TLR ligands are critical activators of innate immunity and are being developed as vaccine adjuvants. However, their usefulness in conjunction with NOD-like receptor agonists remains poorly studied. In this study, we evaluated a new ligand that targets both TLR2 and NOD2 receptors. We assessed its ability to enhance dendritic cell maturation in vitro in addition to improving systemic and mucosal immune responses in mice. The chimeric NOD2/TLR2 ligand induced synergistic upregulation of dendritic cell maturation markers, costimulatory molecules, and secretion of proinflammatory cytokines compared with combinations of separate ligands. Furthermore, when coadministered with biodegradable nanoparticles carrying a model Ag, the ligand was able to induce high Ag-specific IgA and IgG titers at both systemic and mucosal sites after parenteral immunizations. These findings point out the potential utility of chimeric molecules TLR/NOD as adjuvants for vaccines to induce systemic and mucosal immune responses.
Cyclic dinucleotides are important messengers for bacteria and protozoa and are well-characterized immunity alarmins for infected mammalian cells through intracellular binding to STING receptors. We sought to investigate their unknown extracellular effects by adding cyclic dinucleotides to the culture medium of freshly-isolated human blood cells in vitro. Here we report that adenosine-containing cyclic dinucleotides induce the selective apoptosis of monocytes through a novel apoptotic pathway. We demonstrate that these compounds are inverse agonist ligands of A2a, a G?s-coupled adenosine receptor selectively expressed by monocytes. Inhibition of monocyte A2a by these ligands induces apoptosis through a mechanism independent to that of the STING receptors. The blockade of basal (adenosine-free) signaling from A2a inhibits PKA activity, thereby recruiting cytosolic p53 which opens the mitochondrial permeability transition pore and impairs mitochondrial respiration, resulting in apoptosis. A2a antagonists and inverse agonist ligands induce apoptosis of human monocytes while A2a agonists are anti-apoptotic. In vivo, we used a mock developing human hematopoietic system through NSG mice transplanted with human CD34(+) cells. Treatment with cyclic-di-AMP selectively depleted A2a-expressing monocytes and their precursors via apoptosis. Thus, monocyte recognition of cyclic di-nucleotides unravels a novel pro-apoptotic pathway: the A2a GPCR-driven tonic inhibitory signaling of mitochondrial-induced cell death.
Intestinal microfold (M) cells possess a high transcytosis capacity and are able to transport a broad range of materials including particulate antigens, soluble macromolecules, and pathogens from the intestinal lumen to inductive sites of the mucosal immune system. M cells are also the primary pathway for delivery of secretory IgA (SIgA) to the gut-associated lymphoid tissue. However, although the consequences of SIgA uptake by M cells are now well known and described, the mechanisms whereby SIgA is selectively bound and taken up remain poorly understood. Here we first demonstrate that both the C?1 region and glycosylation, more particularly sialic acid residues, are involved in M cell-mediated reverse transcytosis. Second, we found that SIgA is taken up by M cells via the Dectin-1 receptor, with the possible involvement of Siglec-5 acting as a co-receptor. Third, we establish that transcytosed SIgA is taken up by mucosal CX3CR1? dendritic cells (DCs) via the DC-SIGN receptor. Fourth, we show that mucosal and systemic antibody responses against the HIV p24-SIgA complexes administered orally is strictly dependent on the expression of Dectin-1. Having deciphered the mechanisms leading to specific targeting of SIgA-based Ag complexes paves the way to the use of such a vehicle for mucosal vaccination against various infectious diseases.
Most successful vaccines are able to induce persistent antibody responses that can last a lifetime. Emerging evidences indicate that activation of immune cells through pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) or Nod-like receptors (NLRs) may be critical mechanisms. Among PRRs, the use of TLR ligands as adjuvants is already largely described whereas the use of NLRs ligands remains largely unexplored. As activation of intracytoplasmic NLRs is able to induce proinflammatory molecules, the added value of encapsulation of Nod1 and Nod2 receptor ligands into Poly(Lactic Acid) (PLA) biodegradable nanocarriers to modulate their immune properties on human dendritic cells (DCs) maturation has been evaluated. Their ability to induce systemic immune responses in mice was also measured and compared to free ligands and the Alum adjuvant. Nod ligands encapsulated into PLA NPs were efficiently taken up by DCs and subsequently induced a strong up-regulation of maturation markers and the enhancement of proinflammatory cytokine secretion by DCs. Furthermore, co-injection of encapsulated Nod-ligands with PLA particles carrying Gag p24 HIV-1 antigen allowed a 100 fold increase in antibody responses in comparison to Alum. These results suggest that encapsulation of Nod ligands into PLA-NPs could be an effective way to improve vaccine efficiency.
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