in Parkinson's disease and dementias defined as synucleinopathies. ?-Synuclein is expressed in hematopoietic and immune cells, but its functions in hematopoiesis and immune responses are unknown. We utilized ?-synuclein(-/-) (KO) mice to investigate its role in hematopoiesis and B cell lymphopoiesis. We demonstrated hematologic abnormalities including mild anemia, smaller platelets, lymphopenia but relatively normal early hematopoiesis in KO mice compared to wild-type (WT) as measured in hematopoietic stem cells and progenitors of the different cell lineages. However, the absolute number of B220(+)IgM(+) B cells in bone marrow was reduced by 4-fold in KO mice (WT: 104±23×10(5) vs. KO: 27±5×10(5)). B cells were also reduced in KO spleens associated with effacement of splenic and lymph node architecture. KO mice showed reduced total serum IgG but no abnormality in serum IgM was noted. When KO mice were challenged with a T cell-dependent antigen, production of antigen specific IgG1 and IgG2b was abolished, but antigen specific IgM was not different from WT mice. Our study shows hematologic abnormalities including anemia and smaller platelets, reduced B cell lymphopoiesis and defects in IgG production in the absence of ?-synuclein. This is the first report to show an important role of ?-synuclein late in hematopoiesis, B cell lymphopoiesis and adaptive immune response.
Low-grade systemic inflammation is often associated with metabolic syndrome, which plays a critical role in the development of the obesity-associated inflammatory diseases, including insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. Here, we investigate how Toll-like receptor-MyD88 signaling in myeloid and endothelial cells coordinately participates in the initiation and progression of high fat diet-induced systemic inflammation and metabolic inflammatory diseases. MyD88 deficiency in myeloid cells inhibits macrophage recruitment to adipose tissue and their switch to an M1-like phenotype. This is accompanied by substantially reduced diet-induced systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, and atherosclerosis. MyD88 deficiency in endothelial cells results in a moderate reduction in diet-induced adipose macrophage infiltration and M1 polarization, selective insulin sensitivity in adipose tissue, and amelioration of spontaneous atherosclerosis. Both in vivo and ex vivo studies suggest that MyD88-dependent GM-CSF production from the endothelial cells might play a critical role in the initiation of obesity-associated inflammation and development of atherosclerosis by priming the monocytes in the adipose and arterial tissues to differentiate into M1-like inflammatory macrophages. Collectively, these results implicate a critical MyD88-dependent interplay between myeloid and endothelial cells in the initiation and progression of obesity-associated inflammatory diseases.
We have previously demonstrated that mycobacterial lipoproteins engage TLR2 on human CD4(+) T cells and upregulate TCR-triggered IFN-? secretion and cell proliferation in vitro. Here we examined the role of CD4(+) T-cell-expressed TLR2 in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) Ag-specific T-cell priming and in protection against MTB infection in vivo. Like their human counterparts, mouse CD4(+) T cells express TLR2 and respond to TLR2 costimulation in vitro. This Th1-like response was observed in the context of both polyclonal and Ag-specific TCR stimulation. To evaluate the role of T-cell TLR2 in priming of CD4(+) T cells in vivo, naive MTB Ag85B-specific TCR transgenic CD4(+) T cells (P25 TCR-Tg) were adoptively transferred into Tlr2(-/-) recipient C57BL/6 mice that were then immunized with Ag85B and with or without TLR2 ligand Pam3 Cys-SKKKK. TLR2 engagement during priming resulted in increased numbers of IFN-?-secreting P25 TCR-Tg T cells 1 week after immunization. P25 TCR-Tg T cells stimulated in vitro via TCR and TLR2 conferred more protection than T cells stimulated via TCR alone when adoptively transferred before MTB infection. Our findings indicate that TLR2 engagement on CD4(+) T cells increases MTB Ag-specific responses and may contribute to protection against MTB infection.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by damage to the gut mucosa and systemic inflammation. We sought to evaluate the role of chronic inflammation on circulating T-cell activation in human subjects with Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. We studied 54 patients with IBD and 28 healthy controls. T-cell activation and cycling were assessed in whole blood samples by flow cytometry. Levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) were measured in serum by Limulus amoebocyte lysate assay, and plasma levels of inflammatory markers and LPS-binding proteins were measured by ELISA. The proportions of circulating CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes in cycle (Ki67(+) ) are increased in patients with IBD compared with these proportions in controls. CD8(+) T cells from patients with IBD are also enriched for cells that expressed CD38 and HLA-DR, and proportions of these cells are related to plasma levels of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein in these patients. Intracellular interleukin-2 and interferon-? levels were elevated in resting and polyclonally activated CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells in patients with IBD when compared with levels from healthy controls. Surprisingly, we did not find increased levels of LPS in the serum of patients with IBD. We did, however, find a signature of recent microbial translocation, as levels of LPS-binding protein are increased in the plasma of patients with IBD compared with plasma levels in healthy controls; LPS-binding protein levels are also directly related to proportions of CD38 HLA-DR-expressing CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. Local damage to the gastrointestinal tract in IBD may result in systemic inflammation and T-cell activation.
Exosomes are extracellular membrane vesicles whose biogenesis by exocytosis of multivesicular endosomes was discovered in 1983. Since their discovery 30 years ago, it has become clear that exosomes contribute to many aspects of physiology and disease, including intercellular communication. We discuss the initial experiments that led to the discovery of exosomes and highlight some of the exciting current directions in the field.
The determinants of HIV-1-associated lymphadenopathy are poorly understood. We hypothesized that lymphocytes could be sequestered in the HIV-1+ lymph node (LN) through impairments in sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) responsiveness. To test this hypothesis, we developed novel assays for S1P-induced Akt phosphorylation and actin polymerization. In the HIV-1+ LN, naïve CD4 T cells and central memory CD4 and CD8 T cells had impaired Akt phosphorylation in response to S1P, whereas actin polymerization responses to S1P were impaired dramatically in all LN maturation subsets. These defects were improved with antiretroviral therapy. LN T cells expressing CD69 were unable to respond to S1P in either assay, yet impaired S1P responses were also seen in HIV-1+ LN T cells lacking CD69 expression. Microbial elements, HIV-1, and interferon ? - putative drivers of HIV-1 associated immune activation all tended to increase CD69 expression and reduce T-cell responses to S1P in vitro. Impairment in T-cell egress from lymph nodes through decreased S1P responsiveness may contribute to HIV-1-associated LN enlargement and to immune dysregulation in a key organ of immune homeostasis.
Type-I interferon (IFN-I) has been increasingly implicated in HIV-1 pathogenesis. Various studies have shown elevated IFN-I and an IFN-I-induced gene and protein expression signature in HIV-1 infection, yet the elevated IFN-I species has not been conclusively identified, its source remains obscure and its role in driving HIV-1 pathogenesis is controversial. We assessed IFN-I species in plasma by ELISAs and bioassay, and we investigated potential sources of IFN-I in blood and lymph node tissue by qRT-PCR. Furthermore, we measured the effect of therapeutic administration of IFN? in HCV-infected subjects to model the effect of IFN? on chronic immune activation. IFN-I bioactivity was significantly increased in plasma of untreated HIV-1-infected subjects relative to uninfected subjects (p = 0.012), and IFN? was the predominant IFN-I subtype correlating with IFN-I bioactivity (r = 0.658, p<0.001). IFN? was not detectable in plasma of subjects receiving anti-retroviral therapy. Elevated expression of IFN? mRNA was limited to lymph node tissue cells, suggesting that peripheral blood leukocytes are not a major source of IFN? in untreated chronic HIV-1 infection. Plasma IFN-I levels correlated inversely with CD4 T cell count (p = 0.003) and positively with levels of plasma HIV-1 RNA and CD38 expression on CD8 T cells (p = 0.009). In hepatitis C virus-infected subjects, treatment with IFN-I and ribavirin increased expression of CD38 on CD8 T cells (p = 0.003). These studies identify IFN? derived from lymph nodes, rather than blood leukocytes, as a possible source of the IFN-I signature that contributes to immune activation in HIV-1 infection.
Mtb regulates many aspects of the host immune response, including CD4+ T lymphocyte responses that are essential for protective immunity to Mtb, and Mtb effects on the immune system are paradoxical, having the capacity to inhibit (immune evasion) and to activate (adjuvant effect) immune cells. Mtb regulates CD4+ T cells indirectly (e.g., by manipulation of APC function) and directly, via integrins and TLRs expressed on T cells. We now report that previously uncharacterized Mtb protein Rv2468c/MT2543 can directly regulate human CD4+ T cell activation by delivering costimulatory signals. When combined with TCR stimulation (e.g., anti-CD3), Rv2468c functioned as a direct costimulator for CD4+ T cells, inducing IFN-? secretion and T cell proliferation. Studies with blocking antibodies and soluble RGD motifs demonstrated that Rv2468c engaged integrin VLA-5 (?5?1) on CD4+ T cells through its FN-like RGD motif. Costimulation by Rv2468c induced phosphorylation of FAKs and Pyk2. These results reveal that by expressing molecules that mimic host protein motifs, Mtb can directly engage receptors on CD4+ T cells and regulate their function. Rv2468c-induced costimulation of CD4+ T cells could have implications for TB immune pathogenesis and Mtb adjuvant effect.
Naive B lymphocytes are generally thought to be poor APCs, and there is limited knowledge of their role in activation of CD8(+) T cells. In this article, we demonstrate that class I MHC Ag presentation by human naive B cells is enhanced by TLR9 agonists. Purified naive B cells were cultured with or without a TLR9 agonist (CpG oligodeoxynucleotide [ODN] 2006) for 2 d and then assessed for phenotype, endocytic activity, and their ability to induce CD8(+) T cell responses to soluble Ags. CpG ODN enhanced expression of class I MHC and the costimulatory molecule CD86 and increased endocytic activity as determined by uptake of dextran beads. Pretreatment of naive B cells with CpG ODN also enabled presentation of tetanus toxoid to CD8(+) T cells, resulting in CD8(+) T cell cytokine production and granzyme B secretion and proliferation. Likewise, CpG-activated naive B cells showed enhanced ability to cross-present CMV Ag to autologous CD8(+) T cells, resulting in proliferation of CMV-specific CD8(+) T cells. Although resting naive B cells are poor APCs, they can be activated by TLR9 agonists to serve as potent APCs for class I MHC-restricted T cell responses. This novel activity of naive B cells could be exploited for vaccine design.
The success of Mycobacterium tuberculosis as a pathogen relies on its ability to regulate the host immune response. M. tuberculosis can manipulate adaptive T cell responses indirectly by modulating antigen-presenting cell (APC) function or by directly interacting with T cells. Little is known about the role of M. tuberculosis molecules in direct regulation of T cell function. Using a biochemical approach, we identified lipoproteins LprG and LpqH as major molecules in M. tuberculosis lysate responsible for costimulation of primary human CD4(+) T cells. In the absence of APCs, activation of memory CD4(+) T cells with LprG or LpqH in combination with anti-CD3 antibody induces Th1 cytokine secretion and cellular proliferation. Lipoprotein-induced T cell costimulation was inhibited by blocking antibodies to Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and TLR1, indicating that human CD4(+) T cells can use TLR2/TLR1 heterodimers to directly respond to M. tuberculosis products. M. tuberculosis lipoproteins induced NF-?B activation in CD4(+) T cells in the absence of TCR co-engagement. Thus, TLR2/TLR1 engagement alone by M. tuberculosis lipoprotein triggered intracellular signaling, but upregulation of cytokine production and proliferation required co-engagement of the TCR. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that M. tuberculosis lipoproteins LprG and LpqH participate in the regulation of adaptive immunity not only by inducing cytokine secretion and costimulatory molecules in innate immune cells but also through directly regulating the activation of memory T lymphocytes.
Both clinical experience and a growing medical literature indicate that some persons who have been exposed to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection remain uninfected. Although in some instances this may represent good fortune, cohorts of uninfected persons have been reported who are considered at high risk for infection. In these cohorts a variety of characteristics have been proposed as mediating protection, but to date only the 32–base pair deletion in the chemokine (C‐C motif) receptor 5 gene, which results in complete failure of cell surface expression of this coreceptor, has been associated with high‐level protection from HIV infection. With this in mind, there are probably many other factors that may individually or in combination provide some level of protection from acquisition of HIV infection. Because some of these factors are probably incompletely protective or inconsistently active, identifying them with confidence will be difficult. Nonetheless, clarifying the determinants of protection against HIV infection is a high priority that will require careful selection of high‐risk uninfected cohorts, who should undergo targeted studies of plausible mediators and broad screening for unexpected determinants of protection.
Major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) molecules are released by murine macrophages upon lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation and ATP signaling through the P2X7 receptor. These studies show that infection of macrophages with Mycobacterium tuberculosis or M. bovis strain BCG enhances MHC-II release in synergy with ATP. Shed MHC-II was contained in two distinct organelles, exosomes and plasma membrane-derived microvesicles, which were both able to present exogenous antigenic peptide to T hybridoma cells. Furthermore, microvesicles from mycobacterium-infected macrophages were able to directly present M. tuberculosis antigen (Ag) 85B(241-256)-I-A(b) complexes that were generated by the processing of M. tuberculosis Ag 85B in infected cells to both M. tuberculosis-specific T hybridoma cells and naïve P25 M. tuberculosis T-cell receptor (TCR)-transgenic T cells. In the presence of prefixed macrophages, exosomes from mycobacterium-infected macrophages provided weak stimulation to M. tuberculosis-specific T hybridoma cells but not naïve P25 T cells. Thus, infection with M. tuberculosis primes macrophages for the increased release of exosomes and microvesicles bearing M. tuberculosis peptide-MHC-II complexes that may generate antimicrobial T-cell responses.
Dendritic cells (DCs) cross process exogenous Ags and present them by class I MHC (MHC-I) molecules to CD8(+) T cells specific for Ags from viruses and bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Unmethylated CpG DNA signals through TLR9 to induce type I IFN (IFN-alpha/beta), which enhances MHC-I Ag cross processing, but lipoproteins that signal through TLR2 do not induce IFN-alpha/beta. In these studies we observed that M. tuberculosis, which expresses agonists of both TLR9 and TLR2, did not induce production of IFN-alpha/beta or cross processing by murine DCs. Furthermore, M. tuberculosis and TLR2 agonists inhibited induction of IFN-alpha/beta and DC cross processing by CpG DNA. Exogenous IFN-alpha/beta effectively enhanced cross processing of M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin expressing OVA, bypassing the inhibition of induction of endogenous IFN-alpha/beta. In addition, inhibition of TLR9-induced cross processing of M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin expressing OVA could be circumvented by pretreating cells with CpG DNA to induce IFN-alpha/beta and MHC-I cross processing before inhibitory mycobacterial TLR2 agonists were present. Inhibition of the response to one TLR by another may affect the ultimate response to pathogens like M. tuberculosis that express agonists of multiple TLRs, including TLR2 and TLR9. This mechanism may contribute to immune evasion and explain why IFN-alpha/beta provides little contribution to host immunity to M. tuberculosis. However, downregulation of certain TLR responses may benefit the host by preventing detrimental excessive inflammation that may occur in the presence of persistent infection.
In human monocytes, Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2/1 activation leads to vitamin D3-dependent antimycobacterial activities, but the molecular mechanisms by which TLR2/1 stimulation induces antimicrobial activities against mycobacteria remain unclear. Here we show that TLR2/1/CD14 stimulation by mycobacterial lipoprotein LpqH can robustly activate antibacterial autophagy through vitamin D receptor signalling activation and cathelicidin induction. We found that CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP)-?-dependent induction of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol-1?-hydroxylase (Cyp27b1) hydroxylase was critical for LpqH-induced cathelicidin expression and autophagy. In addition, increases in intracellular calcium following AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation played a crucial role in LpqH-induced autophagy. Moreover, AMPK-dependent p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation was required for LpqH-induced Cyp27b1 expression and autophagy activation. Collectively, these data suggest that TLR2/1/CD14-Ca(2+) -AMPK-p38 MAPK pathways contribute to C/EBP-?-dependent expression of Cyp27b1 and cathelicidin, which played an essential role in LpqH-induced autophagy. Furthermore, these results establish a previously uncharacterized signalling pathway of antimycobacterial host defence through a functional link of TLR2/1/CD14-dependent sensing to the induction of autophagy.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a leading killer of HIV-infected individuals worldwide, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is responsible for up to 50% of HIV-related deaths. Infection by HIV predisposes individuals to M. tuberculosis infection, and coinfection accelerates the progression of both diseases. In contrast to most other opportunistic infections associated with HIV, an increased risk of M. tuberculosis infection occurs during early-stage HIV disease, long before CD4 T cell counts fall below critical levels. We hypothesized that M. tuberculosis infection contributes to HIV pathogenesis by interfering with dendritic cell (DC)-mediated immune control. DCs carry pathogens like M. tuberculosis and HIV from sites of infection into lymphoid tissues, where they process and present antigenic peptides to CD4 T cells. Paradoxically, DCs can also deliver infectious HIV to T cells without first becoming infected, a process known as trans-infection. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated DCs sequester HIV in pocketlike membrane invaginations that remain open to the cell surface, and individual virions are delivered from the pocket into T cells at the site of contact during trans-infection. Here we report that M. tuberculosis exposure increases HIV trans-infection and induces viral sequestration within surface-accessible compartments identical to those seen in LPS-stimulated DCs. At the same time, M. tuberculosis dramatically decreases the degradative processing and major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) presentation of HIV antigens to CD4 T cells. Our data suggest that M. tuberculosis infection promotes a shift in the dynamic balance between antigen processing and intact virion presentation, favoring DC-mediated amplification of HIV infections.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis survives in antigen-presenting cells (APCs) such as macrophages and dendritic cells. APCs present antigens in association with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules to stimulate CD4(+) T cells, and this process is essential to contain M. tuberculosis infection. Immune evasion allows M. tuberculosis to establish persistent or latent infection in macrophages and results in Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)-dependent inhibition of MHC class II transactivator expression, MHC class II molecule expression and antigen presentation. This reduction of antigen presentation might reflect a general mechanism of negative-feedback regulation that prevents excessive T cell-mediated inflammation and that M. tuberculosis has subverted to create a niche for survival in infected macrophages and evasion of recognition by CD4(+) T cells.
CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) signal through TLR9 to induce type I IFN (IFN-alphabeta) in dendritic cells (DCs). CpG-A ODNs are more efficacious than CpG-B ODNs for induction of IFN-alphabeta. Because IFN-alphabeta may contribute to autoimmunity, it is important to identify mechanisms to inhibit induction of IFN-alphabeta. In our studies, CpG-B ODN inhibited induction of IFN-alphabeta by CpG-A ODN, whereas induction of TNF-alpha and IL-12p40 by CpG-A ODN was not affected. CpG-B inhibition of IFN-alphabeta was observed in FLT3 ligand-induced murine DCs, purified murine myeloid DCs, plasmacytoid DCs, and human PBMCs. CpG-B ODN inhibited induction of IFN-alphabeta by agonists of multiple receptors, including MyD88-dependent TLRs (CpG-A ODN signaling via TLR9, or R837 or Sendai virus signaling via TLR7) and MyD88-independent receptors (polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid signaling via TLR3 or ds break-DNA signaling via a cytosolic pathway). CpG-B ODN did not inhibit the IFN-alphabeta positive feedback loop second-wave IFN-alphabeta, because IFN-alphabeta-induced expression of IFN-alphabeta was unaffected, and CpG-B inhibition of IFN-alphabeta was manifested in IFN-alphabetaR(-/-) DCs, which lack the positive feedback mechanism. Rather, CpG-B ODN inhibited early TLR-induced first wave IFN-alpha4 and IFN-beta. Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that association of IFN regulatory factor 1 with the IFN-alpha4 and IFN-beta promoters was induced by CpG-A ODN but not CpG-B ODN. Moreover, CpG-A-induced association of IFN regulatory factor 1 with these promoters was inhibited by CpG-B ODN. Our studies demonstrate a novel mechanism of transcriptional regulation of first-wave IFN-alphabeta that selectively inhibits induction of IFN-alphabeta downstream of multiple receptors and may provide targets for future therapeutic inhibition of IFN-alphabeta expression in vivo.
Antigen processing and presentation experiments can be done with a wide variety of antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Most experiments will use one of the "professional" APC types: dendritic cells (DCs), macrophages, and B lymphocytes. Other types of cells may be used for antigen presentation in some circumstances. Each type of professional APC has an important antigen-presentation function, but the different APC types contribute to different aspects of the immune response. Therefore, selection of an APC type for study must include consideration of the stage or aspect of immune response that is to be modeled in the experiment. An important technical distinction for some types of experiments is whether the APCs are adherent or nonadherent, since this dictates the procedures that must be used to wash the cells as the medium is changed.
The first issue in selecting a system for antigen-presentation experiments is to define the appropriate type of antigen-presenting cell (APC) to study. For some experiments, crude preparations such as splenocytes or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) may suffice to provide APC function for stimulating T cells. This unit develops approaches for preparation of more defined APC populations, including dendritic cells (DCs), macrophages, and B lymphocytes, the three types of "professional" APC. Each of these cell types exists in different stages of differentiation, maturation, and activation, or in some cases different lineages. For example, dendritic cells may be divided into subsets, including myeloid DCs (mDCs) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). Each APC type has an important antigen-presentation function, although they contribute to different aspects of the immune response. Therefore, selection of an APC type for study must include consideration of the stage or aspect of immune response that is to be modeled in the experiment.
Knockout of lprG results in decreased virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in mice. MTB lipoprotein LprG has TLR2 agonist activity, which is thought to be dependent on its N-terminal triacylation. Unexpectedly, here we find that nonacylated LprG retains TLR2 activity. Moreover, we show LprG association with triacylated glycolipid TLR2 agonists lipoarabinomannan, lipomannan and phosphatidylinositol mannosides (which share core structures). Binding of triacylated species was specific to LprG (not LprA) and increased LprG TLR2 agonist activity; conversely, association of glycolipids with LprG enhanced their recognition by TLR2. The crystal structure of LprG in complex with phosphatidylinositol mannoside revealed a hydrophobic pocket that accommodates the three alkyl chains of the ligand. In conclusion, we demonstrate a glycolipid binding function of LprG that enhances recognition of triacylated MTB glycolipids by TLR2 and may affect glycolipid assembly or transport for bacterial cell wall biogenesis.
Immune evasion is required for Mycobacterium tuberculosis to survive in the face of robust adaptive CD4(+) T-cell responses. We have previously shown that M. tuberculosis can indirectly inhibit CD4(+) T cells by suppressing the major histocompatibility complex class II antigen-presenting cell function of macrophages. This study was undertaken to determine if M. tuberculosis could directly inhibit CD4(+) T-cell activation. Murine CD4(+) T cells were purified from spleens by negative immunoaffinity selection followed by flow sorting. Purified CD4(+) T cells were activated for 16 to 48 h with CD3 and CD28 monoclonal antibodies in the presence or absence of M. tuberculosis and its subcellular fractions. CD4(+) T-cell activation was measured by interleukin 2 production, proliferation, and expression of activation markers, all of which were decreased in the presence of M. tuberculosis. Fractionation identified that M. tuberculosis cell wall glycolipids, specifically, phosphatidylinositol mannoside and mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan, were potent inhibitors. Glycolipid-mediated inhibition was not dependent on Toll-like receptor signaling and could be bypassed through stimulation with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and ionomycin. ZAP-70 phosphorylation was decreased in the presence of M. tuberculosis glycolipids, indicating that M. tuberculosis glycolipids directly inhibited CD4(+) T-cell activation by interfering with proximal T-cell-receptor signaling.
We recently reported that P2X7 receptor (P2X7R)-induced activation of caspase-1 inflammasomes is accompanied by release of MHC class II (MHC-II) protein into extracellular compartments during brief stimulation of murine macrophages with ATP. Here we demonstrate that MHC-II containing membranes released from macrophages or dendritic cells (DCs) in response to P2X7R stimulation comprise two pools of vesicles with distinct biogenesis: one pool comprises 100- to 600-nm microvesicles derived from direct budding of the plasma membrane, while the second pool is composed of 50- to 80-nm exosomes released from multivesicular bodies. ATP-stimulated release of MHC-II in these membrane fractions is observed within 15 min and results in the export of approximately 15% of the total MHC-II pool within 90 min. ATP did not stimulate MHC-II release in macrophages from P2X7R knockout mice. The inflammasome regulatory proteins, ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase-recruitment domain) and NLRP3 (NLR family, pyrin domain containing 3), which are essential for caspase-1 activation, were also required for the P2X7R-regulated release of the exosome but not the microvesicle MHC-II pool. Treatment of bone marrow-derived macrophages with YVAD-cmk, a peptide inhibitor of caspase-1, also abrogated P2X7R-dependent MHC-II secretion. Surprisingly, however, MHC-II release in response to ATP was intact in caspase-1(-/-) macrophages. The inhibitory actions of YVAD-cmk were mimicked by the pan-caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk and the serine protease inhibitor TPCK, but not the caspase-3 inhibitor DEVD-cho. These data suggest that the ASC/NLRP3 inflammasome complexes assembled in response to P2X7R activation involve protease effector(s) in addition to caspase-1, and that these proteases may play important roles in regulating the membrane trafficking pathways that control biogenesis and release of MHC-II-containing exosomes.
Type I interferon (IFNalpha/beta) plays a complex role in HIV-1 infection and has been proposed alternately to have roles in either disease protection or progression. Although IFNalpha/beta plays crucial roles in regulating monocytes and dendritic cells, responsiveness of these cells to IFNalpha/beta in HIV-1 infection is poorly understood. We report significant defects in IFNalpha/beta receptor (IFNalpha/betaR) expression, IFNalpha signaling, and IFNalpha-induced gene expression in monocytes from HIV-1-infected subjects. IFNalpha/betaR expression correlated directly with CD4+ T-cell count and inversely with HIV-1 RNA level and expression of CD38 by memory (CD45RO+) CD8+ T cells, a measure of pathologic immune activation in HIV-1 infection associated with disease progression. In addition, monocytes from HIV-1-infected persons showed diminished responses to IFNalpha, including decreased induction of phosphorylated STAT1 and the classical interferon-stimulated gene produces MxA and OAS. These IFNalpha responses were decreased regardless of IFNalpha/betaR expression, suggesting that regulation of intracellular signaling may contribute to unresponsiveness to IFNalpha/beta in HIV-1 disease. Defective monocyte responses to IFNalpha/beta may play an important role in the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection, and decreased IFNalpha/betaR expression may serve as a novel marker of disease progression.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are reported to be functionally deficient during chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Differing results have been reported on direct effects of intact replicative-form HCV on DC function. To better understand the effect of HCV on DC function, we treated freshly purified human myeloid DCs (mDCs) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) with HCV JFH1. We found that HCV upregulated mDC maturation marker (CD83, CD86, and CD40) expression and did not inhibit Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) ligand [poly(I:C)]-induced mDC maturation, a finding consistent with the phenotype of DCs from HCV-infected subjects. At the same time, HCV JFH1 inhibited the ability of poly(I:C)-treated mDCs to activate naive CD4 T cells. In contrast, although there was no direct effect of virus on pDC maturation, HCV JFH1 inhibited TLR7 ligand (R848)-induced pDC CD40 expression, and this was associated with impaired ability to activate naive CD4 T cells. Parallel experiments with recombinant HCV proteins indicated HCV core protein may be responsible for a portion of the activity. Furthermore, HCV-mediated mDC maturation was dependent upon CD81-E2 interaction and, in part, TLR2. Using UV-treated HCV, we show that HCV-mediated mDC and pDC maturation is virus replication independent and, using strand specific PCR, we found no evidence for HCV replication within DCs. Because these effects of HCV on DC subset maturation and function in part recapitulate direct ex vivo analysis of DCs in chronic HCV infection, the mechanisms described here likely account for a portion of the DC subset defects observed in vivo.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) signals through Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) to regulate antigen presenting cells (APCs). Mtb lipoproteins, including LpqH, LprA, LprG and PhoS1, are TLR2 agonists, but their co-receptor requirements are unknown. We studied Mtb lipoprotein-induced responses in TLR2(-/-), TLR1(-/-), TLR6(-/-), CD14(-/-) and CD36(-/-) macrophages. Responses to LprA, LprG, LpqH and PhoS1 were completely dependent on TLR2. LprG, LpqH, and PhoS1 were dependent on TLR1, but LprA did not require TLR1. None of the lipoproteins required TLR6, although a redundant contribution by TLR6 cannot be excluded. CD14 contributed to detection of LprA, LprG and LpqH, whereas CD36 contributed only to detection of LprA. Studies of lung APC subsets revealed lower TLR2 expression by CD11b(high)/CD11c(low) lung macrophages than CD11b(low)/CD11c(high) alveolar macrophages, which correlated with hyporesponsiveness of lung macrophages to LpqH. Thus, lung APC subsets differ in TLR expression, which may determine differences in responses to Mtb.
Macrophages and dendritic cells are phagocytic antigen presenting cells that internalize bacteria and other particulate antigens into phagosomes. The phagosome must then balance microbicidal and proteolytic degradation functions with the generation of antigenic peptides for presentation by class I and class II MHC molecules to CD8 and CD4 T cells, respectively. Understanding the host and bacterial factors that affect phagosomal antigen processing may help facilitate new strategies to eliminate pathogens.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. bovis BCG infect APCs. In vitro, mycobacteria inhibit IFN-gamma-induced MHC-II expression by macrophages, but the effects of mycobacteria on lung APCs in vivo remain unclear. To assess MHC-II expression on APCs infected in vivo, mice were aerosol-infected with GFP-expressing BCG. At 28 d, approximately 1% of lung APCs were GFP+ by flow cytometry and CFU data. Most GFP+ cells were CD11b(high)/CD11c(neg-mid) lung macrophages (58-68%) or CD11b(high)/CD11c(high) DCs (28-31%). Lung APC MHC-II expression was higher in infected mice than naïve mice. Within infected lungs, however, MHC-II expression was lower in GFP+ cells than GFP- cells for both macrophages and DCs. MHC-II expression was also inhibited on purified lung macrophages and DCs that were infected with BCG in vitro. Thus, lung APCs that harbor mycobacteria in vivo have decreased MHC-II expression relative to uninfected APCs from the same lung, possibly contributing to evasion of T cell responses.
Immune evasion is required for Mycobacterium tuberculosis to survive in the face of robust CD4(+) T cell responses. We have shown previously that M. tuberculosis cell wall glycolipids, including mannose capped lipoarabinomannan (ManLAM), directly inhibit polyclonal murine CD4(+) T cell activation by blocking ZAP-70 phosphorylation. We extended these studies to antigen-specific murine CD4(+) T cells and primary human T cells and found that ManLAM inhibited them as well. Lck and LAT phosphorylation also were inhibited by ManLAM without affecting their localization to lipid rafts. Inhibition of proximal TCR signaling was temperature sensitive, suggesting that ManLAM insertion into T cell membranes was required. Thus, M. tuberculosis ManLAM inhibits antigen-specific CD4(+) T cell activation by interfering with very early events in TCR signaling through ManLAMs insertion in T cell membranes.
Microbial molecules or cytokines can stimulate dendritic cell (DC) maturation, which involves DC migration to lymph nodes and enhanced presentation of Ag to launch T cell responses. Microbial TLR agonists are the most studied inducers of DC maturation, but type I IFN (IFN-I) also promotes DC maturation. In response to TLR stimulation, DC maturation involves a burst of Ag processing with enhanced expression of peptide-class II MHC complexes and costimulator molecules. Subsequently, class II MHC (MHC-II) synthesis and expression in intracellular vacuolar compartments is inhibited, decreasing Ag processing function. This limits presentation to a cohort of Ags kinetically associated with the maturation stimulus and excludes presentation of Ags subsequently experienced by the DC. In contrast, our studies show that IFN-I enhances DC expression of MHC-II and costimulatory molecules without a concomitant inhibition of subsequent MHC-II synthesis and Ag processing. Expression of mRNA for MHC-II and the transcription factor CIITA is inhibited in DCs treated with TLR agonists but maintained in cells treated with IFN-I. After stimulation with IFN-I, MHC-II expression is increased on the plasma membrane but is also maintained in intracellular vacuolar compartments, consistent with sustained Ag processing function. These findings suggest that IFN-I drives a distinctive DC maturation program that enhances Ag presentation to T cells without a shutdown of Ag processing, allowing continued sampling of Ags for presentation.
Natural killer (NK) cells likely contribute to outcome of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and interferon (IFN)-induced control of chronic HCV infection. We previously observed IFN-?R and NKp30 expression associated with IFN-?-dependent NK cell activity.
Type I interferons play important roles in innate immune defense. In HIV infection, type I interferons may delay disease progression by inhibiting viral replication while at the same time accelerating disease progression by contributing to chronic immune activation.
Pathogens may signal through multiple TLRs with synergistic or antagonistic effects on the induction of cytokines, including type I IFN (IFN-I). IFN-I is typically induced by TLR9, but not TLR2. Moreover, we previously reported that TLR2 signaling by Mycobacterium tuberculosis or other TLR2 agonists inhibited TLR9 induction of IFN-I and IFN-I-dependent MHC-I Ag cross processing. The current studies revealed that lipopeptide-induced TLR2 signaling inhibited induction of first-wave IFN-? and IFN-? mRNA by TLR9, whereas induction of second-wave IFN-I mRNA was not inhibited. TLR2 also inhibited induction of IFN-I by TLR7, another MyD88-dependent IFN-I-inducing receptor, but did not inhibit IFN-I induction by TLR3 or TLR4 (both Toll/IL-1R domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-? dependent, MyD88 independent). The inhibitory effect of TLR2 was not dependent on new protein synthesis or intercellular signaling. IL-1R-associated kinase 1 (IRAK1) was depleted rapidly (within 10 min) by TLR2 agonist, but not until later (e.g., 2 h) by TLR9 agonist. Because IRAK1 is required for TLR7/9-induced IFN-I production, we propose that TLR2 signaling induces rapid depletion of IRAK1, which impairs IFN-I induction by TLR7/9. This novel mechanism, whereby TLR2 inhibits IFN-I induction by TLR7/9, may shape immune responses to microbes that express ligands for both TLR2 and TLR7/TLR9, or responses to bacteria/virus coinfection.
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