Antiplatelet-antibody-producing B cells play a key role in immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) pathogenesis; however, little is known about T-cell dysregulations that support B-cell differentiation. During the past decade, T follicular helper cells (TFHs) have been characterized as the main T-cell subset within secondary lymphoid organs that promotes B-cell differentiation leading to antibody class-switch recombination and secretion. Herein, we characterized TFHs within the spleen of 8 controls and 13 ITP patients. We show that human splenic TFHs are the main producers of interleukin (IL)-21, express CD40 ligand (CD154), and are located within the germinal center of secondary follicles. Compared with controls, splenic TFH frequency is higher in ITP patients and correlates with germinal center and plasma cell percentages that are also increased. In vitro, IL-21 stimulation combined with an anti-CD40 agonist antibody led to the differentiation of splenic B cells into plasma cells and to the secretion of antiplatelet antibodies in ITP patients. Overall, these results point out the involvement of TFH in ITP pathophysiology and the potential interest of IL-21 and CD40 as therapeutic targets in ITP.
Cow's milk-derived whey hydrolysates are nutritional substitutes for allergic infants. Safety or residual allergenicity assessment of these whey hydrolysates is crucial. Currently, rat basophilic leukemia RBL-2H3 cells expressing the human IgE receptor ?-chain (huFc?RI?-RBL-2H3), sensitized with serum IgE from cow's milk allergic children, are being employed to assess in vitro residual allergenicity of these whey hydrolysates. However, limited availability and inter-lot variation of these allergic sera impede standardization of whey hydrolysate safety testing in degranulation assays.
Patients with Down syndrome carry immunologic defects, as evidenced by the increased risks for autoimmune diseases, hematologic malignancies, and respiratory tract infections. Moreover, the low numbers of circulating B cells suggest impaired humoral immunity.
Macrophages are key immune cells found in atherosclerotic plaques and critically shape atherosclerotic disease development. Targeting the functional repertoire of macrophages may hold novel approaches for future atherosclerosis management. Here, we describe a previously unrecognized role of the epigenomic enzyme Histone deacetylase 3 (Hdac3) in regulating the atherosclerotic phenotype of macrophages. Using conditional knockout mice, we found that myeloid Hdac3 deficiency promotes collagen deposition in atherosclerotic lesions and thus induces a stable plaque phenotype. Also, macrophages presented a switch to anti-inflammatory wound healing characteristics and showed improved lipid handling. The pro-fibrotic phenotype was directly linked to epigenetic regulation of the Tgfb1 locus upon Hdac3 deletion, driving smooth muscle cells to increased collagen production. Moreover, in humans, HDAC3 was the sole Hdac upregulated in ruptured atherosclerotic lesions, Hdac3 associated with inflammatory macrophages, and HDAC3 expression inversely correlated with pro-fibrotic TGFB1 expression. Collectively, we show that targeting the macrophage epigenome can improve atherosclerosis outcome and we identify Hdac3 as a potential novel therapeutic target in cardiovascular disease.
Leishmaniasis is a parasitic infection affecting ?12 million people worldwide, mostly in developing countries. Treatment options are limited and no effective vaccines exist to date. Natural Killer T (NKT) cells are a conserved innate-like lymphocyte population with immunomodulating effects in various settings. A number of reports state a role of NKT cells in different models of Leishmania infection. Here, we investigated the effect of NKT cells in a physiologically relevant, intradermal low dose infection model. After inoculation of 103 infectious-stage L. major, comparable numbers of skin-immigrating NKT cells in both susceptible BALB/c mice and resistant C57BL/6 mice were noted. Compared to their wild type counterparts, NKT cell-deficient mice on a C57BL/6 background were better able to contain infection with L. major and showed decreased IL-4 production in cytokine analysis performed 5 and 8 weeks after infection. Low doses of the NKT cell stimulating ?GalCer analog PBS57 applied at the time of infection led to disease exacerbation in C57BL/6 wild-type, but not NKT-deficient mice. The effect was dependent both on the timing and amount of PBS57 administered. The effect of NKT cell stimulation by PBS57 proved to be IL-4 dependent, as it was neutralized in IL-4-deficient C57BL/6 or anti-IL-4 antibody-treated wild-type mice. In contrast to C57BL/6 mice, administration of PBS57 in susceptible BALB/c mice resulted in an improved course of disease. Our results reveal a strain- and cytokine-dependent regulatory role of NKT cells in the development of immunity to low dose L. major infections. These effects, probably masked in previous studies using higher parasite inocula, should be considered in future therapy and immunization approaches.
The low-grade inflammatory state present in obesity contributes to obesity-related metabolic dysregulation, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and insulin resistance. Intercellular interactions between immune cells or between immune cells and hepatic parenchymal cells contribute to the exacerbation of liver inflammation and steatosis in obesity. The costimulatory molecules, B7.1 and B7.2, are important regulators of cell-cell interactions in several immune processes; however, the role of B7 costimulation in obesity-related liver inflammation is unknown. Here, diet-induced obesity (DIO) studies in mice with genetic inactivation of both B7.1 and B7.2 (double knockout; DKO) revealed aggravated obesity-related metabolic dysregulation, reduced insulin signalling in the liver and adipose tissue (AT), glucose intolerance, and enhanced progression to steatohepatitis resulting from B7.1/B7.2 double deficiency. The metabolic phenotype of B7.1/B7.2 double deficiency upon DIO was accompanied by increased hepatic and AT inflammation, associated with largely reduced numbers of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in these organs. In order to assess the role of B7 costimulation in DIO in a non-Treg-lacking environment, we performed antibody (Ab)-mediated inhibition of B7 molecules in wild-type mice in DIO. Antibody-blockade of both B7.1 and B7.2 improved the metabolic phenotype of DIO mice, which was linked to amelioration of hepatic steatosis and reduced inflammation in liver and AT.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are specialized antigen-presenting cells with a bipolar nature. Depending on environmental factors, DCs will promote either inflammatory or anti-inflammatory effects. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a ligand of Toll-like receptor (TLR)4 and a most potent proinflammatory stimulus, is responsible for complex signaling events in different cell types, including DCs. LPS effects range from protective inflammation-capable of counteracting growth and dissemination of gram-negative bacteria - to hyperacute detrimental responses, as it occurs in endotoxic shock. Consistent with the plasticity of TLR4 signaling, a low dosage of LPS will induce a regulatory response capable of protecting mice against a subsequent, otherwise lethal challenge ('endotoxin tolerance'). By examining CD11c(+) DCs ('conventional' DCs, or cDCs), we investigated whether DC flexibility in promoting either inflammation or tolerance can be differentially affected by single vs. repeated exposure to LPS in vitro. cDCs stimulated twice with LPS expressed high levels of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) - one of the most effective mediator of anti-inflammatory activity by DCs - and of TGF-?, an immunoregulatory cytokine capable of upregulating IDO1 expression and function. In contrast, a single exposure to LPS failed to upregulate IDO1, and it was instead associated with high-level production of IL-6, a cytokine that promotes inflammation and proteolysis of IDO1. When adoptively transferred in vivo, only cDCs on double endotoxin exposure greatly improved the outcome of an otherwise lethal LPS challenge. The protective effect required that the transferred cDCs be fully competent for IDO1 and the host for TGF-? production. Thus cDCs, conditioned by LPS in vitro to mimic an endotoxin-tolerant state, can protect recipients from endotoxic shock, pointing to adoptive transfer of tolerance as a new option for controlling potentially harmful responses to TLR4 signaling.
It has been proposed that activation of dendritic cells (DCs) presenting self-antigens during inflammation may lead to activation of autoreactive T cells and the development of autoimmunity. To test this hypothesis, we examined the presentation of the autoantigen recognized in autoimmune gastritis, gastric H(+)/K(+) ATPase, which is naturally expressed in the stomach and is constitutively presented in the stomach-draining lymph nodes. Systemic administration to mice of the TLR9 agonist CpG DNA, agonist anti-CD40 Ab, or TLR4 agonist LPS all failed to abrogate the process of peripheral clonal deletion of H(+)/K(+) ATPase-specific CD4 T cells or promote the development of autoimmune gastritis. We demonstrated that migratory DCs from the stomach-draining lymph nodes are the only DC subset capable of constitutively presenting the endogenous gastric H(+)/K(+) ATPase autoantigen in its normal physiological context. Analysis of costimulatory molecules indicated that, relative to resident DCs, migratory DCs displayed a partially activated phenotype in the steady state. Furthermore, migratory DCs were refractory to stimulation by transient exposure to TLR agonists, as they failed to upregulate costimulatory molecules, secrete significant amounts of inflammatory cytokines, or induce differentiation of effector T cells. Together, these data show that transient systemic inflammation failed to break tolerance to the gastric autoantigen, as migratory DCs presenting the gastric autoantigen remain tolerogenic under such conditions, demonstrating the robust nature of peripheral tolerance.
Asthma is estimated to affect as many as 300 million people worldwide and its incidence and prevalence are rapidly increasing throughout the world, especially in children and within developing countries. Recently, there has been a growing interest in the use of potentially beneficial bacteria for allergic diseases. This study is aimed at exploring the therapeutic effects of long-term treatment with two different beneficial bacterial strains (Bifidobacterium breve M-16?V and Lactobacillus rhamnosus NutRes1) and a glucocorticoid (budesonide), as a reference treatment, on inflammatory response in a murine model for chronic allergic asthma.
It is now appreciated that there are distinct subsets of dendritic cells (DC) with specialized functions. Plasmacytoid DC (pDC) and CD8? DC can contribute to the priming, activation and function of antitumor CD8 T cells; however, their specific roles and necessity in stimulating antitumor immunity are not clearly understood. We examined the importance of pDC and CD8? DC during immunotherapy of an orthotopic model of metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Immunotherapy that utilizes a recombinant adenovirus encoding tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (Ad5-TRAIL) in combination with an immunostimulatory CpG-containing oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG) resulted in the clearance of primary and metastatic tumors in wild-type (WT) replete BALB/c mice and prolonged survival. In comparison, mice deficient in either pDC (accomplished using a depleting mAb specific for PDCA1) or CD8? DC (through utilization of CD8? DC-deficient Batf3(-/-) BALB/c mice) had uncontrolled tumor growth and high mortality after Ad5-TRAIL/CpG administration. The ineffectiveness of Ad5-TRAIL/CpG therapy in the anti-PDCA1-treated and Batf3(-/-) BALB/c mice was marked by an altered activation phenotype of the DC, as well as significantly reduced expression of type I IFN-stimulated genes and IL-15/IL-15R complex production. In addition, pDC-depleted and Batf3(-/-) BALB/c mice had significantly decreased effector CD8 T cell infiltration in the primary tumor site compared with WT mice after therapy. These data collectively suggest that pDC and CD8? DC carry out independent, but complementary, roles that are necessary to initiate an efficacious antitumor immune response after Ad5-TRAIL/CpG therapy.
The expression of the coinhibitor PD-1 on T cells is important for the establishment of immune homeostasis. We previously found that PD-1 is particularly critical for the control of self-tolerance during lymphopenia-induced proliferation of recent thymic emigrants (RTEs). Previous studies suggested that PD-1 modulates the generation of Treg cells, particularly peripherally induced Treg (pTreg) cells, and controls Th17 cells. However, these conclusions were derived indirectly from studies on the ligand PD-L1, and not PD-1 itself. Herein we directly tested whether T-cell PD-1 expression was needed for Treg cell generation and examined if a paucity of Treg cells or enhanced Th17 cells could explain the severe lymphopenia-potentiated autoimmunity caused by PD-1 KO RTEs. Employing the murine FoxP3(EGFP) reporter system to simultaneously monitor conversion of WT and PD-1 KO T cells to pTreg cells in the same animal, we found that PD-1 deficiency did not inhibit pTreg cell generation or lead to Th17-cell-mediated autoimmunity. Surprisingly, pTreg cell numbers were increased in PD-1 KO versus WT cell populations. Furthermore, we noted an increased conversion to pTreg cells by RTEs. Our data suggest that the primary role for PD-1 is to restrain T-cell activation/proliferation to self-Ags rather than promote generation of Treg cells.
The role of IFN-? in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases is controversial. Although Th1 cells can induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), IFN-? can suppress Th17 cells that are pathogenic in EAE. Here we show that NK cells provide an early source of IFN-? during development of EAE. Depletion of NK cells or neutralization of IFN-? delayed the onset of EAE and was associated with reduced infiltration of IL-17(+) and GM-CSF(+) T cells into the CNS. In the passive transfer model, immune cells from myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-immunized IFN-?(-/-) mice failed to induce EAE, despite producing IL-17 and GM-CSF. The macrophages expressed markers of M2 activation and the T cells had low very late antigen-4 (VLA-4) expression and failed to infiltrate the CNS. Addition of recombinant IFN-? to immune cells from the IFN-?(-/-) mice activated M1 macrophages and restored VLA-4 expression, migratory, and encephalitogenic activity of T cells. Furthermore, treatment of recipient mice with anti-VLA-4 neutralizing antibody abrogated EAE induced by transfer of T cells from WT mice. Our findings demonstrate IFN-?-producing T cells are not required for development of EAE, but NK cell-derived IFN-? has a key role in promoting M1 macrophage expansion and VLA-4-mediated migration of encephalitogenic T cells into the CNS.
The oncolytic features of several naturally oncolytic viruses have been shown on Glioblastoma Multiforme cell lines and in xenotransplant models. However, orthotopic glioma studies in immunocompetent animals are lacking. Here we investigated Newcastle disease virus (NDV) in the orthotopic, syngeneic murine GL261 model. Seven days after tumor induction, mice received NDV intratumorally. Treatment significantly prolonged median survival and 50% of animals showed long-term survival. We demonstrated immunogenic cell death (ICD) induction in GL261 cells after NDV infection, comprising calreticulin surface exposure, release of HMGB1 and increased PMEL17 cancer antigen expression. Uniquely, we found absence of secreted ATP. NDV-induced ICD occurred independently of caspase signaling and was blocked by Necrostatin-1, suggesting the contribution of necroptosis. Autophagy induction following NDV infection of GL261 cells was demonstrated as well. In vivo, elevated infiltration of IFN-?(+) T cells was observed in NDV-treated tumors, along with reduced accumulation of myeloid derived suppressor cells. The importance of a functional adaptive immune system in this paradigm was demonstrated in immunodeficient Rag2(-/-) mice and in CD8(+) T cell depleted animals, where NDV slightly prolonged survival, but failed to induce long-term cure. Secondary tumor induction with GL261 cells or LLC cells in mice surviving long-term after NDV treatment, demonstrated the induction of a long-term, tumor-specific immunological memory response by ND virotherapy. For the first time, we describe the therapeutic activity of NDV against GL261 tumors, evidenced in an orthotopic mouse model. The therapeutic effect relies on the induction of ICD in the tumor cells, which primes adaptive antitumor immunity.
CD24 is an extensively glycosylated membrane protein that is linked to the membrane via a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchor. In mice, CD24 is expressed by hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic cells. CD24-/- mice do not have gross immunological defects, but detailed analysis revealed strongly reduced responses in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model and a massive proliferation of T cells under lymphopenic conditions. It was also demonstrated that preB cells from CD24-/- mice are impaired in ?4-integrin-mediated cell binding. Here we report that CD24-/- mice have strongly reduced numbers of leukocytes in the colon compared to wildtype mice. The reduction comprized all subpopulations. Leukocyte counts in spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes or small intestine were not significantly different. We find that beside leukocytes, CD24 is widely expressed in EpCAM+ epithelial and CD31+ endothelial cells of colon and small intestine. However, in CD24-/- mice the number of CD31+ endothelial cells in colons was strongly reduced and the number of epithelial cells was augmented. Leukocyte transfer experiments provided evidence that the CD24 status of recipient mice, rather than of the transferred cells, is crucial for leukocyte recruitment to the colon. We hypothesize that CD24 on colonic epithelial and endothelial cells is required for the retention and positioning of leukocytes most likely by affecting integrin function.
The nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus is an excellent model for intestinal helminth parasitism. Infection in mice persists for varying lengths of time in different inbred strains, with CBA and C57BL/6 mice being fully susceptible, BALB/c partially so and SJL able to expel worms within 2-3 weeks of infection. We find that resistance correlates not only with the adaptive Th2 response, including IL-10 but with activation of innate lymphoid cell and macrophage populations. In addition, the titer and specificity range of the serum antibody response is maximal in resistant mice. In susceptible strains, Th2 responses were found to be counterbalanced by IFN-?-producing CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells, but these are not solely responsible for susceptibility as mice deficient in either CD8(+) T cells or IFN-? remain unable to expel the parasites. Foxp3(+) Treg numbers were comparable in all strains, but in the most resistant SJL strain, this population does not upregulate CD103 in infection, and in the lamina propria the frequency of Foxp3(+)CD103(+) T cells is significantly lower than in susceptible mice. The more resistant SJL and BALB/c mice develop macrophage-rich IL-4R?-dependent Type 2 granulomas around intestinal sites of larval invasion, and expression of alternative activation markers Arginase-1, Ch3L3 (Ym1) and RELM-? within the intestine and the peritoneal lavage was also strongly correlated with helminth elimination in these strains. Clodronate depletion of phagocytic cells compromises resistance of BALB/c mice and slows expulsion in the SJL strain. Thus, Type 2 immunity involves IL-4R?-dependent innate cells including but not limited to a phagocyte population, the latter likely involving the action of specific antibodies.
The immune system plays an instrumental role in obesity and insulin resistance. Here, we unravel the role of the costimulatory molecule CD40 and its signaling intermediates, TNF receptor-associated factors (TRAFs), in diet-induced obesity (DIO). Although not exhibiting increased weight gain, male CD40(-/-) mice in DIO displayed worsened insulin resistance, compared with wild-type mice. This worsening was associated with excessive inflammation of adipose tissue (AT), characterized by increased accumulation of CD8(+) T cells and M1 macrophages, and enhanced hepatosteatosis. Mice with deficient CD40-TRAF2/3/5 signaling in MHCII(+) cells exhibited a similar phenotype in DIO as CD40(-/-) mice. In contrast, mice with deficient CD40-TRAF6 signaling in MHCII(+) cells displayed no insulin resistance and showed a reduction in both AT inflammation and hepatosteatosis in DIO. To prove the therapeutic potential of inhibition of CD40-TRAF6 in obesity, DIO mice were treated with a small-molecule inhibitor that we designed to specifically block CD40-TRAF6 interactions; this compound improved insulin sensitivity, reduced AT inflammation, and decreased hepatosteatosis. Our study reveals that the CD40-TRAF2/3/5 signaling pathway in MHCII(+) cells protects against AT inflammation and metabolic complications associated with obesity whereas CD40-TRAF6 interactions in MHCII(+) cells aggravate these complications. Inhibition of CD40-TRAF6 signaling by our compound may provide a therapeutic option in obesity-associated insulin resistance.
Disease tolerance is the ability of the host to reduce the effect of infection on host fitness. Analysis of disease tolerance pathways could provide new approaches for treating infections and other inflammatory diseases. Typically, an initial exposure to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces a state of refractoriness to further LPS challenge (endotoxin tolerance). We found that a first exposure of mice to LPS activated the ligand-operated transcription factor aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and the hepatic enzyme tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase, which provided an activating ligand to the former, to downregulate early inflammatory gene expression. However, on LPS rechallenge, AhR engaged in long-term regulation of systemic inflammation only in the presence of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1). AhR-complex-associated Src kinase activity promoted IDO1 phosphorylation and signalling ability. The resulting endotoxin-tolerant state was found to protect mice against immunopathology in Gram-negative and Gram-positive infections, pointing to a role for AhR in contributing to host fitness.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) of tumours is based on administration of a photosensitiser followed by irradiation of the tumour with visible light leading to production of reactive oxygen species that cause direct tumour cell death and vascular damage. PDT also initiates acute local inflammation, which facilitates the development of adaptive antitumour immunity. It has recently been reported that PDT can induce strong antitumour immunity towards tumours cells expressing P1A, tumour-associated antigen. Using four different tumour models, we show that antitumour immune response can be further improved when PDT is combined with a clinically approved epigenetic agent that induces expression of a silenced P1A antigen. Induction of P1A with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, a methyltransferase inhibitor, resulted in potentiated antitumour effects in mice with Lewis lung carcinoma and 4T1 mammary carcinoma when combined with PDT treatment. In CT26 colon carcinoma and EMT6 mammary carcinoma models the combination therapy resulted in complete responses and long-term survival. All long-term surviving mice were resistant to re-inoculation with the same tumour cells. Antitumour efficacy of the combination treatment was severely impaired by depletion of CD8(+) cytotoxic T cells, whereas adoptive transfer of CD8(+) T cells from long-term surviving mice allowed for significant tumour growth delay in tumour-bearing mice. Taken together, these findings show that PDT leads to strong specific antitumour immune responses, and that epigenetic modification of tumour antigens levels may be a novel approach to further enhance the effectiveness of PDT. The present results provide a strong rationale for clinical development of this therapeutic approach.
Individuals with genetic defects in CD40 ligand (CD40L) or B-cell antigen receptor coreceptor molecules CD19 and CD81 suffer from an antibody deficiency. Still, these patients carry low levels of memory B cells and serum antibodies.
Over the last decade, there has been a growing interest in the use of interventions that target the intestinal microbiota as a treatment approach for asthma. This study is aimed at exploring the therapeutic effects of long-term treatment with a combination of Bifidobacterium breve with non-digestible oligosaccharides on airway inflammation and remodeling. A murine ovalbumin-induced chronic asthma model was used. Pulmonary airway inflammation; mRNA expression of pattern recognition receptors, Th-specific cytokines and transcription factors in lung tissue; expression of Foxp3 in blood Th cells; in vitro T cell activation; mast cell degranulation; and airway remodeling were examined. The combination of B. breve with non-digestible oligosaccharides suppressed pulmonary airway inflammation; reduced T cell activation and mast cell degranulation; modulated expression of pattern recognition receptors, cytokines and transcription factors; and reduced airway remodeling. The treatment induced regulatory T cell responses, as shown by increased Il10 and Foxp3 transcription in lung tissue, and augmented Foxp3 protein expression in blood CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells. This specific combination of beneficial bacteria with non-digestible oligosaccharides has strong anti-inflammatory properties, possibly via the induction of a regulatory T cell response, resulting in reduced airway remodeling and, therefore, may be beneficial in the treatment of chronic inflammation in allergic asthma.
The role of the CD200 ligand-CD200 receptor (CD200-CD200R) inhibitory axis is highly important in controlling myeloid cell function. Since the activation of myeloid cells is crucial in arteriogenesis, we hypothesized that disruption of the CD200-CD200R axis promotes arteriogenesis in a murine hindlimb ischemia model. Female Cd200-/- and wildtype (C57Bl/6J) mice underwent unilateral femoral artery ligation. Perfusion recovery was monitored over 7 days using Laser-Doppler analysis and was increased in Cd200-/- mice at day 3 and 7 after femoral artery ligation, compared to wildtype. Histology was performed on hindlimb muscles at baseline, day 3 and 7 to assess vessel geometry and number and inflammatory cell influx. Vessel geometry in non-ischemic muscles was larger, and vessel numbers in ischemic muscles were increased in Cd200-/- mice compared to wildtype. Furthermore, T lymphocyte influx was increased in Cd200-/- compared to wildtype. CD200R agonist treatment was performed in male C57Bl/6J mice to validate the role of the CD200-CD200R axis in arteriogenesis. CD200R agonist treatment after unilateral femoral artery ligation resulted in a significant decrease in vessel geometry, perfusion recovery and T lymphocyte influx at day 7 compared to isotype treatment. In this study, we show a causal role for the CD200-CD200R inhibitory axis in arteriogenesis in a murine hindlimb ischemia model. Lack of CD200R signaling is accompanied by increased T lymphocyte recruitment to the collateral vasculature and results in enlargement of preexisting collateral arteries.
Vagal nerve efferent activation has been shown to ameliorate the course of many inflammatory disease states. This neuro-modulatory effect has been suggested to rest on acetylcholine receptor (AChR) activation on tissue macrophages or dendritic cells (DCs). In more recent studies, vagal anti-inflammatory activity was shown involve adrenergic, splenic, pathways. Here we provide evidence that the adrenergic, rather than cholinergic, receptor activation on bone marrow derived DCs results in enhanced endocytosis uptake, enhanced IL-10 production but a decreased IL-6, IL-12p70 and IL-23 production. In antigen specific T cell stimulation assays, adrenergic ?2 receptor activation on bone marrow DCs led to an enhanced potential to induce Foxp3 positive suppressive Treg cells. These effects were independent of IL10-R activation, TGF? release, or retinoic acid (RA) secretion. Hence, adrenergic receptor ?2 activation modulates DC function resulting in skewing towards anti-inflammatory T cell phenotypes.
Mouse dendritic cells (DCs) can rapidly extend their Class II MHC-positive late endosomal compartments into tubular structures, induced by Toll-like receptor (TLR) triggering. Within antigen-presenting DCs, tubular endosomes polarize towards antigen-specific CD4+ T cells, which are considered beneficial for their activation. We here describe that also in human DCs, TLR triggering induces tubular late endosomes, labeled by fluorescent LDL. TLR triggering was insufficient for induced tubulation of transferrin (Tfn)-positive endosomal recycling compartments (ERCs) in human monocyte-derived DCs. We studied endosomal remodeling in human DCs in co-cultures of DCs with CD8+ T cells. Tubulation of ERCs within human DCs requires antigen-specific CD8+ T cell interaction. Tubular remodeling of endosomes occurs within 30 minutes of T cell contact and involves ligation of HLA-A2 and ICAM-1 by T cell-expressed T cell receptor and LFA-1, respectively. Disintegration of microtubules or inhibition of endosomal recycling abolished tubular ERCs, which coincided with reduced antigen-dependent CD8+ T cell activation. Based on these data, we propose that remodeling of Tfn-positive ERCs in human DCs involves both innate and T-cell-derived signals.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an important lung and airway disease which affects the lives of around 200 million people worldwide. The pathological hallmark of COPD is emphysema and bronchiolitis and is based on the inflammatory response of the innate and adaptive immune system to the inhalation of toxic particles and gases. The inflamed airways of COPD patients contain several inflammatory cells including neutrophils, macrophages, T lymphocytes, and dendritic cells (DC). The potential role of DCs as mediators of inflammation in the airways of smokers and COPD patients is poorly understood. The current study investigated the role of DC subsets in an animal model of cigarette smoke-induced lung emphysema through the expansion or depletion of DC subsets. Expansion of both myeloid DC (mDC) and plasmacytoid DC (pDC) by Flt3L treatment induced a decline in macrophage numbers and increased the levels of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid of smoke-exposed animals. The increase in the mean linear intercept (Lm) following Flt3L treatment was decreased by pDC depletion. In conclusion, pharmacological modulation of DC subsets may have an effect on the development of airway responses and emphysema as indicated by the decline in macrophage numbers and the increase in FGF and VEGF levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Moreover, the depletion of pDCs decreased the Lm which might suggest a role for pDC in the pathogenesis of lung emphysema.
Modulation of immune responses is one of the main research aims in transplant immunology. In this study, we investigate the local immunomodulatory properties of soluble CD83 (sCD83) at the graft-host interface using the high-risk corneal transplantation model. In this model, which mimics the inflammatory status and the preexisting vascularization of high-risk patients undergoing corneal transplantation, allogeneic donor corneas are transplanted onto sCD83-treated recipient animals. This model allows the direct and precise application of the immune modulator at the transplantation side. Interestingly, sCD83 was able to prolong graft survival after systemic application as well as after topical application, which is therapeutically more relevant. The therapeutic effect was accompanied by an increase in the frequency of regulatory T cells and was mediated by the immune-regulatory enzyme IDO and TGF-?. In vitro, sCD83 induced long-term IDO expression in both conventional and plasmacytoid dendritic cells via autocrine or paracrine production of TGF-?, a cytokine previously shown to be an essential mediator of IDO-dependent, long-term tolerance. These findings open new treatment avenues for local immune modulation after organ and tissue transplantation.
An ongoing dilemma faced during an immune response is generating an effective, often proinflammatory response to eliminate pathogens and/or infected cells while also minimizing collateral damage to adjacent noninfected tissues. The factors limiting bystander cell injury during an Ag-specific immune response in vivo are largely unknown. In this study, using an in vivo model of islet transplants in TCR transgenic mice, we show that both CD4 and CD8 T cells do have the capacity to inflict adjacent tissue damage and that this injury is greatly enhanced in sensitized hosts. CD4 T cell-mediated killing of specific and bystander cells occurred via different mechanisms. Unlike specific target cell killing, CD4-mediated bystander injury required tissue Fas expression and was inhibited with anti-IFN-? Ab treatment in vivo. Moreover, bystander cell injury was not entirely nonspecific but rather required, in naive recipients, that the MHC allele expressed by the bystanders was self. Importantly, the coinhibitor programmed death-1 plays an important role in restraining bystander cell injury mediated either by defined TCR transgenic T cells or by polyclonal T cell populations. Thus, the differential requirements for specific versus bystander cell injury suggest that there are opportunities for inhibiting immune pathology without compromising Ag-specific immunity in vivo.
Currently all approved anti-cancer therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are of the IgG isotype, which rely on Fcgamma receptors (Fc?Rs) to recruit cellular effector functions. In vitro studies showed that targeting of Fc?RI (CD89) by bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) or recombinant IgA resulted in more effective elimination of tumour cells by myeloid effector cells than targeting of Fc?R. Here we studied the in vivo anti-tumour activity of IgA EGFR antibodies generated using the variable sequences of the chimeric EGFR antibody cetuximab. Using Fc?RI transgenic mice, we demonstrated significant in vivo anti-tumour activity of IgA2 EGFR against A431 cells in peritoneal and lung xenograft models, as well as against B16F10-EGFR cells in a lung metastasis model in immunocompetent mice. IgA2 EGFR was more effective than cetuximab in a short-term syngeneic peritoneal model using EGFR-transfected Ba/F3 target cells. The in vivo cytotoxic activity of IgA2 EGFR was mediated by macrophages and was significantly decreased in the absence of Fc?RI. These results support the potential of targeting Fc?RI for effective antibody therapy of cancer.
Natural killer T (NKT) cell development depends on recognition of self-glycolipids via their semi-invariant V?14i-TCR. However, to what extent TCR-mediated signals determine identity and function of mature NKT cells remains incompletely understood. To address this issue, we developed a mouse strain allowing conditional V?14i-TCR expression from within the endogenous Tcr? locus. We demonstrate that naïve T cells are activated upon replacement of their endogenous TCR repertoire with V?14i-restricted TCRs, but they do not differentiate into NKT cells. On the other hand, induced TCR ablation on mature NKT cells did not affect their lineage identity, homeostasis, or innate rapid cytokine secretion abilities. We therefore propose that peripheral NKT cells become unresponsive to and thus are independent of their autoreactive TCR.
Programmed death-1 (PD-1) plays an important role in mediating immune tolerance through mechanisms that remain unclear. Herein, we investigated whether PD-1 prevents excessive host tissue damage during infection with the protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. Surprisingly, our results demonstrate that PD-1-deficient mice have increased susceptibility to T. gondii, with increased parasite cyst counts along with reduced type-1 cytokine responses (IL-12 and IFN-?). PD-1(-/-) DCs showed no cell intrinsic defect in IL-12 production in vitro. Instead, PD-1 neutralization via genetic or pharmacological approaches resulted in a striking increase in IL-10 release, which impaired type-1-inflammation during infection. Our results indicate that the absence of PD-1 increases IL-10 production even in the absence of infection. Although the possibility that such increased IL-10 protects against autoimmune damage is speculative, our results show that IL-10 suppresses the development of protective Th1 immune response after T. gondii infection.
Macrophages play a key role in responding to pathogens and initiate an inflammatory response to combat microbe multiplication. Deactivation of macrophages facilitates resolution of the inflammatory response. Deactivated macrophages are characterized by an immunosuppressive phenotype, but the lack of unique markers that can reliably identify these cells explains the poorly defined biological role of this macrophage subset. We identified lipocalin 2 (LCN2) as both a marker of deactivated macrophages and a macrophage deactivator. We show that LCN2 attenuated the early inflammatory response and impaired bacterial clearance, leading to impaired survival of mice suffering from pneumococcal pneumonia. LCN2 induced IL-10 formation by macrophages, skewing macrophage polarization in a STAT3-dependent manner. Pulmonary LCN2 levels were tremendously elevated during bacterial pneumonia in humans, and high LCN2 levels were indicative of a detrimental outcome from pneumonia with Gram-positive bacteria. Our data emphasize the importance of macrophage deactivation for the outcome of pneumococcal infections and highlight the role of LCN2 and IL-10 as determinants of macrophage performance in the respiratory tract.
CpG-rich oligodeoxynucleotides activate the immune system, leading to innate and acquired immune responses. The immune-stimulatory effects of CpG-rich oligodeoxynucleotides are being exploited as a therapeutic approach. Here we show that at high doses, CpG-rich oligodeoxynucleotides promote an opposite, tolerogenic response in mouse plasmacytoid dendritic cells in vivo and in a human in vitro model. Unveiling a previously undescribed role for TRIF and TRAF6 proteins in Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) signalling, we demonstrate that physical association of TLR9, TRIF and TRAF6 leads to activation of noncanonical NF-?B signalling and the induction of IRF3- and TGF-?-dependent immune-suppressive tryptophan catabolism. In vivo, the TLR9-TRIF circuit--but not MyD88 signalling--was required for CpG protection against allergic inflammation. Our findings may be relevant to an increased understanding of the complexity of Toll-like receptor signalling and optimal exploitation of CpG-rich oligodeoxynucleotides as immune modulators.
Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is the leading cause of transfusion-related morbidity and mortality. Anecdotally, TRALI patients have been treated with corticosteroids. However, evidence for its therapeutic rationale in TRALI is lacking. We determined the effects of corticosteroids on lung injury in a "two-hit" mouse model of antibody-mediated TRALI.
Galectin-1 is a glycan-binding protein, which is involved in the aggressiveness of glioblastoma (GBM) in part by stimulating angiogenesis. In different cancer models, galectin-1 has also been demonstrated to play a pivotal role in tumor-mediated immune evasion especially by modulating cells of the adaptive immune system. It is yet unknown whether the absence or presence of galectin-1 within the glioma microenvironment also causes qualitative or quantitative differences in innate and/or adaptive antitumor immune responses. All experiments were performed in the orthotopic GL261 mouse high-grade glioma model. Stable galectin-1 knockdown was achieved via transduction of parental GL261 tumor cells with a lentiviral vector encoding a galectin-1-targeting miRNA. We demonstrated that the absence of tumor-derived but not of host-derived galectin-1 significantly prolonged the survival of glioma-bearing mice as such and in combination with dendritic cell (DC)-based immunotherapy. Both flow cytometric and pathological analysis revealed that the silencing of glioma-derived galectin-1 significantly decreased the amount of brain-infiltrating macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) in tumor-bearing mice. Additionally, we revealed a pro-angiogenic role for galectin-1 within the glioma microenvironment. The data provided in this study reveal a pivotal role for glioma-derived galectin-1 in the regulation of myeloid cell accumulation within the glioma microenvironment, the most abundant immune cell population in high-grade gliomas. Furthermore, the prolonged survival observed in untreated and DC-vaccinated glioma-bearing mice upon the silencing of tumor-derived galectin-1 strongly suggest that the in vivo targeting of tumor-derived galectin-1 might offer a promising and realistic adjuvant treatment modality in patients diagnosed with GBM.
Understanding the host response to oncolytic viruses is important to maximize their antitumor efficacy. Despite robust cytotoxicity and high virus production of an oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV) in cultured human sarcoma cells, intratumoral (ITu) virus injection resulted in only mild antitumor effects in some xenograft models, prompting us to characterize the host inflammatory response. Virotherapy induced an acute neutrophilic infiltrate, a relative decrease of ITu macrophages, and a myeloid cell-dependent upregulation of host-derived vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Anti-VEGF antibodies, bevacizumab and r84, the latter of which binds VEGF and selectively inhibits binding to VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR2) but not VEGFR1, enhanced the antitumor effects of virotherapy, in part due to decreased angiogenesis but not increased virus production. Neither antibody affected neutrophilic infiltration but both partially mitigated virus-induced depletion of macrophages. Enhancement of virotherapy-mediated antitumor effects by anti-VEGF antibodies could largely be recapitulated by systemic depletion of CD11b(+) cells. These data suggest the combined effect of oHSV virotherapy and anti-VEGF antibodies is in part due to modulation of a host inflammatory reaction to virus. Our data provide strong preclinical support for combined oHSV and anti-VEGF antibody therapy and suggest that understanding and counteracting the innate host response may help enable the full antitumor potential of oncolytic virotherapy.
Current multimodal treatments for patients with neuroblastoma (NBL), including anti-disialoganglioside (GD2) monoclonal antibody (mAb) based immunotherapy, result in a favorable outcome in around only half of the patients with advanced disease. To improve this, novel immunocombinational strategies need to be developed and tested in autologous preclinical NBL models. A genetically well-explored autologous mouse model for NBL is the TH-MYCN model. However, the immunobiology of the TH-MYCN model remains largely unexplored. We developed a mouse model using a transplantable TH-MYCN cell line in syngeneic C57Bl/6 mice and characterized the immunobiology of this model. In this report, we show the relevance and opportunities of this model to study immunotherapy for human NBL. Similar to human NBL cells, syngeneic TH-MYCN-derived 9464D cells endogenously express the tumor antigen GD2 and low levels of MHC Class I. The presence of the adaptive immune system had little or no influence on tumor growth, showing the low immunogenicity of the NBL cells. In contrast, depletion of NK1.1+ cells resulted in enhanced tumor outgrowth in both wild-type and Rag1(-/-) mice, showing an important role for NK cells in the natural anti-NBL immune response. Analysis of the tumor infiltrating leukocytes ex vivo revealed the presence of both tumor associated myeloid cells and T regulatory cells, thus mimicking human NBL tumors. Finally, anti-GD2 mAb mediated NBL therapy resulted in ADCC in vitro and delayed tumor outgrowth in vivo. We conclude that the transplantable TH-MYCN model represents a relevant model for the development of novel immunocombinatorial approaches for NBL patients.
It is currently unknown how mucosal adjuvants cause induction of secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA), and how T cell-dependent (TD) or -independent (TI) pathways might be involved. Mucosal dendritic cells (DCs) are the primary antigen presenting cells driving TI IgA synthesis, by producing a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL), B cell activating factor (BAFF), Retinoic Acid (RA), TGF-? or nitric oxide (NO). We hypothesized that the mucosal adjuvant Cholera Toxin subunit B (CTB) could imprint non-mucosal DCs to induce IgA synthesis, and studied the mechanism of its induction. In vitro, CTB-treated bone marrow derived DCs primed for IgA production by B cells without the help of T cells, yet required co-signaling by different Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands acting via the MyD88 pathway. CTB-DC induced IgA production was blocked in vitro or in vivo when RA receptor antagonist, TGF-? signaling inhibitor or neutralizing anti-TGF-? was added, demonstrating the involvement of RA and TGF-? in promoting IgA responses. There was no major involvement for BAFF, APRIL or NO. This study highlights that synergism between CTB and MyD88-dependent TLR signals selectively imprints a TI IgA-inducing capacity in non-mucosal DCs, explaining how CTB acts as an IgA promoting adjuvant.
Invasive Staphylococcus aureus infections are frequently associated with bacteraemia. To support clinical decisions on antibiotic therapy, there is an urgent need for reliable markers as predictors of infection outcome. In the present study in mice, bacteraemia was established by intravenous inoculation of a clinical S. aureus isolate at the LD50 inoculum. As potential biomarkers for fatal outcome, blood culture (qualitative and quantitative), serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), as well as 31 selected cytokines and chemokines were assessed during the first three days of infection. A positive S. aureus blood culture, the quantitative blood culture, CRP levels, and levels of eight cytokines were indicative for the presence of S. aureus bacteraemia. However, only tumor necrosis factor (TNF) ?, interleukin (IL) 1?, and keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC; a functional homologue of human IL-8) were each significantly elevated in eventually non-surviving infected mice versus eventually surviving infected mice. In severe S. aureus bacteraemia in mice, TNF-?, IL-1?, and KC are biomarkers predicting fatal outcome of infection. KC was a biomarker elevated irrespective the progression of infection, which is very interesting regarding clinical application in view of the heterogeneity of patients experiencing bacteraemia in this respect.
Autoimmunity ensues upon breakdown of tolerance mechanism and priming of self-reactive T cells. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) constitute a unique cell subset that participates in the activation of autoreactive T cells but also has been shown to be critically involved in the induction of self-tolerance. However, their functional importance during the priming phase of an organ-specific autoimmune response remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that absence of pDCs during myelin antigenic challenge resulted in amelioration of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and reduced disease severity. This was accompanied by significantly decreased frequency of myelin-specific T cells in the draining lymph nodes and inhibition of Th1 and Th17 immune responses. Unexpectedly, in vivo ablation of pDCs increased myelopoiesis in the bone marrow and specifically induced the generation of CD11b(hi)Gr1(+) myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Furthermore, we demonstrate that pDC depletion enhanced the mobilization of MDSCs in the spleen, and that sorted MDSCs could potently suppress CD4(+) T cell responses in vitro. Importantly, pDC-depleted mice showed increased levels of MCP-1 in the draining lymph nodes, and in vivo administration of MCP-1 increased the frequency and absolute numbers of MDSCs in the periphery of treated mice. Together, our results reveal that absence of pDCs during the priming of an autoimmune response leads to increased mobilization of MDSCs in the periphery in an MCP-1-dependent manner and subsequent amelioration of autoimmunity.
The recruitment and activation of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the micro-environment of malignant brain tumors has detrimental effects on antitumoral immune responses. Hence, local elimination of Tregs within the tumor micro-environment represents a highly valuable tool from both a fundamental and clinical perspective. In the syngeneic experimental GL261 murine glioma model, Tregs were prophylactically eliminated through treatment with PC61, an anti-CD25 mAb. This resulted in specific elimination of CD4+CD25hiFoxp3+ Treg within brain-infiltrating lymphocytes and complete protection against subsequent orthotopic GL261 tumor challenge. Interestingly, PC61-treated mice also showed a pronounced infiltration of CD11b+ myeloid cells in the brain. Phenotypically, these cells could not be considered as Gr-1+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) but were identified as F4/80+ macrophages and granulocytes.
Costimulatory signals are required for priming and activation of naive T cells, while it is less clear how they contribute to induction of regulatory T (Treg)-cell activity. We previously reported that the blockade of the B7-CD28 and CD40L-CD40 interaction efficiently suppresses allogeneic T-cell activation in vivo. This was characterized by an initial rise in Foxp3(+) cells, followed by depletion of host-reactive T cells. To further investigate effects of costimulatory blockade on Treg cells, we used an in vitro model of allogeneic CD4(+) cell activation. When CTLA-4Ig and anti-CD40L mAb (MR1) were added to the cultures, T-cell proliferation and IL-2 production were strongly reduced. However, Foxp3(+) cells proliferated and acquired suppressive activity. They suppressed activation of syngeneic CD4(+) cells much more efficiently than did freshly isolated Treg cells. CD4(+) cells activated by allogeneic cells in the presence of MR1 and CTLA-4Ig were hyporesponsive on restimulation, but their response was restored to that of naive CD4(+) cells when Foxp3(+) Treg cells were removed. We conclude that natural Treg cells are less dependent on B7-CD28 or CD40-CD40L costimulation compared with Foxp3(-) T cells. Reduced costimulation therefore alters the balance between Teff and Treg-cell activation in favor of Treg-cell activity.
Prophylactic vaccinations are generally performed to protect naïve individuals with or without suppressed immune responsiveness. In a mouse model for Influenza vaccinations the specific alterations of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T-cells (Tregs) in the immune modulation induced by orally supplied oligosaccharides containing scGOS/lcFOS/pAOS was assessed. This dietary intervention increased vaccine specific DTH responses. In addition, a significant increased percentage of T-bet(+) (Th1) activated CD69(+)CD4(+) T cells (p<0.001) and reduced percentage of Gata-3(+) (Th2) activated CD69(+)CD4(+)T cells (p<0.001) was detected in the mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) of mice receiving scGOS/lcFOS/pAOS compared to control mice. Although no difference in the number or percentage of Tregs (CD4(+)Foxp3(+)) could be determined after scGOS/lcFOS/pAOS intervention, the percentage of CXCR3 (+) /T-bet(+) (Th1-Tregs) was significantly reduced (p<0.05) in mice receiving scGOS/lcFOS/pAOS as compared to mice receiving placebo diets. Moreover, although no absolute difference in suppressive capacity could be detected, an alteration in cytokine profile suggests a regulatory T cell shift towards a reducing Th1 suppression profile, supporting an improved vaccination response.
New strategies to overcome complications of cardiovascular diseases are needed. Since it has been demonstrated that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease, modulation of the immune system may be a promising approach. Previously, it was suggested that antibodies may confer protective effects on the development of atherosclerosis. In this study, we hypothesised that passive immunization with anti-oxLDL IgM antibodies specific for hypochlorite (HOCl) may be athero-protective in mice.
Current influenza vaccines fail to induce protection against antigenically distinct virus strains. Accordingly, there is a need for the development of cross-protective vaccines. Previously, we and others have shown that vaccination with whole inactivated virus (WIV) induces cross-protective cellular immunity in mice. To probe the mechanistic basis for this finding, we investigated the role of TLR7, a receptor for single-stranded RNA, in induction of cross-protection. Vaccination of TLR7-/- mice with influenza WIV failed to protect against a lethal heterosubtypic challenge; in contrast, wild-type mice were fully protected. The lack of protection in TLR7-/- mice was associated with high viral load and a relative paucity of influenza-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses. Dendritic cells (DCs) from TLR7-/- mice were unable to cross-present WIV-derived antigen to influenza-specific CTLs in vitro. Similarly, TLR7-/- DCs failed to mature and become activated in response to WIV, as determined by the assessment of surface marker expression and cytokine production. Plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) derived from wild-type mice responded directly to WIV while purified conventional DCs (cDCs) did not respond to WIV in isolation, but were responsive in mixed pDC/cDC cultures. Depletion of pDCs prior to and during WIV immunization resulted in reduced numbers of influenza-specific CTLs and impaired protection from heterosubtypic challenge. Thus, TLR7 plays a critical role in the induction of cross-protective immunity upon vaccination with WIV. The initial target cells for WIV appear to be pDCs which by direct or indirect mechanisms promote activation of robust CTL responses against conserved influenza epitopes.
The immunosuppressive microenvironment in tumors hampers the induction of antitumor immunity by vaccines or immunotherapies. Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands have the potential to treat tumors, but they can exert a mixture of positive and negative effects on inflammation in the tumor microenvironment. In this study, we show that specific small molecule inhibitors of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) relieve immunosuppression to heighten the proinflammatory effects of TLR ligands that support antitumor immunity. Multiple strategies to inhibit PI3K in dendritic cells (DC) each led to suppression of interleukin (IL)-10 and TGF-? but did affect IL-12 or IL-1? induction by the TLR5 ligand flagellin. In three different mouse models of cancer, combining flagellin with a class I PI3K inhibitor, either with or without a DC vaccine, delayed tumor growth and increased survival, with some animals exhibiting complete rejection and resistance to secondary challenge. Tumor growth suppression was associated with increased accumulation of polyfunctional T cells that secreted multiple effector cytokines, including IFN-?, IL-17, and IL-2. Therapeutic protection was abolished in mice deficient in IL-17 or deprived of IFN-?. Together, our results indicate that PI3K inhibition heighten the antitumor properties of TLR ligands, eliciting tumor regression directly but also indirectly by relieving suppressive signals that restrict potent antitumor T-cell responses. These findings suggest important uses for PI3K inhibitors in heightening responses to cancer immunotherapy and immunochemotherapy.
Steady-state hematopoiesis is altered on infection, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms driving these changes are largely unknown. Modulation of hematopoiesis is essential to increase the output of the appropriate type of effector cell required to combat the invading pathogen. In the present study, we demonstrate that the pro-inflammatory cytokine IFN? is involved in orchestrating inflammation-induced myelopoiesis. Using both mouse models and in vitro assays, we show that IFN? induces the differentiation of monocytes over neutrophils at the level of myeloid progenitors. Infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus induces monopoiesis in wild-type mice, but causes increased neutrophil production in IFN?(-/-) mice. We demonstrate that IFN? enhances the expression of the monopoiesis-inducing transcription factors IRF8 and PU.1 in myeloid progenitor cells, whereas it reduces G-CSF-driven neutrophil differentiation via a SOCS3-dependent inhibition of STAT3 phosphorylation. These results establish a critical role for IFN? in directing monocyte versus neutrophil development during immune activation.
Unlike conventional dendritic cells, plasmacytoid DCs (PDC) are poor in antigen presentation and critical for type I interferon response. Though proposed to be present in human atherosclerotic lesions, their role in atherosclerosis remains elusive.
Obese adipose tissue shows hallmarks of chronic inflammation, which promotes the development of metabolic disorders. The mechanisms by which immune cells interact with each other or with metabolism-associated cell types, and the players involved, are still unclear. The CD40-CD40L costimulatory dyad plays a pivotal role in immune responses and in diseases such as atherosclerosis and may therefore be a mediator of obesity. Here we investigated whether CD40L is involved in adipose tissue inflammation and its associated metabolic changes.
The differences in function, location, and migratory pattern of conventional dendritic cells (cDC) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDC) not only point to specialized roles in immune responses but also signify additive and interdependent relationships required to clear pathogens. We studied the in vivo requirement of cross-talk between cDCs and pDCs for eliciting antitumor immunity against in situ released tumor antigens in the absence or presence of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 9 agonist CpG. Previous data indicated that CpG boosted tumor-specific T-cell responses after in vivo tumor destruction and increased survival after tumor rechallenges. The present study shows that cDCs are indispensable for cross-presentation of ablation-released tumor antigens and for the induction of long-term antitumor immunity. Depletion of pDCs or applying this model in type I IFN receptor-deficient mice abrogated CpG-mediated responses. CD8?(+) cDCs and the recently identified merocytic cDCs were dependent on pDCs for CpG-induced upregulation of CD80. Moreover, DC transfer studies revealed that merocytic cDCs and CD8?(+) cDCs were most susceptible to pDC help and subsequently promoted tumor-free survival in a therapeutic setting. By transferring wild-type pDCs into TLR9-deficient mice, we finally showed that TLR9 expression in pDCs is sufficient to benefit from CpG as an adjuvant. These studies indicate that the efficacy of CpG in cancer immunotherapy is dependent on cross-talk between pDCs and specific subsets of cDCs.
In situ delivery of tumor-associated antigen (TAA) genes into dendritic cells (DC) has great potential as a generally applicable tumor vaccination approach. Although adenoviruses (Ad) are an attractive vaccine vehicle in this regard, Ad-mediated transduction of DCs is hampered by the lack of expression of the Ad receptor CAR on the DC surface. DC activation also requires interaction of CD40 with its ligand CD40L to generate protective T-cell-mediated tumor immunity. Therefore, to create a strategy to target Ads to DCs in vivo, we constructed a bispecific adaptor molecule with the CAR ectodomain linked to the CD40L extracellular domain via a trimerization motif (CFm40L). By targeting Ad to CD40 with the use of CFm40L, we enhanced both transduction and maturation of cultured bone marrow-derived DCs. Moreover, we improved transduction efficiency of DCs in lymph node and splenic cell suspensions in vitro and in skin and vaccination site-draining lymph nodes in vivo. Furthermore, CD40 targeting improved the induction of specific CD8(+) T cells along with therapeutic efficacy in a mouse model of melanoma. Taken together, our findings support the use of CD40-targeted Ad vectors encoding full-length TAA for in vivo targeting of DCs and high-efficacy induction of antitumor immunity.
Dietary non-digestible carbohydrates reduce the development of cows milk allergy in mice. In the present study, the contribution of CD25+ regulatory T-cells (Treg) was investigated using in vivo Treg depletion and adoptive transfer studies. Mice were orally sensitised with casein and fed a diet containing 2 % short-chain galacto-, long-chain fructo- and acidic oligosaccharides (GFA) or a control diet. Donor splenocytes of mice sensitised with casein and fed the GFA or control diet were adoptively transferred to naive recipient mice, which were casein- or sham-sensitised and fed the control diet. In addition, in vivo or ex vivo CD25+ Treg depletion was performed using anti-CD25 (PC61). The acute allergic skin response upon intradermal casein challenge and casein-specific Ig were determined. Furthermore, T-helper (TH) 1 and TH2 cell numbers were analysed in the mesenteric lymph nodes. The oligosaccharide diet strongly reduced the development of the acute allergic skin response, which was abrogated by the in vivo anti-CD25 treatment. The diet enhanced the percentage of TH1 cells and tended to reduce the percentage of TH2 cells in casein-sensitised mice. Recipient mice were protected against the development of an acute allergic skin response when transferred with splenocytes from casein-sensitised GFA-fed donor mice before sensitisation. Ex vivo depletion of CD25+ Treg abrogated this transfer of tolerance. Splenocytes from sham-sensitised GFA-fed donor mice did not suppress the allergic response in recipient mice. In conclusion, CD25+ Treg contribute to the suppression of the allergic effector response in casein-sensitised mice induced by dietary intervention with non-digestible carbohydrates.
Gastrointestinal helminth infections are extremely prevalent in many human populations and are associated with downmodulated immune responsiveness. In the experimental model system of Heligmosomoides polygyrus, a chronic infection establishes in mice, accompanied by a modulated Th2 response and increased regulatory T cell (Treg) activity. To determine if dendritic cell (DC) populations in the lymph nodes draining the intestine are responsible for the regulatory effects of chronic infection, we first identified a population of CD11c(lo) nonplasmacytoid DCs that expand after chronic H. polygyrus infection. The CD11c(lo) DCs are underrepresented in magnetic bead-sorted preparations and spared from deletion in CD11c-diptheria toxin receptor mice. After infection, CD11c(lo) DCs did not express CD8, CD103, PDCA, or Siglec-H and were poorly responsive to TLR stimuli. In DC/T cell cocultures, CD11c(lo) DCs from naive and H. polygyrus-infected mice could process and present protein Ag, but induced lower levels of Ag-specific CD4(+) T cell proliferation and effector cytokine production, and generated higher percentages of Foxp3(+) T cells in the presence of TGF-?. Treg generation was also dependent on retinoic acid receptor signaling. In vivo, depletion of CD11c(hi) DCs further favored the dominance of the CD11c(lo) DC phenotype. After CD11c(hi) DC depletion, effector responses were inhibited dramatically, but the expansion in Treg numbers after H. polygyrus infection was barely compromised, showing a significantly higher regulatory/effector CD4(+) T cell ratio compared with that of CD11c(hi) DC-intact animals. Thus, the proregulatory environment of chronic intestinal helminth infection is associated with the in vivo predominance of a newly defined phenotype of CD11c(lo) tolerogenic DCs.
Regulation of tryptophan metabolism by indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in dendritic cells (DCs) is a highly versatile modulator of immunity. In inflammation, interferon-? is the main inducer of IDO for the prevention of hyperinflammatory responses, yet IDO is also responsible for self-tolerance effects in the longer term. Here we show that treatment of mouse plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) with transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) conferred regulatory effects on IDO that were mechanistically separable from its enzymic activity. We found that IDO was involved in intracellular signaling events responsible for the self-amplification and maintenance of a stably regulatory phenotype in pDCs. Thus, IDO has a tonic, nonenzymic function that contributes to TGF-?-driven tolerance in noninflammatory contexts.
A20 (TNFAIP3) is a protein that is involved in the negative feedback regulation of NF-?B signaling in response to specific proinflammatory stimuli in different cell types and has been suggested as a susceptibility gene for rheumatoid arthritis. To define the contribution of A20 to rheumatoid arthritis pathology, we generated myeloid-specific A20-deficient mice and show that specific ablation of Tnfaip3 in myeloid cells results in spontaneous development of a severe destructive polyarthritis with many features of rheumatoid arthritis. Myeloid-A20-deficient mice have high levels of inflammatory cytokines in their serum, consistent with a sustained NF-?B activation and higher TNF production by macrophages. Destructive polyarthritis in myeloid A20 knockout mice was TLR4-MyD88 and IL-6 dependent but was TNF independent. Myeloid A20 deficiency also promoted osteoclastogenesis in mice. Together, these observations indicate a critical and cell-specific function for A20 in the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis, supporting the idea of developing A20 modulatory drugs as cell-targeted therapies.
Immune mechanisms are known to control the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. However, the exact role of DCs, which are essential for priming of immune responses, remains elusive. We have shown here that the DC-derived chemokine CCL17 is present in advanced human and mouse atherosclerosis and that CCL17+ DCs accumulate in atherosclerotic lesions. In atherosclerosis-prone mice, Ccl17 deficiency entailed a reduction of atherosclerosis, which was dependent on Tregs. Expression of CCL17 by DCs limited the expansion of Tregs by restricting their maintenance and precipitated atherosclerosis in a mechanism conferred by T cells. Conversely, a blocking antibody specific for CCL17 expanded Tregs and reduced atheroprogression. Our data identify DC-derived CCL17 as a central regulator of Treg homeostasis, implicate DCs and their effector functions in atherogenesis, and suggest that CCL17 might be a target for vascular therapy.
Patients with celiac disease have permanent intolerance to gluten. Because of the high frequency of this disorder (approximately 1 in 100 individuals), we investigated whether oral tolerance to gluten differs from that to other food proteins.
While plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), a natural type I interferon (IFN)-producing cell type, are regarded as critical for innate immunity to viruses, their role in defense against fungal infections remains unknown. We examined the interactions of pDCs with hyphae of the invasive human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Human pDCs spread over hyphae and inhibited their growth. Antifungal activity was retained in pDC lysates, did not require direct fungal contact, and was partially reversed by zinc. Incubation with hyphae resulted in pDC cytotoxicity, partly due to fungal gliotoxin secretion. Following hyphal stimulation, pDCs released proinflammatory cytokines via a TLR9-independent mechanism. Pulmonary challenge of mice with A. fumigatus resulted in a substantial influx of pDCs into lungs, and pDC-depleted mice were hypersusceptible to invasive aspergillosis. These data demonstrate the antifungal activity of pDCs against A. fumigatus and establish their nonredundant role in host defenses against invasive aspergillosis in vivo.
Immune-mediated drug hypersensitivity reactions are important causes of black box warnings and drug withdrawals. Despite the high demand for preclinical screening tools, no validated in vitro or in vivo models are available. In the current study, we used a previously described oral administration model using trinitrophenyl-ovalbumin (TNP-OVA) as an antigen to report immuno-adjuvating effects of the analgesic drug acetaminophen (APAP) and its nonhepatotoxic regioisomer 3-hydroxyacetanilide (AMAP), the antibiotic ofloxacin (OFLX), the antiepileptic drug carbamazepine (CMZ), and the antidiabetic drug metformin (MET). Furthermore, APAP and AMAP were tested in a popliteal lymph node assay (PLNA) combined with TNP-OVA as reporter antigen (RA). C3H/HeOuJ mice were dosed by oral gavage with diclofenac (DF), APAP, AMAP, OFLX, MET, or CMZ. On the first exposure day, the mice received an ip injection with TNP-OVA. Fifteen days later, they were ear challenged with TNP-OVA and delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses were assessed 24 h later. One week after challenge, the ear-draining lymph node was removed and TNP-specific antibody-secreting cells were determined. DF, APAP, CMZ, and OFLX showed a significant increase in DTH responses to ear injection with TNP-OVA, whereas AMAP and MET did not. C57BL/6 mice were slightly less responsive to APAP and DF after oral gavage, and importantly both AMAP and APAP were negative in the RA-PLNA. The present work shows that the oral exposure model using RA and the RA-PLNA may serve to screen the immune-adjuvant potential of new chemical entities during preclinical drug development.
CMV establishes a lifelong persistent infection, and viral immune-modulating strategies are important in facilitating this. A particularly diverse CD8 T cell response develops as a result of this host-virus détente, with the CMV-specific memory T cell pool displaying unique functions and phenotypes. To gain insight into the factors that regulate CMV-specific CD8 T cell responses, we examined the influence of the B7-CD28 costimulatory pathway on magnitude, kinetics, and phenotype. Initial expansion of mouse CMV-specific CD8 T cells that establish stable memory pools was severely lower in mice lacking B7-CD28 signaling, and the resulting memory levels also remained reduced during persistent/latent infection. In contrast, expansion of CD8 T cells that undergo memory inflation during chronic infection was less affected in the absence of B7-CD28 costimulatory signals, eventually reaching the levels seen in wild-type mice at later times. Regardless of their differential requirements for B7-CD28 signals, both stable and inflationary memory T cell populations showed normal cytotoxic capacity. These results reveal that B7-CD28 costimulation differentially regulates the magnitude and kinetics of the multifaceted CD8 T cell response that develops during CMV infection.
Natural killer (NK) cells are part of the first line defense against tumors, parasites and virus-infected cells. Therefore, factors that control NK-cell numbers and their function are important. CD27 is constitutively expressed on NK cells and its expression correlates with sequential phases in NK-cell development, discriminating phenotypically and functionally different subsets within the NK-cell population. Although CD27 has been described to have an important regulatory role in effector and memory T and B lymphocytes, its role in NK-cell biology remains to be addressed. In this study, we used CD27(-/-) mice to investigate the role of CD27 in NK-cell development and function, both during the resting state and upon stimulation. The results show that NK-cell numbers are not impaired in CD27(-/-) mice. Moreover, CD27(-/-) NK cells reach full phenotypic maturity, evidenced by normal expression of CD49b, CD43 and CD11b. Expression of activating receptors is unaltered, whereas expression of several inhibitory receptors is increased. Cytotoxicity and interferon-? production by NK cells from CD27(-/-) mice in the resting state are normal. However, upon in vivo anti-CD40- or poly-I:C-mediated activation, or in vitro interleukin-15 priming plus anti-NKp46 stimulation, the absence of CD27 results in decreased cytolytic activity and cytokine production by spleen and liver NK cells. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that CD27 is dispensable for the development of functional NK cells. However, upon stimulation of NK cells, CD27 displays an important role in their activation and functionality.
The immune system of female H-2(b) (C57BL/6) mice is a strong responder against the male minor-H antigen. However rejection or acceptance of such weakly mismatched grafts depends on the type of tissue transplanted. The mechanism responsible for such spontaneous graft acceptance, and its relationship to the natural mechanisms of tolerance of self antigens is unknown. Co-inhibitory molecules negatively regulate immune responses, and are important for self tolerance. We examined whether co-inhibitory molecules play a critical role in "spontaneous" allograft tolerance. Naïve or donor sensitized diabetic female C57BL/6 (B6) wild type (WT), PD-1(-/-), and BTLA(-/-) mice were transplanted with freshly isolated syngeneic male islet grafts. The role of co-inhibitors during priming of anti-donor responses and graft challenge was also assessed using monoclonal antibodies targeting co-inhibitory receptors. Among the co-inhibitor (CTLA-4, PD-1) specific antibodies tested, only anti-PD-1 showed some potential to prevent spontaneous acceptance of male islet grafts. All BTLA(-/-) and almost all PD-1(-/-) recipients maintained the ability to spontaneously accept male islet grafts. While spontaneous graft acceptance in naïve recipients was only weakly PD-1 dependent, tolerance induced by the accepted islets was found to be highly PD-1 dependent. Furthermore, spontaneous graft acceptance in pre-sensitized recipients showed an absolute requirement for recipient PD-1 but not BTLA. Thus, the PD-1 pathway, involved in self tolerance, plays a critical role in spontaneous tolerance induced by weakly mismatched grafts in naïve recipients and spontaneous graft acceptance in pre-sensitized recipients.
Challenge of MHC-mismatched murine bone marrow chimeras with recipient-type lymphocytes (recipient lymphocyte infusion) produces antileukemic responses in association with rejection of donor chimerism. In contrast, MHC-matched chimeras resist eradication of donor chimerism by recipient lymphocyte infusion. Here, we investigated lymphohematopoietic host-versus-graft reactivity and antileukemic responses in the MHC-matched setting, which is reminiscent of the majority of clinical transplants.
CD36 is the receptor for long chain fatty acids (LCFA), and is expressed in lingual taste cells from rodents. In these animals, CD36 has been proposed to play an important role in oral detection of LCFA, and subsequently, determines their dietary fat preference. Humans also seem to detect LCFA in the oral cavity, however, information on the molecular mechanism of this human orosensory LCFA recognition is currently lacking. The aim of our study was to investigate whether CD36 is also expressed in lingual human and porcine taste buds cells. Using fluorescence immunohistochemistry, apical CD36 expression was revealed in human and porcine taste bud cells from circumvallate and foliate papillae. These data suggest CD36 as the putative orosensory receptor for dietary LCFA in human, and, therefore, may be involved in our preference for fatty foods.
CD40 ligand (CD40L), identified as a costimulatory molecule expressed on T cells, is also expressed and functional on platelets. We investigated the thrombotic and inflammatory contributions of platelet CD40L in atherosclerosis. Although CD40L-deficient (Cd40l(-/-)) platelets exhibited impaired platelet aggregation and thrombus stability, the effects of platelet CD40L on inflammatory processes in atherosclerosis were more remarkable. Repeated injections of activated Cd40l(-/-) platelets into Apoe(-/-) mice strongly decreased both platelet and leukocyte adhesion to the endothelium and decreased plasma CCL2 levels compared with wild-type platelets. Moreover, Cd40l(-/-) platelets failed to form proinflammatory platelet-leukocyte aggregates. Expression of CD40L on platelets was required for platelet-induced atherosclerosis as injection of Cd40l(-/-) platelets in contrast to Cd40l(+/+) platelets did not promote lesion formation. Remarkably, injection of Cd40l(+/+), but not Cd40l(-/-), platelets transiently decreased the amount of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in blood and spleen. Depletion of Tregs in mice injected with activated Cd40l(-/-) platelets abrogated the athero-protective effect, indicating that CD40L on platelets mediates the reduction of Tregs leading to accelerated atherosclerosis. We conclude that platelet CD40L plays a pivotal role in atherosclerosis, not only by affecting platelet-platelet interactions but especially by activating leukocytes, thereby increasing platelet-leukocyte and leukocyte-endothelium interactions.
To explore whether and how T cells can affect myelopoiesis, we investigated myeloid differentiation in a model for T cell-mediated immune activation. We found that CD70-transgenic (CD70TG) mice, which have elevated numbers of interferon-? (IFN-?)-producing effector T cells in the periphery and bone marrow, are almost devoid of eosinophilic granulocytes. Induction of allergic airway inflammation in these mice failed to induce eosinophilia as well as airway hyperresponsiveness. CD70TG mice also have strongly reduced numbers of eosinophil lineage-committed progenitors, whereas granulocyte/macrophage progenitors from these mice are unable to generate eosinophils in vitro. We found that granulocyte/macrophage progenitors express IFN-?R1 and that IFN-? is sufficient to inhibit eosinophil differentiation of both murine and human progenitor cells in vitro. We demonstrate that inhibition of eosinophil development in CD70TG mice is IFN-?-dependent and that T cell-derived IFN-? is sufficient to inhibit eosinophil formation in vivo. Finally, we found that IFN-? produced on anti-CD40 treatment and during viral infection can also suppress eosinophil formation in wild-type mice. These data demonstrate that IFN-? inhibits the differentiation of myeloid progenitors to eosinophils, indicating that the adaptive immune system plays an important role in orchestrating the formation of the appropriate type of myeloid cells during immune activation.
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are well known as the major cell type that secretes type I IFN in response to viral infections. Their role in combating other classes of infectious organisms, including bacteria, and their mechanisms of action are poorly understood. We have found that pDCs play a significant role in the acute response to the intracellular bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila. pDCs were rapidly recruited to the lungs of L. pneumophila-infected mice, and depletion of pDCs resulted in increased bacterial load. The ability of pDCs to combat infection did not require type I IFN. This study points to an unappreciated role for pDCs in combating bacterial infections and indicates a novel mechanism of action for this cell type.
Autoimmune adverse events are a concern in patients treated with blocking anti-CTLA-4-mAb for solid and hematological tumors. Patient and mouse data on the contribution of a quantitative or qualitative defect of regulatory T cells (T(reg)) in this autoimmune phenomenon are conflicting. We have previously shown that a treatment course with blocking anti-CTLA-4-mAb in murine allogeneic bone marrow chimeras induces an antileukemic response in close association with systemic autoimmunity. Here, we used this model to investigate the effect of CTLA-4-blocking therapy on the kinetics of T(reg) frequency and function. As previously published, CTLA-4-blocking treatment, initiated on day 20 after bone marrow transplantation, led to overt autoimmunity by day 35. CD4(+)Foxp3(+) T(reg) frequency was determined (flowcytometry) on day 21, 23, 25 and 35: treated chimeras showed an expansion of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) T(reg) frequencies on day 25 and 35, without a prior frequency decrease. The T(reg) expansion occurred selectively in the recipient-derived CD4+ T-cell compartment. In vitro, purified CD4(+)CD25(+)FR4(high) T(reg) from day 35 autoimmune and control chimeras showed equal suppressive effects towards self-antigen-specific autoimmune T cells. Purified CD4(+)CD25(high)FR4(high) T(reg) from day 35 treated chimeras showed increased IL-10 and IFN-gamma mRNA-expression (RT-PCR) relative to control chimeras. In this model of CTLA-4-blockade-induced autoimmunity after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, anti-CTLA-4-mAb gives rise to a progressive expansion - without a prior transient reduction - of T(reg) cells. T(reg) of autoimmune animals do not show a defect in in vitro suppressive function but show an in vivo activated cytokine profile, suggesting that the expansion occurs as a compensatory phenomenon to control autoimmunity.
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