DCs are critical for initiating immunity. The current paradigm in vaccine biology is that DCs migrating from peripheral tissue and classical lymphoid-resident DCs (cDCs) cooperate in the draining LNs to initiate priming and proliferation of T cells. Here, we observe subcutaneous immunity is Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L) dependent. Flt3L is rapidly secreted after immunization; Flt3 deletion reduces T cell responses by 50%. Flt3L enhances global T cell and humoral immunity as well as both the numbers and antigen capture capacity of migratory DCs (migDCs) and LN-resident cDCs. Surprisingly, however, we find immunity is controlled by cDCs and actively tempered in vivo by migDCs. Deletion of Langerin(+) DC or blockade of DC migration improves immunity. Consistent with an immune-regulatory role, transcriptomic analyses reveals different skin migDC subsets in both mouse and human cluster together, and share immune-suppressing gene expression and regulatory pathways. These data reveal that protective immunity to protein vaccines is controlled by Flt3L-dependent, LN-resident cDCs.
Type I interferons (IFNs) play an important role in direct antiviral defense as well as linking the innate and adaptive immune responses. On dendritic cells (DCs), IFNs facilitate their activation and contribute to CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cell priming. However, the precise molecular mechanism by which IFNs regulate maturation and immunogenicity of DCs in vivo has not been studied in depth. Here we show that, after in vivo stimulation with the TLR ligand poly IC, IFNs dominate transcriptional changes in DCs. In contrast to direct TLR3/mda5 signaling, IFNs are required for upregulation of all pathways associated with DC immunogenicity. In addition, metabolic pathways, particularly the switch from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis, are also regulated by IFNs and required for DC maturation. These data provide evidence for a metabolic reprogramming concomitant with DC maturation and offer a novel mechanism by which IFNs modulate DC maturation.
Protein-based vaccines offer safety and cost advantages but require adjuvants to induce immunity. Here we examined the adjuvant capacity of glucopyranosyl lipid A (GLA), a new synthetic non-toxic analogue of lipopolysaccharide. In mice, in comparison with non-formulated LPS and monophosphoryl lipid A, formulated GLA induced higher antibody titers and generated Type 1 T-cell responses to HIV gag-p24 protein in spleen and lymph nodes, which was dependent on TLR4 expression. Immunization was greatly improved by targeting HIV gag p24 to DCs with an antibody to DEC-205, a DC receptor for antigen uptake and processing. Subcutaneous immunization induced antigen-specific T-cell responses in the intestinal lamina propria. Immunity did not develop in mice transiently depleted of DCs. To understand how GLA works, we studied DCs directly from vaccinated mice. Within 4 h, GLA caused DCs to upregulate CD86 and CD40 and produce cytokines including IL-12p70 in vivo. Importantly, DCs removed from mice 4 h after vaccination became immunogenic, capable of inducing T-cell immunity upon injection into naïve mice. These data indicate that a synthetic and clinically feasible TLR4 agonist rapidly stimulates full maturation of DCs in vivo, allowing for adaptive immunity to develop many weeks to months later.
Dendritic cells (DCs), critical antigen-presenting cells for immune control, normally derive from bone marrow precursors distinct from monocytes. It is not yet established if the large reservoir of monocytes can develop into cells with critical features of DCs in vivo. We now show that fully differentiated monocyte-derived DCs (Mo-DCs) develop in mice and DC-SIGN/CD209a marks the cells. Mo-DCs are recruited from blood monocytes into lymph nodes by lipopolysaccharide and live or dead gram-negative bacteria. Mobilization requires TLR4 and its CD14 coreceptor and Trif. When tested for antigen-presenting function, Mo-DCs are as active as classical DCs, including cross-presentation of proteins and live gram-negative bacteria on MHC I in vivo. Fully differentiated Mo-DCs acquire DC morphology and localize to T cell areas via L-selectin and CCR7. Thus the blood monocyte reservoir becomes the dominant presenting cell in response to select microbes, yielding DC-SIGN(+) cells with critical functions of DCs.
Relative to several other toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists, we found polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly IC) to be the most effective adjuvant for Th1 CD4(+) T cell responses to a dendritic cell (DC)-targeted HIV gag protein vaccine in mice. To identify mechanisms for adjuvant action in the intact animal and the polyclonal T cell repertoire, we found poly IC to be the most effective inducer of type I interferon (IFN), which was produced by DEC-205(+) DCs, monocytes, and stromal cells. Antibody blocking or deletion of type I IFN receptor showed that IFN was essential for DC maturation and development of CD4(+) immunity. The IFN-AR receptor was directly required for DCs to respond to poly IC. STAT 1 was also essential, in keeping with the type I IFN requirement, but not type II IFN or IL-12 p40. Induction of type I IFN was mda5 dependent, but DCs additionally used TLR3. In bone marrow chimeras, radioresistant and, likely, nonhematopoietic cells were the main source of IFN, but mda5 was required in both marrow-derived and radioresistant host cells for adaptive responses. Therefore, the adjuvant action of poly IC requires a widespread innate type I IFN response that directly links antigen presentation by DCs to adaptive immunity.
CD59, a broadly expressed GPI-anchored molecule, regulates formation of the membrane attack complex of the complement cascade. We previously demonstrated that mouse CD59 also down-modulates CD4(+) T cell activity in vivo. In this study, we explored the role of CD59 on human CD4(+) T cells. Our data demonstrate that CD59 is up-regulated on activated CD4(+) T cells and serves to down-modulate their activity in response to polyclonal and Ag-specific stimulation. The therapeutic potential of this finding was explored using T cells isolated from colorectal cancer patients. The findings were striking and indicated that blockade of CD59 significantly enhanced the CD4(+) T cell response to two different tumor Ags. These data highlight the potential for manipulating CD59 expression on T cells for boosting weak immune responses, such as those found in individuals with cancer.
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