Toll-like receptor (TLR), a ligand for single-stranded RNA, has been implicated in the development of pathogenic anti-RNA autoantibodies both in systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) patients and in murine models of lupus. It is still unclear, however, where and how TLR7-mediated interactions affect the development of autoreactive B cells. We found that overexpression of TLR7 in transgenic mice (TLR7.1Tg) leads to marked alterations of transitional (T1) B cells, associated with their expansion and proliferation within the splenic red pulp (RP). This phenotype was intrinsic to the T1 subset of B cells and occurred independently of type 1 IFN signals. Overexpression of RNase in TLR7.1Tg mice significantly limited the expansion and proliferation of T1 cells, indicating that endogenous RNA complexes are driving their activation. TLR7.1Tg T1 cells were hyper-responsive to anti-IgM and TLR7 ligand stimulation in vitro and produced high concentrations of class-switched IgG2b and IgG2c, including anti-RNA antibodies. Our results demonstrate that initial TLR7 stimulation of B cells occurs at the T1 stage of differentiation in the splenic RP and suggest that dysregulation of TLR7 expression in T1 cells can result in production of autoantibodies.
TLR7 activation is implicated in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus. Mice that overexpress TLR7 develop a lupus-like disease with autoantibodies and glomerulonephritis and early death. To determine whether degradation of the TLR7 ligand RNA would alter the course of disease, we created RNase A transgenic (Tg) mice. We then crossed the RNase Tg to TLR7 Tg mice to create TLR7 × RNase double Tg (DTg) mice. DTg mice had a significantly increased survival associated with reduced activation of T and B lymphocytes and reduced kidney deposition of IgG and C3. We observed massive hepatic inflammation and cell death in TLR7 Tg mice. In contrast, hepatic inflammation and necrosis were strikingly reduced in DTg mice. These findings indicate that high concentrations of serum RNase protect against immune activation and inflammation associated with TLR7 stimulation and that RNase may be a useful therapeutic strategy in the prevention or treatment of inflammation in systemic lupus erythematosus and, possibly, liver diseases.
Mice overexpressing TLR7 (TLR7.1 mice) are a model of systemic lupus erythematosus pathogenesis and exhibit peripheral myeloid expansion. We show that TLR7.1 mice have a dramatic expansion of splenic cells that derive from granulocyte/macrophage progenitors (GMP) compared with wild-type mice. In the bone marrow, TLR7.1 mice exhibited hallmarks of emergency myelopoiesis and contained a discrete population of Sca-1(+) GMP, termed emergency GMP, which are more proliferative and superior myeloid precursors than classical Sca-1(-) GMP. The emergency myelopoiesis and peripheral myeloid expansion in TLR7.1 mice was dependent on type I IFN signaling. TLR7 agonist administration to nontransgenic mice also drove type I IFN-dependent emergency myelopoiesis. TLR7.1 plasmacytoid dendritic cells were cell-intrinsically activated by TLR7 overexpression and constitutively produced type I IFN mRNA. This study shows that type I IFN can act upon myeloid progenitors to promote the development of emergency GMP, which leads to an expansion of their progeny in the periphery.
Outside-in signals from ?(2) integrins require immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif adapters in myeloid cells that are known to dampen TLR responses. However, the relationship between ?(2) integrins and TLR regulation is unclear. Here we show that deficiency in ?(2) integrins (Itgb2(-/-) ) causes hyperresponsiveness to TLR stimulation, demonstrating that ?(2) integrins inhibit signals downstream of TLR ligation. Itgb2(-/-) macrophages and dendritic cells produced more IL-12 and IL-6 than WT cells when stimulated with TLR agonists and Itgb2(-/-) mice produced more inflammatory cytokines than WT mice when injected with LPS. TLR hypersensitivity was not the result of insufficient ABIN-3, A20, Hes-1, or IRAK-M expression, nor to changes in IL-10 production or sensitivity, though Itgb2(-/-) macrophages had reduced p38 MAPK phosphorylation after LPS treatment. Furthermore, a Cbl-b-MyD88 regulatory axis is not required for TLR inhibition in macrophages. Instead, Itgb2(-/-) macrophages presented with enhanced I?B? degradation, leading to changes in NF-?B recruitment to target promoters and elevated cytokine, chemokine, and anti-apoptotic gene transcription. Thus, ?(2) integrins limit TLR signaling by inhibiting NF-?B pathway activation and promoting p38 MAPK activation, thereby fine-tuning TLR-induced inflammatory responses.
Inflammatory macrophages are abundant in kidney disease, stimulating repair, or driving chronic inflammation and fibrosis. Damage associated molecules (DAMPs), released from injured cells engage pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) on macrophages, contributing to activation. Understanding mechanisms of macrophage activation during kidney injury may lead to strategies to alleviate chronic disease. We identified Triggering-Receptor-in-Myeloid-cells (TREM)-1, a regulator of TLR signaling, as highly upregulated in kidney inflammatory macrophages and tested the roles of these receptors in macrophage activation and kidney disease. Kidney DAMPs activated macrophages in vitro, independently of TREM-1, but partially dependent on TLR-2/-4, MyD88. In two models of progressive interstitial kidney disease, TREM-1 blockade had no impact on disease or macrophage activation in vivo, but TLR-2/-4, or MyD88 deficiency was anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic. When MyD88 was mutated only in the myeloid lineage, however, there was no bearing on macrophage activation or disease progression. Instead, TLR-2/-4 or MyD88 deficiency reduced activation of mesenchyme lineage cells resulting in reduced inflammation and fibrosis, indicating that these pathways play dominant roles in activation of myofibroblasts but not macrophages. To conclude, TREM-1, TLR2/4 and MyD88 signaling pathways are redundant in myeloid cell activation in kidney injury, but the latter appear to regulate activation of mesenchymal cells.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognize pathogens and their components, thereby initiating immune responses to infectious organisms. TLR ligation leads to the activation of NF-?B and MAPKs through well-defined pathways, but it has remained unclear how TLR signaling activates PI3K, which provides an inhibitory pathway limiting TLR responses. Here, we show that the signaling adapter B-cell adaptor for PI3K (BCAP) links TLR signaling to PI3K activation. BCAP-deficient macrophages and mice are hyperresponsive to TLR agonists and have reduced PI3K activation. The ability of BCAP to inhibit TLR responses requires its capacity to bind PI3K. BCAP is constitutively phosphorylated and associated with the p85 subunit of PI3K in macrophages. This tyrosine-phosphorylated BCAP is transiently enriched in the membrane fraction in response to LPS treatment, suggesting a model whereby TLR signaling causes the phosphorylation of the small amount of BCAP that is associated with membranes in the resting state or the translocation of phosphorylated BCAP from the cytoplasm to the membrane. This accumulation of tyrosine-phosphorylated BCAP at the membrane with its associated PI3K would then allow for the catalysis of Ptd Ins P2 to Ptd Ins P3 and downstream PI3K-dependent signals. Therefore, BCAP is an essential activator of the PI3K pathway downstream of TLR signaling, providing a brake to limit potentially pathogenic excessive TLR responses.
DCs play a key role in defense against infections and also in preventing inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The response of DCs to pathogens is tightly regulated by many mechanisms to allow for appropriate, but not pathogenic, responses. We previously showed that DCs with deficiencies for two ITAM-bearing signaling adapters, DAP12 and FcR?, produce more inflammatory cytokines upon treatment with Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists than WT DCs. Here, we investigated whether the TREM-2 receptor pairs with DAP12 to inhibit TLR responses in DCs. TREM-2-deficient BMDCs showed increased inflammatory cytokine and type I IFN production in response to TLR ligation. Additionally, TREM-2-deficient BMDCs had increased TLR-induced maturation and were more efficient at inducing antigen-specific T-cell proliferation upon CpG DNA stimulation compared with WT BMDCs. Finally, we showed that a TREM-2 ligand is expressed on the surface of BMDCs, suggesting that the TREM-2 receptor transduces inhibitory signals due to recognition of an endogenous ligand.
S100A9 is constitutively expressed in neutrophils, dendritic cells, and monocytes; is associated with acute and chronic inflammatory conditions; and is implicated in obesity and cardiovascular disease in humans. Most of the constitutively secreted S100A9 is derived from myeloid cells. A recent report demonstrated that mice deficient in S100A9 exhibit reduced atherosclerosis compared with controls and suggested that this effect was due in large part to loss of S100A9 in bone marrow-derived cells.
DAP12 is an adapter protein that associates with several receptors in macrophages. Little is known about the biological role of DAP12 in alveolar macrophages. In genome-wide profiling, we previously found that two DAP12-associated receptors, myeloid DAP12-associated lectin-1 and triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2), were highly induced in alveolar macrophages from habitual smokers. Here, we found that transcript levels for these receptors in alveolar macrophages increased with packs per day of cigarettes smoked and expression of TREM2 protein was increased in lung macrophages of former smokers with emphysema compared with that in controls. In vitro, cigarette smoke directly induced expression of myeloid DAP12-associated lectin-1 and TREM2 and activation of DAP12 signaling in mouse macrophages. To determine whether DAP12 plays a role in cigarette smoke-induced pulmonary inflammation, we exposed wild-type and DAP12-deficient mice to chronic cigarette smoke and found significant reduction in recruitment of alveolar macrophages in DAP12-deficient mice. Because cigarette smoking induces the macrophage chemoattractant CCL2, we tested the chemotactic ability of DAP12-deficient macrophages and found abrogation of chemotaxis toward CCL2 in vitro. Airway administration of CCL2 also resulted in a significant reduction of macrophage recruitment to the lungs of DAP12-deficient mice compared with that in controls. DAP12 was also required for normal macrophage migration in a "scratch" assay. Reconstitution studies revealed that phosphorylation of the DAP12 ITAM was required for normal migration in vitro and association with TREM2 was sufficient for normal migration. These findings indicate that DAP12, possibly through association with TREM2, contributes to alveolar macrophage chemotaxis and recruitment to the lung and may mediate macrophage accumulation in lung diseases such as emphysema.
Interleukin 1-beta (IL-1beta) is a major inflammatory cytokine. Blockade of the IL-1beta pathway is therapeutically efficacious in type 2 diabetes, but the mechanistic effects on the immune system are incompletely understood.
The adapter proteins DAP12 and FcRgamma associate with a wide spectrum of receptors in a variety of innate immune cells to mediate intracellular signaling pathways when their cognate receptor is engaged. These adapter proteins are coupled to their receptors through charged residues within the transmembrane regions of the adapter and receptor. DAP12 and FcRgamma contain specific protein domains (referred to as immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs) that serve as the substrates and docking sites for kinases, allowing amplification of intracellular signaling reactions. Recent research has broadened the repertoire of receptors that utilize these adapters for signaling to include not only novel immunoglobulin superfamily members but also cytokine receptors, integrins, and other adhesion molecules. There is abundant evidence that these multifunctional signaling adapters also mediate inhibitory activity, downmodulating signaling from Toll-like receptors and other heterologous receptors. In this review, we discuss the newly described receptors that utilize DAP12 and/or FcRgamma adapters to modulate innate immune responses.
Phagocytosis, which is essential for the immune response to pathogens, is initiated by specific interactions between pathogens and cell surface receptors expressed by phagocytes. This study identifies triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM-2) and its signaling counterpart DAP12 as a molecular complex that promotes phagocytosis of bacteria. Expression of TREM-2-DAP12 enables nonphagocytic Chinese hamster ovary cells to internalize bacteria. This function depends on actin cytoskeleton dynamics and the activity of the small guanosine triphosphatases Rac and Cdc42. Internalization also requires src kinase activity and tyrosine phosphorylation. In bone marrow-derived macrophages, phagocytosis is decreased in the absence of DAP12 and can be restored by expression of TREM-2-DAP12. Depletion of TREM-2 inhibits both binding and uptake of bacteria. Finally, TREM-2-dependent phagocytosis is impaired in Syk-deficient macrophages. This study highlights a novel role for TREM-2-DAP12 in the immune response to bacterial pathogens.
Fluorescence can be harnessed to monitor microbial fate and to investigate functional outcomes of individual microbial cell-host cell encounters at portals of entry in native tissue environments. We illustrate this concept by introducing fluorescent Aspergillus reporter (FLARE) conidia that simultaneously report phagocytic uptake and fungal viability during cellular interactions with the murine respiratory innate immune system. Our studies using FLARE conidia reveal stepwise and cell-type-specific requirements for CARD9 and Syk, transducers of C-type lectin receptor and integrin signals, in neutrophil recruitment, conidial uptake, and conidial killing in the lung. By achieving single-event resolution in defined leukocyte populations, the FLARE method enables host cell profiling on the basis of pathogen uptake and killing and may be extended to other pathogens in diverse model host organisms to query molecular, cellular, and pharmacologic mechanisms that shape host-microbe interactions.
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