Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) limits the success of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT); therefore, a better understanding of its biology may improve therapeutic options. We observed miR-146a up-regulation in T cells of mice developing acute GVHD compared with untreated mice. Transplanting miR-146a(-/-) T cells caused increased GVHD severity, elevated tumor necrosis factor (TNF) serum levels, and reduced survival. TNF receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), a verified target of miR-146a, was up-regulated in miR-146a(-/-) T cells following alloantigen stimulation. Higher TRAF6 levels translated into increased nuclear factor-?B activity and TNF production in miR-146a(-/-) T cells. Conversely, the detrimental effect of miR-146a deficiency in T cells was antagonized by TNF blockade, whereas phytochemical induction of miR-146a or its overexpression using a miR-146a mimic reduced GVHD severity. In humans, the minor genotype of the single nucleotide polymorphism rs2910164 in HCT donors, which reduces expression of miR-146a, was associated with severe acute GVHD (grade III/IV). We show that miR-146a functions as a negative regulator of donor T cells in GVHD by targeting TRAF6, leading to reduced TNF transcription. Because miR-146a expression can be exogenously enhanced, our results provide a novel targeted molecular approach to mitigate GVHD.
Podocyte loss is a major determinant of progressive CKD. Although recent studies showed that a subset of parietal epithelial cells can serve as podocyte progenitors, the role of podocyte turnover and regeneration in repair, aging, and nephron loss remains unclear. Here, we combined genetic fate mapping with highly efficient podocyte isolation protocols to precisely quantify podocyte turnover and regeneration. We demonstrate that parietal epithelial cells can give rise to fully differentiated visceral epithelial cells indistinguishable from resident podocytes and that limited podocyte renewal occurs in a diphtheria toxin model of acute podocyte ablation. In contrast, the compensatory programs initiated in response to nephron loss evoke glomerular hypertrophy, but not de novo podocyte generation. In addition, no turnover of podocytes could be detected in aging mice under physiologic conditions. In the absence of podocyte replacement, characteristic features of aging mouse kidneys included progressive accumulation of oxidized proteins, deposits of protein aggregates, loss of podocytes, and glomerulosclerosis. In summary, quantitative investigation of podocyte regeneration in vivo provides novel insights into the mechanism and capacity of podocyte turnover and regeneration in mice. Our data reveal that podocyte generation is mainly confined to glomerular development and may occur after acute glomerular injury, but it fails to regenerate podocytes in aging kidneys or in response to nephron loss.
CD4(+) T cells play a central role in inflammatory heart disease, implicating a cytokine product associated with Th cell effector function as a necessary mediator of this pathophysiology. IFN-?-deficient mice developed severe experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM), in which mice are immunized with cardiac myosin peptide, whereas IL-17A-deficient mice were protected from progression to dilated cardiomyopathy. We generated IFN-?(-/-)IL-17A(-/-) mice to assess whether IL-17 signaling was responsible for the severe EAM of IFN-?(-/-) mice. Surprisingly, IFN-?(-/-)IL-17A(-/-) mice developed a rapidly fatal EAM. Eosinophils constituted a third of infiltrating leukocytes, qualifying this disease as eosinophilic myocarditis. We found increased cardiac production of CCL11/eotaxin, as well as Th2 deviation, among heart-infiltrating CD4(+) cells. Ablation of eosinophil development improved survival of IFN-?(-/-)IL-17A(-/-) mice, demonstrating the necessity of eosinophils in fatal heart failure. The severe and rapidly fatal autoimmune inflammation that developed in the combined absence of IFN-? and IL-17A constitutes a novel model of eosinophilic heart disease in humans. This is also, to our knowledge, the first demonstration that eosinophils have the capacity to act as necessary mediators of morbidity in an autoimmune process.
The success of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is limited by acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), a severe complication accompanied by high mortality rates. Yet, the molecular mechanisms initiating this disease remain poorly defined. In this study, we show that, after conditioning therapy, intestinal commensal bacteria and the damage-associated molecular pattern uric acid contribute to Nlrp3 inflammasome-mediated IL-1? production and that gastrointestinal decontamination and uric acid depletion reduced GvHD severity. Early blockade of IL-1? or genetic deficiency of the IL-1 receptor in dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells improved survival. The Nlrp3 inflammasome components Nlrp3 and Asc, which are required for pro-IL-1? cleavage, were critical for the full manifestation of GvHD. In transplanted mice, IL-1? originated from multiple intestinal cell compartments and exerted its effects on DCs and T cells, the latter being preferentially skewed toward Th17. Compatible with these mouse data, increased levels of active caspase-1 and IL-1? were found in circulating leukocytes and intestinal GvHD lesions of patients. Thus, the identification of a crucial role for the Nlrp3 inflammasome sheds new light on the pathogenesis of GvHD and opens a potential new avenue for the targeted therapy of this severe complication.
Unimpaired HLA class I antigen presentation is a prerequisite for the recognition of tumor cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes and thus essential for the success of anticancer immunotherapeutic concepts. Several approaches have been taken in the immunotherapy of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC), however of limited success. HLA loss or down-regulation have often been reported and might interfere with immunotherapeutic approaches aimed at the recognition of HLA-presented peptides.
Direct contact with stromal cells protects chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) B cells from chemotherapy-induced apoptosis in vitro. Blockade of CXCR4 signalling antagonizes stroma-mediated interactions and restores CLL chemosensitivity. In vivo, administration of CXCR4 antagonists effectively mobilizes haematopoietic progenitor cells. Therefore, combinations of CXCR4 blockade and cytoreductive treatment with selective activity on CLL cells may avoid potential haematotoxicity. Hence, we tested CXCR4 antagonists in the context of passive and active immunotherapeutic approaches. We evaluated how efficiently rituximab, alemtuzumab and cytotoxic T cells killed CLL cells cocultured with stromal cells in the presence and absence of a CXCR4 antagonist. Stromal cell contact attenuated rituximab- and alemtuzumab-induced complement-dependent cytotoxicity of CLL cells. Addition of CXCR4 antagonists abrogated the protective effect of stroma. In contrast, stromal cells did not impair antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity and cytotoxicity induced by activated T cells. Destruction of microtubules in CLL target cells restored the protective effect of stroma coculture for CLL cells during Natural Killer cell attack by preventing mitochondrial relocalization towards the immunological synapse. Our data identify the combination of CXCR4 antagonists with passive - but not active - immunotherapy as a promising potential treatment concept in CLL.
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