To date, efforts to treat autoimmune diseases have primarily focused on the disease symptoms rather than on the cause of the disease. In large part, this is attributed to not knowing the responsible auto-antigens (auto-Ags) for driving the self-reactivity coupled with the poor success of treating autoimmune diseases using oral tolerance methods. Nonetheless, if tolerogenic approaches or methods that stimulate regulatory T (Treg) cells can be devised, these could subdue autoimmune diseases. To forward such efforts, our approach with colonization factor antigen I (CFA/I) fimbriae is to establish bystander immunity to ultimately drive the development of auto-Ag-specific Treg cells. Using an attenuated Salmonella vaccine expressing CFA/I fimbriae, fimbriae-specific Treg cells were induced without compromising the vaccine's capacity to protect against travelers' diarrhea or salmonellosis. By adapting the vaccine's anti-inflammatory properties, it was found that it could also dampen experimental inflammatory diseases resembling multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis. Because of this bystander effect, disease-specific Treg cells are eventually induced to resolve disease. Interestingly, this same vaccine could elicit the required Treg cell subset for each disease. For MS-like disease, conventional CD25(+) Treg cells are stimulated, but for arthritis CD39(+) Treg cells are induced instead. This review article will examine the potential of treating autoimmune diseases without having previous knowledge of the auto-Ag using an innocuous antigen to stimulate Treg cells via the production of transforming growth factor-? and interleukin-10.
A Salmonella therapeutic expressing enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli colonization factor Ag I (CFA/I) fimbriae protects against collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) by eliciting two regulatory T cell (Treg) subsets: TGF-?-producing Foxp3(-)CD39(+)CD4(+) T cells and IL-10-producing Foxp3(+)CD39(+)CD4(+) T cells. However, it is unclear whether CFA/I fimbriae alone are protective and whether other regulatory cytokines are involved, especially in the context for the EBI3-sharing cytokines, Treg-derived IL-35 and APC-derived IL-27, both capable of suppressing Th17 cells and regulating autoimmune diseases. Subsequent evaluation revealed that a single oral dose of purified, soluble CFA/I fimbriae protected against CIA as effectively as did Salmonella-CFA/I and found that Foxp3(+)CD39(+)CD4(+) T cells were the source of secreted IL-35, whereas IL-27 production by CD11c(+) cells was inhibited. Inquiring into their relevance, CFA/I fimbriae-treated IL-27R-deficient (WSX-1(-/-)) mice were equally protected against CIA as were wild-type mice, suggesting a limited role for IL-27. In contrast, CFA/I fimbriae-mediated protection was abated in EBI3(-/-) mice, accompanied by the loss of TGF-?- and IL-10-producing Tregs. Adoptive transfer of C57BL/6 CD39(+)CD4(+) T cells to EBI3(-/-) mice with concurrent CFA/I plus IL-35 treatment effectively stimulated Tregs suppressing proinflammatory collagen II-specific Th cells. In contrast, recipients cotransferred with C57BL/6 and EBI3(-/-) CD39(+)CD4(+) T cells and treated with CFA/I plus IL-35 were not protected, implicating the importance of endogenous IL-35 for conferring CFA/I-mediated protection. Thus, CFA/I fimbriae stimulate IL-35 required for the coinduction of TGF-? and IL-10.
Sublingual (s.l.) vaccination is an efficient way to induce elevated levels of systemic and mucosal immune responses. To mediate mucosal uptake, ovalbumin (OVA) was genetically fused to adenovirus 2 fiber protein (OVA-Ad2F) to assess whether s.l. immunization was as effective as an alternative route of vaccination. Ad2F-delivered vaccines were efficiently taken up by dendritic cells and migrated mostly to submaxillary gland lymph nodes, which could readily stimulate OVA-specific CD4(+) T cells. OVA-Ad2F + cholera toxin (CT)-immunized mice elicited significantly higher OVA-specific serum IgG, IgA and mucosal IgA antibodies among the tested immunization groups. These were supported by elevated OVA-specific IgG and IgA antibody-forming cells. A mixed T(h)-cell response was induced as evident by the enhanced IL-4, IL-10, IFN-? and TNF-?-specific cytokine-forming cells. To assess whether this approach can stimulate neutralizing antibodies, immunizations were performed with the protein encumbering the ?-trefoil domain of C-terminus heavy chain (Hc?tre) from botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) as well as when fused to Ad2F. Hc?tre-Ad2F + CT-dosed mice showed the greatest serum IgG, IgA and mucosal IgA titers among the immunization groups. Hc?tre-Ad2F alone also induced elevated antibody production in contrast to Hc?tre alone. Plasma from Hc?tre + CT- and Hc?tre-Ad2F + CT-immunized groups neutralized BoNT/A and protected mice from BoNT/A intoxication. Most importantly, Hc?tre-Ad2F + CT-immunized mice were protected from BoNT/A intoxication relative to Hc?tre + CT-immunized mice, which only showed ?60% protection. This study shows that s.l. immunization with Ad2F-based vaccines is effective in conferring protective immunity.
The aim of our study was to verify whether environmental concentrations of nonylphenol influenced the adrenal gland of Triturus carnifex. Newts were exposed to 19 ?g/L nominal concentration of nonylphenol throughout the periods of December-January and March-April, corresponding to different stages of the chromaffin cell functional cycle. The morphological features of the steroidogenic and chromaffin tissues, and the serum levels of ACTH, aldosterone, corticosterone, norepinephrine and epinephrine were evaluated. Nonylphenol did not influence ACTH serum levels. During the two periods examined, the steroidogenic tissue had the same reaction: the quantity of cytoplasmic lipids, and the corticosteroid serum levels, decreased, suggesting the inhibition of synthesis and release of corticosteroids. During the two periods examined, the chromaffin tissue reacted differently to nonylphenol. During December-January, the numeric ratio of norepinephrine granules to epinephrine granules, and the epinephrine serum levels, increased, suggesting the stimulation of epinephrine release. During March-April, the numeric ratio of norepinephrine granules to epinephrine granules did not change, and the norepinephrine serum levels decreased, suggesting the inhibition of norepinephrine release. Our results show that nonylphenol influences the activity of the newt adrenal gland; considering the physiological role of this gland, our results suggest that nonylphenol may contribute to amphibian decline.
Natural killer (NK) cells and dendritic cells (DCs) have been shown to link the innate and adaptive immune systems. Likewise, a new innate cell subset, interferon-producing killer DCs (IKDCs), shares phenotypic and functional characteristics with both DCs and NK cells. Here, we show IKDCs play an essential role in the resolution of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) upon treatment with the tolerizing agent, myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), genetically fused to reovirus protein ?1 (termed MOG-p?1). Activated IKDCs were recruited subsequent MOG-p?1 treatment of EAE, and disease resolution was abated upon NK1.1 cell depletion. These IKDCs were able to kill activated CD4(+) T cells and mature dendritic DCs, thus, contributing to EAE remission. In addition, IKDCs were responsible for MOG-p?1-mediated MOG-specific regulatory T cell recruitment to the CNS. The IKDCs induced by MOG-p?1 expressed elevated levels of HVEM for interactions with cognate ligand-positive cells: LIGHT(+) NK and T(eff) cells and BTLA(+) B cells. Further characterization revealed these activated IKDCs being MHC class II(high), and upon their adoptive transfer (CD11c(+)NK1.1(+)MHC class II(high)), IKDCs, but not CD11c(+)NK1.1(+)MHC class II(intermediate/low) (unactivated) cells, conferred protection against EAE. These activated IKDCs showed enhanced CD107a, PD-L1, and granzyme B expression and could present OVA, unlike unactivated IKDCs. Thus, these results demonstrate the interventional potency induced HVEM(+) IKDCs to resolve autoimmune disease.
We previously reported that the immunogenicity of Hc?tre, a botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) immunogen, was enhanced by fusion to an epithelial cell binding domain, Ad2F, when nasally delivered to mice with cholera toxin (CT). This study was performed to determine if Ad2F would enhance the nasal immunogenicity of Hc?tre in rabbits, an animal model with a nasal cavity anatomy similar to humans. Since CT is not safe for human use, we also tested the adjuvant activity of compound 48/80 (C48/80), a mast cell activating compound previously determined to safely exhibit nasal adjuvant activity in mice.
Stimulation of Ag-specific inducible Treg can enhance resolution of autoimmune disease. Conventional methods to induce Treg often require induction of autoimmune disease or subjection to infection. Reovirus adhesin, protein ?1 (p?1), can successfully facilitate tolerance when fused to a tolerogen. We tested whether myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) fused to p?1 (MOG-p?1) can stimulate Ag-specific Treg. We show that C57BL/6 mice treated nasally with MOG-p?1 fail to induce MOG-specific Abs and delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses and resist EAE. Such resistance was attributed to stimulation of Foxp3(+) Treg, as well as Th2 cells. MOG-p?1s protective capacity was abrogated in IL-10(-/-) mice, but restored when adoptively transferred with MOG-p?1-induced Treg. As a therapeutic, MOG-p?1 diminished EAE within 24?h of nasal application, unlike recombinant MOG (rMOG), p?1, or p?1+rMOG, implicating the importance of Ag specificity by p?1-based therapeutics. MOG-p?1-treated mice showed elevated IL-4, IL-10, and IL-28 production by CD4(+) T cells, unlike rMOG treated or control mice that produced elevated IFN-? or IL-17, respectively. These data show the feasibility of using p?1 as a tolerogen platform for Ag-specific tolerance induction and highlight its potential use as an immunotherapeutic for autoimmunity.
The chemokine, lymphotactin (LTN), was tested as a molecular adjuvant using bicistronic DNA vaccines encoding the protective Yersinia capsular (F1) antigen and virulence antigen (V-Ag) as a F1-V fusion protein. The LTN-encoding F1-V or V-Ag vaccines were given by the intranasal (i.n.) or intramuscular (i.m.) routes, and although serum IgG and mucosal IgA antibodies (Abs) were induced, F1-Ag boosts were required for robust anti-F1-Ag Abs. Optimal efficacy against pneumonic plague was obtained in mice i.m.-, not i.n.-immunized with these DNA vaccines. These vaccines stimulated elevated Ag-specific Ab-forming cells and mixed Th cell responses, with Th17 cells markedly enhanced by i.m. immunization. These results show that LTN can be used as a molecular adjuvant to enhance protective immunity against plague.
Conventional methods to induce tolerance in humans have met with limited success. Hence, efforts to redirect tolerogen uptake using reovirus adhesin, protein sigma 1 (psigma1), may circumvent these shortcomings based upon the recent finding that when reovirus psigma1 is engineered to deliver chicken ovalbumin (OVA) mucosally, tolerance is obtained, even with a single dose. To test whether single-dose tolerance can be induced to treat EAE, proteolipid protein (PLP(130-151)) was genetically fused to OVA to psigma1 (PLP:OVA-psigma1) and shown to significantly ameliorate EAE, suppressing proinflammatory cytokines by IL-10(+) forkhead box P3 (FoxP3)(+) CD25(+)CD4(+) T(reg) and IL-4(+)CD25(-)CD4(+) Th2 cells. IL-10R or IL-4 neutralization reversed protection to EAE conferred by PLP:OVA-psigma1, and adoptive transfer of Ag-specific T(reg) or Th2 cells restored protection against EAE in recipients. Upon assessment of each relative participant, functional inactivation of CD25 impaired PLP:OVA-psigma1s protective capacity, triggering TGF-beta-mediated inflammation; however, concomitant inactivation of TGF-beta and CD25 reestablished PLP:OVA-psigma1-mediated protection by IL-28-producing FoxP3(+)CD25(-)CD4(+) T cells. Thus, psigma1-based therapy can resolve EAE independently of or dependently upon CD25 and assigns IL-28 as an alternative therapy for autoimmunity.
Immunization with recombinant carboxyl-terminal domain of the heavy chain (Hc domain) of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) stimulates protective immunity against native BoNT challenge. Most studies developing a botulism vaccine have focused on the whole Hc; however, since the principal protective epitopes are located within beta-trefoil domain (Hcbetatre), we hypothesize that immunization with the Hcbetatre domain is sufficient to confer protective immunity. In addition, enhancing its uptake subsequent to nasal delivery prompted development of an alternative vaccine strategy, and we hypothesize that the addition of targeting moiety adenovirus 2 fiber protein (Ad2F) may enhance such uptake during vaccination.
Pneumonic plague remains problematic in endemic areas, and because it can be readily transmitted and has high mortality, the development of efficacious vaccines is warranted. To test whether stimulation of cell-mediated immunity with IL-12 will improve protective immunity against plague, we constructed two IL-12 DNA vaccines using a bicistronic plasmid encoding the protective plague epitopes, capsular (F1) antigen and virulence antigen (V-Ag) as F1-V fusion protein and V-Ag only, respectively. When applied intramuscularly, antibody responses to F1- and V-Ag were detectable beginning at week 6 after 3 weekly doses, and F1-Ag protein boosts were required to induce elevated Ab responses. These Ab responses were supported by mixed Th cell responses, and the IL-12/V-Ag DNA vaccine showed greater cell-mediated immune bias than IL-12/F1-V DNA vaccine. Following pneumonic challenge, both IL-12 DNA vaccines showed similar efficacy despite differences in Th cells simulated. These results show that IL-12 can be used as a molecular adjuvant to enhance protective immunity against pneumonic plague.
Ovalbumin (OVA) genetically fused to protein sigma 1 (p?1) results in tolerance to both OVA and p?1. P?1 binds in a multi-step fashion, involving both protein- and carbohydrate-based receptors. To assess the relative p?1 components responsible for inducing tolerance and the importance of its sialic binding domain (SABD) for immunization, modified OVA-p?1, termed OVA-p?1(short), was deleted of its SABD, but with its M cell targeting moiety intact, and was found to be immunostimulatory and enhanced CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell proliferation. When used to nasally immunize mice given with and without cholera toxin (CT) adjuvant, elevated SIgA and serum IgG responses were induced, and OVA-p?1(s) was more efficient for immunization than native OVA+CT. The immune antibodies (Abs) were derived from elevated Ab-forming cells in the upper respiratory tissues and submaxillary glands and were supported by mixed Th cell responses. Thus, these studies show that p?1(s) can be fused to vaccines to effectively elicit improved SIgA responses.
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