Streptococcus pneumoniae and Listeria monocytogenes, pathogens which can cause severe infectious disease in human, were used to infect properdin-deficient and wildtype mice. The aim was to deduce a role for properdin, positive regulator of the alternative pathway of complement activation, by comparing and contrasting the immune response of the two genotypes in vivo. We show that properdin-deficient and wildtype mice mounted antipneumococcal serotype-specific IgM antibodies, which were protective. Properdin-deficient mice, however, had increased survival in the model of streptococcal pneumonia and sepsis. Low activity of the classical pathway of complement and modulation of Fc?R2b expression appear to be pathogenically involved. In listeriosis, however, properdin-deficient mice had reduced survival and a dendritic cell population that was impaired in maturation and activity. In vitro analyses of splenocytes and bone marrow-derived myeloid cells support the view that the opposing outcomes of properdin-deficient and wildtype mice in these two infection models is likely to be due to a skewing of macrophage activity to an M2 phenotype in the properdin-deficient mice. The phenotypes observed thus appear to reflect the extent to which M2- or M1-polarised macrophages are involved in the immune responses to S. pneumoniae and L. monocytogenes. We conclude that properdin controls the strength of immune responses by affecting humoral as well as cellular phenotypes during acute bacterial infection and ensuing inflammation.
AIDS, caused by the retrovirus HIV, remains the largest cause of morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa yet almost all genetic studies have focused on cohorts from Western countries. HIV shows high co-morbidity with tuberculosis (TB), as HIV stimulates the reactivation of latent tuberculosis (TB). Recent clinical trials suggest that an effective anti-HIV response correlates with non-neutralising antibodies. Given that Fc? receptors are critical in mediating the non-neutralising effects of antibodies, analysis of the extensive variation at Fc? receptor genes is important. Single nucleotide variation and copy number variation (CNV) of Fc? receptor genes affects the expression profile, activatory/inhibitory balance, and IgG affinity of the Fc? receptor repertoire of each individual. In this study we investigated whether CNV of FCGR2C, FCGR3A and FCGR3B as well as the HNA1 allotype of FCGR3B is associated with HIV load, response to highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and co-infection with TB. We confirmed an effect of TB-co-infection status on HIV load and response to HAART, but no conclusive effect of the genetic variants we tested. We observed a small effect, in Ethiopians, of FCGR3B copy number, where deletion was more frequent in HIV-TB co-infected patients than those infected with HIV alone.
Beta-defensins are a family of multifunctional genes with roles in defense against pathogens, reproduction, and pigmentation. In humans, six beta-defensin genes are clustered in a repeated region which is copy-number variable (CNV) as a block, with a diploid copy number between 1 and 12. The role in host defense makes the evolutionary history of this CNV particularly interesting, because morbidity due to infectious disease is likely to have been an important selective force in human evolution, and to have varied between geographical locations. Here, we show CNV of the beta-defensin region in chimpanzees, and identify a beta-defensin block in the human lineage that contains rapidly evolving noncoding regulatory sequences. We also show that variation at one of these rapidly evolving sequences affects expression levels and cytokine responsiveness of DEFB103, a key inhibitor of influenza virus fusion at the cell surface. A worldwide analysis of beta-defensin CNV in 67 populations shows an unusually high frequency of high-DEFB103-expressing copies in East Asia, the geographical origin of historical and modern influenza epidemics, possibly as a result of selection for increased resistance to influenza in this region.
We report 2 novel, cryptic chromosomal abnormalities in precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL): a translocation, either t(X;14)(p22;q32) or t(Y;14)(p11;q32), in 33 patients and an interstitial deletion, either del(X)(p22.33p22.33) or del(Y)(p11.32p11.32), in 64 patients, involving the pseudoautosomal region (PAR1) of the sex chromosomes. The incidence of these abnormalities was 5% in childhood ALL (0.8% with the translocation, 4.2% with the deletion). Patients with the translocation were older (median age, 16 years), whereas the patients with the deletion were younger (median age, 4 years). The 2 abnormalities result in deregulated expression of the cytokine receptor, cytokine receptor-like factor 2, CRLF2 (also known as thymic stromal-derived lymphopoietin receptor, TSLPR). Overexpression of CRLF2 was associated with activation of the JAK-STAT pathway in cell lines and transduced primary B-cell progenitors, sustaining their proliferation and indicating a causal role of CRLF2 overexpression in lymphoid transformation. In Down syndrome (DS) ALL and 2 non-DS BCP-ALL cell lines, CRLF2 deregulation was associated with mutations of the JAK2 pseudokinase domain, suggesting oncogenic cooperation as well as highlighting a link between non-DS ALL and JAK2 mutations.
Circulating T lymphocytes enter a tissue if they express appropriate chemokine receptors and adhesion molecules to engage ligands presented at this site. To aid rational development of T cell-based therapies for Hodgkins lymphoma (HL), we have assessed the expression and function of homing receptors on tumour-infiltrating T cells in HL and compared them with T cells from unaffected lymph nodes and colorectal cancer tissue. Chemokine receptors CXCR3, CXCR4 and CCR7 were expressed on a large proportion of T cells within HL tissue and mediated chemotaxis to purified chemokine. The corresponding ligands (CXCL10, CXCL12, CCL21) were expressed on the malignant cells and/or vascular endothelium. Adhesion molecules including CD62L were widely expressed on HL-derived T cells and their corresponding ligands were detected on vessels within the tumour. This homing phenotype was distinct from T cells isolated from colorectal cancer, but matched closely the phenotype of T cells from unaffected lymph nodes. Thus, T cell recruitment to HL resembles entry of naïve/central memory T cells into normal lymph nodes. This has important implications for current approaches to treat HL using T cells activated and expanded in vitro that lack CCR7 and CD62L expression.
AIDS, caused by the retrovirus human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is the leading cause of death of economically active people (age, 15-59 years) in sub-Saharan Africa. The host genetic variability of immune response to HIV and immune reconstitution following initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is poorly understood. Here we focused on copy number variation of the ?-defensin genes, which have been shown to have anti-HIV activity, and are important chemoattractants for Th17 lymphocytes via the chemokine receptor CCR6. We determined ?-defensin gene copy number for 1002 Ethiopian and Tanzanian patients. We show that higher ?-defensin copy number variation is associated with increased HIV load prior to HAART (P=.005) and poor immune reconstitution following initiation of HAART (P=.003). We suggest a model where variable amounts of ?-defensin expression by mucosal cells, due to gene copy number variation, alters the efficacy of recruitment of Th17 lymphocytes to the site of infection, altering the dynamics of infection.
Both sequence variation and copy-number variation (CNV) of the genes encoding receptors for immunoglobulin G (Fc? receptors) have been genetically and functionally associated with a number of autoimmune diseases. However, the molecular nature and evolutionary context of this variation is unknown. Here, we describe the structure of the CNV, estimate its mutation rate and diversity, and place it in the context of the known functional alloantigen variation of these genes. Deletion of Fc? receptor IIIB, associated with systemic lupus erythematosus, is a result of independent nonallelic homologous recombination events with a frequency of approximately 0.1%. We also show that pathogen diversity, in particular helminth diversity, has played a critical role in shaping the functional variation at these genes both between mammalian species and between human populations. Positively selected amino acids are involved in the interaction with IgG and include some amino acids that are known polymorphic alloantigens in humans. This supports a genetic contribution to the hygiene hypothesis, which states that past evolution in the context of helminth diversity has left humans with an array of susceptibility alleles for autoimmune disease in the context of a helminth-free environment. This approach shows the link between pathogens and autoimmune disease at the genetic level and provides a strategy for interrogating the genetic variation underlying autoimmune-disease risk and infectious-disease susceptibility.
The substantial T lymphocyte infiltrate found in cases of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) has been implicated in the promotion of both tumor growth and immune escape. Conversely, because malignant NPC cells harbor the Epstein-Barr virus, this tumor is a candidate for virus-specific T cell-based therapies. Preventing the accumulation of tumor-promoting T cells or enhancing the recruitment of tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells offers therapeutic potential. However, the mechanisms involved in T cell recruitment to this tumor are poorly understood. Comparing memory T cell subsets that have naturally infiltrated NPC tissue with their counterparts from matched blood revealed enrichment of CD8(+), CD4(+), and regulatory T cells expressing the chemokine receptor CXCR6 in tumor tissue. CD8(+) and (nonregulatory) CD4(+) T cells also were more frequently CCR5(+) in tumor than in blood. Ex vivo studies demonstrated that both receptors were functional. CXCL16 and CCL4, unique chemokine ligands for CXCR6 and CCR5, respectively, were expressed by the malignant cells in tumor tissue from the majority of NPC cases, as was another CCR5 ligand, CCL5. The strongest expression of CXCL16 was found on tumor-infiltrating cells. CCL4 was detected on the tumor vasculature in a majority of cases. These findings suggest that CXCR6 and CCR5 play important roles in T cell recruitment and/or retention in NPC and have implications for the pathogenesis and treatment of this tumor.
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