TRPV1 is a Ca(2+)-permeable channel studied mostly as a pain receptor in sensory neurons. However, its role in other cell types is poorly understood. Here we found that TRPV1 was functionally expressed in CD4(+) T cells, where it acted as a non-store-operated Ca(2+) channel and contributed to T cell antigen receptor (TCR)-induced Ca(2+) influx, TCR signaling and T cell activation. In models of T cell-mediated colitis, TRPV1 promoted colitogenic T cell responses and intestinal inflammation. Furthermore, genetic and pharmacological inhibition of TRPV1 in human CD4(+) T cells recapitulated the phenotype of mouse Trpv1(-/-) CD4(+) T cells. Our findings suggest that inhibition of TRPV1 could represent a new therapeutic strategy for restraining proinflammatory T cell responses.
The intestinal epithelium has a high rate of turnover, and dysregulation of pathways that regulate regeneration can lead to tumor development; however, the negative regulators of oncogenic events in the intestinal epithelium are not fully understood. Here we identified a feedback loop between the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a known mediator of proliferation, and the transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily V, member 1 (TRPV1), in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). We found that TRPV1 was expressed by IECs and was intrinsically activated upon EGFR stimulation. Subsequently, TRPV1 activation inhibited EGFR-induced epithelial cell proliferation via activation of Ca2+/calpain and resulting activation of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B). In a murine model of multiple intestinal neoplasia (Apc(Min/+) mice), TRPV1 deficiency increased adenoma formation, and treatment of these animals with an EGFR kinase inhibitor reversed protumorigenic phenotypes, supporting a functional association between TRPV1 and EGFR signaling in IECs. Administration of a TRPV1 agonist suppressed intestinal tumorigenesis in Apc(Min/+) mice, similar to--as well as in conjunction with--a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor, which suggests that targeting both TRPV1 and COX-2 has potential as a therapeutic approach for tumor prevention. Our findings implicate TRPV1 as a regulator of growth factor signaling in the intestinal epithelium through activation of PTP1B and subsequent suppression of intestinal tumorigenesis.
Vascular endothelial growth factor is a potent pro-angiogenic growth factor which is also known to alter tumor microenvironment by inhibiting dendritic cell differentiation and promoting accumulation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells. In the present study, we analyzed the modifications induced by intratumoral expression of sFLT-1, a soluble VEGF receptor, in a rat metastatic colon carcinoma model. We generated colon cancer cell lines stably expressing sFLT-1 or a mock construct. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells cultured with conditioned medium from sFLT-1-expressing tumor cells exhibit a significantly decreased survival, demonstrating the functionality of the secreted sFLT-1. Invivo, sFLT-1 expression induced a 30% decrease in microvessel density in 15-day old experimental liver metastasis from colon carcinoma. Tumor growth was inhibited by 63% and 52% in left and right liver lobes respectively within 25days. In these tumors, sFLT-1 expression was associated with a decreased myeloid cell infiltration and a modification in the expression of several cytokines/chemokines. Altogether, these results suggest that VEGF trapping by sFLT-1 intratumoral expression results in reduced vascularization, tumor growth inhibition and modification of immune tumor microenvironment.
cAMP, the intracellular signaling molecule produced in response to GPCR signaling, has long been recognized as an immunosuppressive agent that inhibits T cell receptor activation and T cell function. However, recent studies show that cAMP also promotes T cell-mediated immunity. Central to cAMP production downstream of GPCR activation is the trimeric G protein Gs. In order to reconcile the reports of divergent effects of cAMP in T cells and to define the direct effect of cAMP in T cells, we engineered mice in which the stimulatory G? subunit of Gs (G?s) could be deleted in T cells using CD4-Cre (Gnas(?CD4)). Gnas(?CD4) CD4(+) T cells had reduced cAMP accumulation and Ca2(+) influx. In vitro and in vivo, Gnas(?CD4) CD4(+) T cells displayed impaired differentiation to specific Th subsets: Th17 and Th1 cells were reduced or absent, but Th2 and regulatory T cells were unaffected. Furthermore, Gnas(?CD4) CD4(+) T cells failed to provoke colitis in an adoptive transfer model, indicating reduced inflammatory function. Restoration of cAMP levels rescued the impaired phenotype of Gnas(?CD4) CD4(+) T cells, reinstated the PKA-dependent influx of Ca2(+), and enhanced the ability of these cells to induce colitis. Our findings thus define an important role for cAMP in the differentiation of Th subsets and their subsequent inflammatory responses, and provide evidence that altering cAMP levels in CD4(+) T cells could provide an immunomodulatory approach targeting specific Th subsets.
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