ICOS costimulation generates Th17 cells with durable memory responses to tumor. Herein, we found that ICOS induces PI3K/p110δ/Akt and Wnt/β-catenin pathways in Th17 cells. Coinhibiting PI3Kδ and β-catenin altered the biological fate of Th17 cells. Th17 cells inhibited of both pathways expressed less RORγt, which, in turn, reduced their ability to secrete IL-17. Unexpectedly, these cells were more effective (than uninhibited cells) at regressing tumor when infused into mice, leading to long-term curative responses. PI3Kδ inhibition expanded precursor Th17 cells with a central memory phenotype that expressed nominal regulatory properties (low FoxP3), while β-catenin inhibition enhanced Th17 multifunctionality in vivo. Remarkably, upon TCR restimulation, RORγt and IL-17 rebounded in Th17 cells treated with PI3Kδ and β-catenin inhibitors. Moreover, these cells regained β-catenin, Tcf7, and Akt expression, licensing them to secrete heightened IL-2, persist, and eradicate solid tumors without help from endogenous NK and CD8 T cells. This finding shines a light on ways to repurpose FDA-approved drugs to augment T cell–based cancer immunotherapies.
Kinga Majchrzak, Michelle H. Nelson, Jacob S. Bowers, Stefanie R. Bailey, Megan M. Wyatt, John M. Wrangle, Mark P. Rubinstein, Juan C. Varela, Zihai Li, Richard A. Himes, Sherine S.L. Chan, Chrystal M. Paulos
G protein–coupled receptor 15 (GPR15) was recently highlighted as a colon-homing receptor for murine and human CD4+ T cells. The aim of this study was to explore the functional phenotype of human GPR15+CD4+ T cells, focusing on Tregs and effector T cells (Teffs), and to determine whether GPR15 is the driver for the migration of T cells to the colon during ulcerative colitis (UC). In the peripheral blood, GPR15 was expressed on Tregs and Teffs; both GPR15+ T cell subsets produced less IFN-γ and IL-4 but more IL-17 after stimulation and showed a higher migration activity compared with GPR15–CD4+ T cells. In UC patients, GPR15 expression was increased on Tregs in the peripheral blood but not on Teffs. Interestingly, the expression of GPR15 was significantly enhanced on colonic T cells of UC patients in noninflamed biopsies but not in inflamed biopsies. The differential expression of GPR15 in UC patients was accompanied by a significant reduction of bacterial immunoregulatory metabolites in the feces. In conclusion, GPR15 expression on CD4+ T cells is altered in UC patients, which may have implications for the development of therapeutic approaches to target T cell trafficking to the colon.
Alexandra Adamczyk, Daniel Gageik, Annika Frede, Eva Pastille, Wiebke Hansen, Andreas Rueffer, Jan Buer, Jürgen Büning, Jost Langhorst, Astrid M. Westendorf
Humoral immunity is critical for viral control, but the identity and mechanisms regulating human antiviral B cells are unclear. Here, we characterized human B cells expressing T-bet and analyzed their dynamics during viral infections. T-bet+ B cells demonstrated an activated phenotype, a distinct transcriptional profile, and were enriched for expression of the antiviral immunoglobulin isotypes IgG1 and IgG3. T-bet+ B cells expanded following yellow fever virus and vaccinia virus vaccinations and also during early acute HIV infection. Viremic HIV-infected individuals maintained a large T-bet+ B cell population during chronic infection that was associated with increased serum and cell-associated IgG1 and IgG3 expression. The HIV gp140–specific B cell response was dominated by T-bet–expressing memory B cells, and we observed a concomitant biasing of gp140-specific serum immunoglobulin to the IgG1 isotype. These findings suggest that T-bet induction promotes antiviral immunoglobulin isotype switching and development of a distinct T-bet+ B cell subset that is maintained by viremia and coordinates the HIV Env–specific humoral response.
James J. Knox, Marcus Buggert, Lela Kardava, Kelly E. Seaton, Michael A. Eller, David H. Canaday, Merlin L. Robb, Mario A. Ostrowski, Steven G. Deeks, Mark K. Slifka, Georgia D. Tomaras, Susan Moir, M. Anthony Moody, Michael R. Betts
HIV vaginal transmission accounts for the majority of newly acquired heterosexual infections. However, the mechanism by which HIV spreads from the initial site of viral entry at the mucosal surface of the female genital tract to establish a systemic infection of lymphoid and peripheral tissues is not known. Once the virus exits the mucosa it rapidly spreads to all tissues, leading to CD4+ T cell depletion and the establishment of a viral reservoir that cannot be eliminated with current treatments. Understanding the molecular and cellular requirements for viral dissemination from the genital tract is therefore of great importance, as it could reveal new strategies to lengthen the window of opportunity to target the virus at its entry site in the mucosa where it is the most vulnerable and thus prevent systemic infection. Using HIV vaginal infection of humanized mice as a model of heterosexual transmission, we demonstrate that blocking the ability of leukocytes to respond to chemoattractants prevented HIV from leaving the female genital tract. Furthermore, blocking lymphocyte egress from lymph nodes prevented viremia and infection of the gut. Leukocyte trafficking therefore plays a major role in viral dissemination, and targeting the chemoattractant molecules involved can prevent the establishment of a systemic infection.
Maud Deruaz, Thomas T. Murooka, Sophina Ji, Marc A. Gavin, Vladimir D. Vrbanac, Judy Lieberman, Andrew M. Tager, Thorsten R. Mempel, Andrew D. Luster
Myasthenia gravis (MG) with anti–acetylcholine receptor (AChR) Abs is an autoimmune disease characterized by severe defects in immune regulation and thymic inflammation. Because mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) display immunomodulatory features, we investigated whether and how in vitro–preconditioned human MSCs (cMSCs) could treat MG disease. We developed a new humanized preclinical model by subcutaneously grafting thymic MG fragments into immunodeficient NSG mice (NSG-MG model). Ninety percent of the animals displayed human anti-AChR Abs in the serum, and 50% of the animals displayed MG-like symptoms that correlated with the loss of AChR at the muscle endplates. Interestingly, each mouse experiment recapitulated the MG features of each patient. We next demonstrated that cMSCs markedly improved MG, reducing the level of anti-AChR Abs in the serum and restoring AChR expression at the muscle endplate. Resting MSCs had a smaller effect. Finally, we showed that the underlying mechanisms involved (a) the inhibition of cell proliferation, (b) the inhibition of B cell–related and costimulatory molecules, and (c) the activation of the complement regulator DAF/CD55. In conclusion, this study shows that a preconditioning step promotes the therapeutic effects of MSCs via combined mechanisms, making cMSCs a promising strategy for treating MG and potentially other autoimmune diseases.
Muriel Sudres, Marie Maurer, Marieke Robinet, Jacky Bismuth, Frédérique Truffault, Diane Girard, Nadine Dragin, Mohamed Attia, Elie Fadel, Nicola Santelmo, Camille Sicsic, Talma Brenner, Sonia Berrih-Aknin
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is often associated with exaggerated B cell activation promoting plasma cell generation, immune-complex deposition in the kidney, renal infiltration of myeloid cells, and glomerular nephritis. Type-I IFNs amplify these autoimmune processes and promote severe disease. Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk) inhibitors are considered novel therapies for SLE. We describe the characterization of a highly selective reversible Btk inhibitor, G-744. G-744 is efficacious, and superior to blocking BAFF and Syk, in ameliorating severe lupus nephritis in both spontaneous and IFNα-accelerated lupus in NZB/W_F1 mice in therapeutic regimens. Selective Btk inhibition ablated plasmablast generation, reduced autoantibodies, and — similar to cyclophosphamide — improved renal pathology in IFNα-accelerated lupus. Employing global transcriptional profiling of spleen and kidney coupled with cross-species human modular repertoire analyses, we identify similarities in the inflammatory process between mice and humans, and we demonstrate that G-744 reduced gene expression signatures essential for splenic B cell terminal differentiation, particularly the secretory pathway, as well as renal transcriptional profiles coupled with myeloid cell–mediated pathology and glomerular plus tubulointerstitial disease in human glomerulonephritis patients. These findings reveal the mechanism through which a selective Btk inhibitor blocks murine autoimmune kidney disease, highlighting pathway activity that may translate to human SLE.
Arna Katewa, Yugang Wang, Jason A. Hackney, Tao Huang, Eric Suto, Nandhini Ramamoorthi, Cary D. Austin, Meire Bremer, Jacob Zhi Chen, James J. Crawford, Kevin S. Currie, Peter Blomgren, Jason DeVoss, Julie A. DiPaolo, Jonathan Hau, Adam Johnson, Justin Lesch, Laura E. DeForge, Zhonghua Lin, Marya Liimatta, Joseph W. Lubach, Sami McVay, Zora Modrusan, Allen Nguyen, Chungkee Poon, Jianyong Wang, Lichuan Liu, Wyne P. Lee, Harvey Wong, Wendy B. Young, Michael J. Townsend, Karin Reif
Influenza A virus (IAV) infections lead to severe inflammation in the airways. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) characteristically have exaggerated airway inflammation and are more susceptible to infections with severe symptoms and increased mortality. The mechanisms that control inflammation during IAV infection and the mechanisms of immune dysregulation in COPD are unclear. We found that IAV infections lead to increased inflammatory and antiviral responses in primary bronchial epithelial cells (pBECs) from healthy nonsmoking and smoking subjects. In pBECs from COPD patients, infections resulted in exaggerated inflammatory but deficient antiviral responses. A20 is an important negative regulator of NF-κB–mediated inflammatory but not antiviral responses, and A20 expression was reduced in COPD. IAV infection increased the expression of miR-125a or -b, which directly reduced the expression of A20 and mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS), and caused exaggerated inflammation and impaired antiviral responses. These events were replicated in vivo in a mouse model of experimental COPD. Thus, miR-125a or -b and A20 may be targeted therapeutically to inhibit excessive inflammatory responses and enhance antiviral immunity in IAV infections and in COPD.
Alan C-Y. Hsu, Kamal Dua, Malcolm R. Starkey, Tatt-Jhong Haw, Prema M. Nair, Kristy Nichol, Nathan Zammit, Shane T. Grey, Katherine J. Baines, Paul S. Foster, Philip M. Hansbro, Peter A. Wark
IL-21 has been shown to play an important role in the CD8 T cell response during acute and chronic viral infections. However, the role of IL-21 signaling in the CD4 T cell response to viral infection remains incompletely defined. In a model of infection with vaccinia virus, we show that intrinsic IL-21 signaling on CD4 T cells was critical for the formation of memory CD4 T cells in vivo. We further reveal that IL-21 promoted CD4 T cell survival in a mechanism dependent on activation of the STAT1 and STAT3 signaling pathways. In addition, the activation of Akt is also required for IL-21–dependent survival of CD4 T cells in vivo. These results identify a critical role for intrinsic IL-21 signaling in CD4 T cell survival and memory formation in response to viral infection in vivo and may provide insights into the design of effective vaccine strategies.
Yuqing Yuan, Yiping Yang, Xiaopei Huang
IL-33 is one of the critical cytokines that activates group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) and mediates allergic reactions. Accumulating evidence suggests that IL-33 is also involved in the pathogenesis of several chronic inflammatory diseases. Previously, we generated an IL-5 reporter mouse and revealed that lung IL-5–producing ILC2s played essential roles in regulating eosinophil biology. In this study, we evaluated the consequences of IL-33 administration over a long period, and we observed significant expansion of ILC2s and eosinophils surrounding pulmonary arteries. Unexpectedly, pulmonary arteries showed severe occlusive hypertrophy that was ameliorated in IL-5– or eosinophil-deficient mice, but not in Rag2-deficient mice. This indicates that IL-5–producing ILC2s and eosinophils play pivotal roles in pulmonary arterial hypertrophy. Administration of a clinically used vasodilator was effective in reducing IL-33–induced hypertrophy and repressed the expansion of ILC2s and eosinophils. Taken together, these observations demonstrate a previously unrecognized mechanism in the development of pulmonary arterial hypertrophy and the causative roles of ILC2 in the process.
Masashi Ikutani, Koichi Tsuneyama, Makoto Kawaguchi, Junya Fukuoka, Fujimi Kudo, Susumu Nakae, Makoto Arita, Yoshinori Nagai, Satoshi Takaki, Kiyoshi Takatsu
Living in a mentally and physically stimulating environment has been suggested to have a beneficial effect on the immune response. This study investigates these effects, utilizing a 2-week program of environmental enrichment (EE) and 2 models of acute inflammation: zymosan-induced peritonitis (ZIP) and the cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model of sepsis. Our results revealed that following exposure to EE, mice possessed a significantly higher circulating neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio compared with control animals. When subject to ZIP, EE animals exhibit enhanced neutrophil and macrophage influx into their peritoneal cavity. Corresponding results were found in CLP, where we observed an improved capacity for enriched animals to clear systemic microbial infection. Ex vivo investigation of leukocyte activity also revealed that macrophages from EE mice presented an enhanced phagocytic capacity. Supporting these findings, microarray analysis of EE animals revealed the increased expression of immunomodulatory genes associated with a heightened and immunoprotective status. Taken together, these results provide potentially novel mechanisms by which EE influences the development and dynamics of the immune response.
Samuel Brod, Thomas Gobbetti, Beatrice Gittens, Masahiro Ono, Mauro Perretti, Fulvio D’Acquisto
In each influenza season, a distinct group of young, otherwise healthy individuals with no risk factors succumbs to life-threatening infection. To better understand the cause for this, we analyzed a broad range of immune responses in blood from a unique cohort of patients, comprising previously healthy individuals hospitalized with and without respiratory failure during one influenza season, and infected with one specific influenza A strain. This analysis was compared with similarly hospitalized influenza patients with known risk factors (total of
Suzanne L. Cole, Jake Dunning, Wai Ling Kok, Kambez Hajipouran Benam, Adel Benlahrech, Emmanouela Repapi, Fernando O. Martinez, Lydia Drumright, Timothy J. Powell, Michael Bennett, Ruth Elderfield, Catherine Thomas, MOSAIC investigators, Tao Dong, John McCauley, Foo Y. Liew, Stephen Taylor, Maria Zambon, Wendy Barclay, Vincenzo Cerundolo, Peter J. Openshaw, Andrew J. McMichael, Ling-Pei Ho
Melanie A. Gasper, Anneke C. Hesseling, Isaac Mohar, Landon Myer, Tali Azenkot, Jo-Ann S. Passmore, Willem Hanekom, Mark F. Cotton, I. Nicholas Crispe, Donald L. Sodora, Heather B. Jaspan
Antibody-secreting cells are generated in regional lymphoid tissues and traffic as plasmablasts (PBs) via lymph and blood to target sites for local immunity. We used multiparameter flow cytometry to define PB trafficking programs (TPs, combinations of adhesion molecules and chemoattractant receptors) and their imprinting in patients in response to localized infection or immune insults. TPs enriched after infection or autoimmune inflammation of mucosae correlate with sites of immune response or symptoms, with different TPs imprinted during small intestinal, colon, throat, and upper respiratory immune challenge. PBs induced after intramuscular or intradermal influenza vaccination, including flu-specific antibody–secreting cells, display TPs characterized by the lack of mucosal homing receptors. PBs of healthy donors display diverse mucosa-associated TPs, consistent with homeostatic immune activity. Identification of TP signatures of PBs may facilitate noninvasive monitoring of organ-specific immune responses.
Yekyung Seong, Nicole H. Lazarus, Lusijah Sutherland, Aida Habtezion, Tzvia Abramson, Xiao-Song He, Harry B. Greenberg, Eugene C. Butcher
Immaturity of the immune system of human fetuses and neonates is often invoked to explain their increased susceptibility to infection; however, the development of the fetal innate immune system in early life remains incompletely explored. We now show that the most mature NK cells found in adult (or postnatal) human circulation (CD94–CD16+) are absent during ontogeny. Human fetal NK cells were found to express the 2 signature T-box transcription factors essential for the development of all murine NK and NK-like cells, eomesodermin (Eomes) and T-bet. The single-cell pattern of Eomes and T-bet expression during ontogeny, however, revealed a stereotyped pattern of reciprocal dominance, with immature NK cells expressing higher amounts of Eomes and more mature NK cells marked by greater abundance of T-bet. We also observed a stereotyped pattern of tissue-specific NK cell maturation during human ontogeny, with fetal liver being more restrictive to NK cell maturity than fetal bone barrow, spleen, or lung. These results support the hypothesis that maturation of human NK cells has a discrete restriction until postnatal life, and provide a framework to better understand the increased susceptibility of fetuses and newborns to infection.
Amélie Collins, Nyanza Rothman, Kang Liu, Steven L. Reiner
The potential of costimulation blockade to serve as a novel transplant immunosuppression strategy has been explored for over 20 years, culminating in the recent clinical approval of belatacept for renal transplant patients. Despite improving long-term graft function and survival compared with calcineurin inhibitors, clinical acceptance of belatacept has been hindered by elevated rates of acute rejection. We examined the signaling pathways required to activate costimulation blockade–resistant alloreactive T cells and identified the OX40/OX40L secondary costimulatory pathway as a promising target. We next sought to improve the clinical efficacy of traditional costimulation blockade using belatacept by coupling it with anti-OX40L. Using a murine transplant model, we demonstrate that combined blockade enhances the suppression of alloreactive T cell proliferation and effector functions including both cytokine release and cytotoxic degranulation. We also show that anti-OX40L may be particularly useful in targeting alloreactive memory T cell responses that are relatively unaffected by traditional costimulation blockade regimens. Finally, we translated this therapy to a clinically relevant nonhuman primate renal transplant model, validating the efficacy of this regimen in a potentially novel steroid- and calcineurin inhibitor–free immunosuppression regimen.
William H. Kitchens, Ying Dong, David V. Mathews, Cynthia P. Breeden, Elizabeth Strobert, Maria E. Fuentes, Christian P. Larsen, Mandy L. Ford, Andrew B. Adams
Adoptive immunotherapy for solid tumors relies on infusing large numbers of T cells to mediate successful antitumor responses in patients. While long-term rapid-expansion protocols (REPs) produce sufficient numbers of CD8+ T cells for treatment, they also cause decline in the cell’s therapeutic fitness. In contrast, we discovered that IL-17–producing CD4+ T cells (Th17 cells) do not require REPs to expand 5,000-fold over 3 weeks. Also, unlike Th1 cells, Th17 cells do not exhibit hallmarks of senescence or apoptosis, retaining robust antitumor efficacy in vivo. Three-week-expanded Th17 cells eliminated melanoma as effectively as Th17 cells expanded for 1 week when infused in equal numbers into mice. However, treating mice with large recalcitrant tumors required the infusion of all cells generated after 2 or 3 weeks of expansion, while the cell yield obtained after 1-week expansion was insufficient. Long-term-expanded Th17 cells also protected mice from tumor rechallenge including lung metastasis. Importantly, 2-week-expanded human chimeric antigen receptor–positive (CAR+) Th17 cells also retained their ability to regress human mesothelioma, while CAR+ Th1 cells did not. Our results indicate that tumor-reactive Th17 cells are an effective cell therapy for cancer, remaining uncompromised when expanded for a long duration owing to their resistance to senescence.
Jacob S. Bowers, Michelle H. Nelson, Kinga Majchrzak, Stefanie R. Bailey, Baerbel Rohrer, Andrew D.M. Kaiser, Carl Atkinson, Luca Gattinoni, Chrystal M. Paulos
Retinoic-acid-orphan-receptor-C (RORC) is a master regulator of Th17 cells, which are pathogenic in several autoimmune diseases. Genetic
Christine Guntermann, Alessandro Piaia, Marie-Laure Hamel, Diethilde Theil, Tina Rubic-Schneider, Alberto del Rio-Espinola, Linda Dong, Andreas Billich, Klemens Kaupmann, Janet Dawson, Klemens Hoegenauer, David Orain, Samuel Hintermann, Rowan Stringer, Dhavalkumar D. Patel, Arno Doelemeyer, Mark Deurinck, Jens Schümann
Preterm birth (PTB) is a leading worldwide cause of morbidity and mortality in infants. Maternal inflammation induced by microbial infection is a critical predisposing factor for PTB. However, biological processes associated with competency of pathogens, including viruses, to induce PTB or sensitize for secondary bacterial infection–driven PTB are unknown. We show that pathogen/pathogen-associated molecular pattern–driven activation of type I IFN/IFN receptor (IFNAR) was sufficient to prime for systemic and uterine proinflammatory chemokine and cytokine production and induction of PTB. Similarly, treatment with recombinant type I IFNs recapitulated such effects by exacerbating proinflammatory cytokine production and reducing the dose of secondary inflammatory challenge required for induction of PTB. Inflammatory challenge–driven induction of PTB was eliminated by defects in type I IFN, TLR, or IL-6 responsiveness, whereas the sequence of type I IFN sensing by IFNAR on hematopoietic cells was essential for regulation of proinflammatory cytokine production. Importantly, we also show that type I IFN priming effects are conserved from mice to nonhuman primates and humans, and expression of both type I IFNs and proinflammatory cytokines is upregulated in human PTB. Thus, activation of the type I IFN/IFNAR axis in pregnancy primes for inflammation-driven PTB and provides an actionable biomarker and therapeutic target for mitigating PTB risk.
Monica Cappelletti, Pietro Presicce, Matthew J. Lawson, Vandana Chaturvedi, Traci E. Stankiewicz, Simone Vanoni, Isaac T.W. Harley, Jaclyn W. McAlees, Daniel A. Giles, Maria E. Moreno-Fernandez, Cesar M. Rueda, Paranth Senthamaraikannan, Xiaofei Sun, Rebekah Karns, Kasper Hoebe, Edith M. Janssen, Christopher L. Karp, David A. Hildeman, Simon P. Hogan, Suhas G. Kallapur, Claire A. Chougnet, Sing Sing Way, Senad Divanovic
Despite the rising incidence of autoimmunity, therapeutic options for patients with autoimmune disease still rely on decades-old immunosuppressive strategies that risk severe and potentially fatal complications. Thus, novel therapeutic approaches for autoimmune diseases are greatly needed in order to minimize treatment-related toxicity. Such strategies would ideally target only the autoreactive immune components to preserve beneficial immunity. Here, we review how several decades of basic, translational, and clinical research on the immunology of pemphigus vulgaris (PV), an autoantibody-mediated skin disease, have enabled the development of targeted immunotherapeutic strategies. We discuss research to elucidate the pathophysiology of PV and how the knowledge afforded by these studies has led to the preclinical and clinical testing of targeted approaches to neutralize autoantibodies, to induce antigen-specific tolerance, and to specifically eliminate autoreactive B cells in PV.
Christoph T. Ellebrecht, Aimee S. Payne
The immunologic potency of IgG is modulated by glycosylation, but mechanisms regulating this process are undefined. A role for sex hormones is suggested by differences in IgG glycans between women and men, most prominently with respect to galactose. We therefore assessed IgG galactosylation in 713 healthy adults from 2 cohorts as well as in 159 subjects from 4 randomized controlled studies of endocrine manipulation: postmenopausal women receiving conjugated estrogens, raloxifene, or placebo; premenopausal women deprived of gonadal hormones with leuprolide and treated with estradiol or placebo; men deprived of gonadal hormones with goserelin and given testosterone or placebo; and men deprived of gonadal hormones with goserelin and given testosterone or placebo together with anastrozole to block conversion of testosterone to estradiol. Menopause was associated with an increase in agalactosylated IgG glycans, particularly in the most abundant fucosylated nonbisected (G0F) glycoform. Conjugated estrogens and raloxifene reduced G0F glycans in postmenopausal women, while in premenopausal women leuprolide increased G0F glycans in a manner reversed by estradiol. Among men, goserelin increased G0F glycans, an effect blocked by testosterone through conversion to estradiol. These results establish estrogens as an in vivo modulator of IgG galactosylation in both women and men, defining a pathway by which sex modulates immunity.
Altan Ercan, Wendy M. Kohrt, Jing Cui, Kevin D. Deane, Marija Pezer, Elaine W. Yu, Jonathan S. Hausmann, Harry Campbell, Ursula B. Kaiser, Pauline M. Rudd, Gordan Lauc, James F. Wilson, Joel S. Finkelstein, Peter A. Nigrovic
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