Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) is a milk-borne betaretrovirus that has developed strategies to exploit and subvert the host immune system. We have shown in a natural model of MMTV infection that the virus causes early and progressive increases in superantigen (Sag)-specific CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Treg) in Peyers patches. Herein, we evaluated whether the depletion of Treg cells affects the CD8+ population during milk-borne MMTV infection. At day 6 of infection, the depletion of Treg cells increased the percentage and absolute number of CD8+ cells in lymph nodes as well as the mean intensity fluorescence of the CD44 activation marker. The absolute number of CD8+ cells was increased in cells bearing both Sag reactive and non-reactive TCR V? chains. We have previously shown that regulatory T cell depletion at day 6 of infection decrease viral load. Results reported herein suggest that at least after day 6 of MMTV infection Treg cells play an inhibiting role on CD8 antiviral response.
Superantigens bind to major histocompatibility complex class II molecules and interact with T cells expressing a particular T cell receptor V? inducing a strong proliferation/deletion response of the superantigen-reactive T cells. However, there have been no attempts to investigate the ability of Sags to induce apoptosis in neoplastic T cells by signaling through the V? region of their TCR. In the present study we show that bacterial and MMTV-encoded superantigens induce the apoptosis of AKR/J cognate lymphoma T cells both in vitro and in vivo. The Fas-Fas-L pathway was shown to be involved in the apoptosis of lymphoma T cells induced by bacterial superantigens. In vivo exposure to bacterial superantigens was able to improve the survival of lymphoma bearing mice. Moreover, the permanent expression of a retroviral encoded superantigen induced the complete remission of an aggressive lymphoma in a high percentage of mice. The possibility of a therapeutic use of superantigens in lymphoma/leukemia T cell malignancies is discussed.
Tumor-draining lymph node (TDLN) ablation is routinely performed in the management of cancer; nevertheless, its usefulness is at present a matter of debate. TDLN are central sites where T cell priming to tumor antigens and onset of the antitumor immune response occur. However, tumor-induced immunosuppression has been demonstrated at TDLN, leading to downregulation of antitumor reaction and tolerance induction. Tolerance in turn is a main impairment for immunotherapy trials. We used a murine immunogenic fibrosarcoma that evolves to a tolerogenic state, to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying tolerance induction at the level of TDLN and to design an appropriate immunotherapy. We determined that following a transient activation, the established tumor induces signs of immunosuppression at TDLN that coexist with local and systemic evidences of antitumor response. Therefore, we evaluated the feasibility of removing TDLN in order to eliminate a focus of immunosuppression and favor tumor rejection; but instead, a marked exacerbation of tumor growth was induced. Combining TDLN ablation with the in vivo depletion of regulatory cells by low-dose cyclophosphamide and the restoring of the TDLN-derived cells into the donor mouse by adoptive transference, resulted in lowered tumor growth, enhanced survival and a considerable degree of tumor regression. Our results demonstrate that important antitumor elements can be eliminated by lymphadenectomy and proved that the concurrent administration of low-dose chemotherapy along with the reinoculation of autologous cytotoxic cells provides protection. We suggest that this protocol may be useful, especially in the cases where lymphadenectomy is mandatory.
Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) is a milk-borne betaretrovirus that has developed strategies to exploit and subvert the host immune system. Although mammary glands are the final target of infection, Peyers patches (PP) are the entry site of the virus. Herein, we show that the infection induces increases in the number of PP IgA(+) B cells and higher expression of the ? circular transcript, which is a specific marker of the switch to IgA. In addition, IgA(+) B-cell increases correlated with higher levels of cytokines related to IgA class switching, such as interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-6. Of interest, the increases in IgA(+) B cells were lower in Toll-like receptor 4-deficient mice and were completely dependent on the presence of superantigen-reactive T cells. Our results point to a novel mechanism involved in MMTV infection and suggest that IgA(+) B cells may play an important role in carrying the virus to the mammary glands.
Lumazine synthase from Brucella spp. (BLS) is a highly immunogenic decameric protein. It is possible to insert foreign peptides or proteins at its ten-amino acid termini. These chimeras elicit systemic and oral immunity without adjuvants, which are commonly needed in the formulation of subunit-based vaccines. Here, we show that BLS induces the cross presentation of a covalently attached peptide OVA(257-264) and a specific cytotoxic response to this peptide in the absence of adjuvants. Unlike other subunit-based vaccines, this chimera induces rapid activation of CTLs and a specific cytotoxic response, making this polymeric protein an ideal antigen carrier for vaccine development. Adoptive transfer of transgenic OT-I T cells revealed efficient cross presentation of BLS-OVA(257-264)in vivo. BLS-OVA(257-264) immunization induced the proliferation of OVA(257-264)-specific CD8+ lymphocytes and also increased the percentage of OVA(257-264)-specific CD8+ cells expressing the early activation marker CD69; after 5 days, the percentage of OVA(257-264)-specific CD8+ cells expressing high levels of CD44 increased. This cell subpopulation showed decreased expression of IL-7R?, indicating that BLS-OVA(257-264) induced the generation of CD8+ effector cells. BLS-OVA(257-264) was cross presented in vitro independently of the presence of a functional TLR4 in the DCs. Finally, we show that immunization of wild type mice with the chimera BLS-OVA(257-264) without adjuvants induced a strong OVA(257-264)-specific effector cytotoxic response. This cytotoxicity is dependent on TLR4 as is not induced in mice lacking a functional receptor. These data show that TLR4 signaling is necessary for the induction of a cytotoxic response but not for antigen cross presentation.
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