Psoriasis (PS) is a systemic, immune-mediated inflammatory disorder. However, the whole lymphocyte compartment and the potential pathologies of PS have not been fully characterized. In the present study, we examined whole lymphocyte subsets and signal transduction proteins using high-dimensional single-cell mass cytometry and a bioinformatics pipeline for an in-depth characterization of the immune cell subsets and protein profiles involved in pathways in the peripheral blood of patients with PS. We identified 15 major immune cell populations in T cell lineages, and characterized various CD3+CD4+T helper and CD3+CD8+T cytotoxic cell populations simultaneously across 24 leukocyte markers and 7 proteins related to the signal transduction pathways. High-dimensional analysis identified three new subsets that are abundant in PS peripheral blood, resembling CD3-CD4+ lymphoid tissue inducer cells, Tc17, and CD8+CXCR3+ Tregs. We confirmed the CD3-CD4+ cells, and their features and functions, in an independent PS cohort. The use of single-cell mass cytometry allows systemic-level characterization of lymphocyte subpopulations and dysregulated signaling pathways in the blood of patients with PS, identifying abnormalities of different immune cell subsets. We validated that the CD3-CD4+ cells had elevated OX40 and decreased FRA2 expression, which were positively associated with the psoriasis area and severity index.
Ruru Guo, Ting Zhang, Xinyu Meng, Zhen Lin, Jinran Lin, Yu Gong, Xuesong Liu, Yuetian Yu, Guilin Zhao, Xianting Ding, Xiaoxiang Chen, Liangjing Lu
Th1 Tregs are characterized by the acquisition of proinflammatory cytokine secretion and reduced suppressor activity. Th1 Tregs are found at increased frequency in autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS). We have previously reported that in vitro stimulation with IL-12 recapitulates the functional and molecular features of MS-associated Th1 Tregs, revealing a central role for hyperactivation of the Akt pathway in their induction. TIGIT is a newly identified coinhibitory receptor that marks Tregs that specifically control Th1 and Th17 responses. Here, we report that signaling through TIGIT counteracts the action of IL-12 in inducing the Th1 program. Specifically, TIGIT signaling represses production of IFN-γ and T-bet expression and restores suppressor function in Tregs treated with IL-12. FoxO1 functional inhibition abolishes the protective effect of TIGIT, indicating that TIGIT signaling promotes FoxO1 nuclear localization. Consistent with this observation, signaling through TIGIT leads to a rapid suppression of Akt function and FoxO1 phosphorylation. Finally, TIGIT stimulation reduces the production of IFN-γ and corrects the suppressor defect of Tregs from patients with MS. Our results indicate an important role for TIGIT in controlling the functional stability of Tregs through repression of Akt, suggesting that the TIGIT pathway could be targeted for immunomodulatory therapies in human autoimmune disorders.
Liliana E. Lucca, Pierre-Paul Axisa, Emily R. Singer, Neal M. Nolan, Margarita Dominguez-Villar, David A. Hafler
It has been reported that 2.5%–30% of human peripheral CD27– B cells are autoreactive and anergic based on unresponsiveness to antigen receptor (BCR) stimulation and autoreactivity of cloned and expressed BCR. The molecular mechanisms that maintain this unresponsiveness are unknown. Here, we showed that in humans anergy is maintained by elevated expression of PTEN, a phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5P-3-phosphatase. Upregulation of PTEN was associated with reduced expression of microRNAs that control its expression. Pharmacologic inhibition of PTEN lead to significant restoration of responsiveness. Consistent with a role in conferring risk of autoimmunity, B cells from type 1 diabetics and autoimmune thyroid disease patients expressed reduced PTEN. Unexpectedly, in healthy individuals PTEN expression was elevated in on average 40% of CD27– B cells, with levels gradually decreasing as IgM levels increase. Our findings suggest that a much higher proportion of the peripheral repertoire is autoreactive than previously thought and that B cells upregulate PTEN in a manner that is proportional to the recognition of autoantigens of increasing avidity, thus tuning BCR signaling to prevent development of autoimmunity while providing a reservoir of cells that can be readily activated to respond when needed.
Mia J. Smith, B. Rhodes Ford, Marynette Rihanek, Brianne M. Coleman, Andrew Getahun, Virginia D. Sarapura, Peter A. Gottlieb, John C. Cambier
Here, we report a pathogenic role for type I IFN (IFN-I) signaling in macrophages, and not β cells in the islets, for the development of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Following lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) infection in the Rip-LCMV-GP T1D model, macrophages accumulated near islets and in close contact to islet-infiltrating GP-specific (autoimmune) CD8+ T cells. Depletion of macrophages with clodronate liposomes or genetic ablation of Ifnar in macrophages aborted T1D, despite proliferation of GP-specific (autoimmune) CD8+ T cells. Histopathologically, disrupted IFNα/β receptor (IFNAR) signaling in macrophages resulted in restriction of CD8+ T cells entering into the islets with significant lymphoid accumulation around the islet. Collectively, these results provide evidence that macrophages via IFN-I signaling, while not entering the islets, are directly involved in interacting, directing, or restricting trafficking of autoreactive-specific T cells into the islets as an important component in causing T1D.
Brett S. Marro, Sarah Legrain, Brian C. Ware, Michael B.A. Oldstone
The antiinflammatory effects of i.v. Ig (IVIG) in the treatment of autoimmune disease are due, in part, to the Fc fragments of Ig aggregates. In order to capitalize on the known antiinflammatory and tolerogenic properties of Ig Fc aggregates, we created a recombinant human IgG1 Fc multimer, GL-2045. In vitro, GL-2045 demonstrated high-avidity binding to Fc receptors, blocked the binding of circulating immune complexes from patients with rheumatoid arthritis to human Fcγ receptors (FcγRs), and inhibited antibody-mediated phagocytosis at log order–lower concentrations than IVIG. In vivo, administration of GL-2045 conferred partial protection against antibody-mediated platelet loss in a murine immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) model. GL-2045 also suppressed disease activity in a therapeutic model of murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), which was associated with reduced circulating levels of IL-6. Furthermore, GL-2045 administration to nonhuman primates (NHPs) transiently increased systemic levels of the antiinflammatory cytokines IL-10 and IL-1RA, reduced the proinflammatory cytokine IL-8, and decreased surface expression of CD14 and HLA-DR on monocytes. These findings demonstrate the immunomodulatory properties of GL-2045 and suggest that it has potential as a treatment for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, as a recombinant alternative to IVIG.
Xiaoyu Zhang, Jane Owens, Henrik S. Olsen, Edward So, Erin Burch, Mark C. McCroskey, Xianfeng Li, Gregory L. Weber, Donald Bennett, Denis Rybin, Hua Zhou, Haiping Hao, Emmanuel Y. Mérigeon, David S. Block, Gregory LaRosa, Scott E. Strome
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a highly variable autoimmune disease that can involve severe organ-threatening symptoms, such as lupus nephritis. Certain drugs, such as mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), are effective at reducing morbidity associated with nephritis; however, the immune pathways associated with disease suppression are poorly defined. Here, we provide evidence that MMF inhibits phosphorylation of STAT3 and other associated immune pathways. Using mass cytometry and bead-based or ELISA assays, the systemic phenotype of SLE patients not taking (MMF–) or taking (MMF+) MMF were studied. MMF+ SLE patients had significant reductions in total numbers of transitional B cells, plasmablasts, and T cells, specifically CD4+ Th17-type and CD4+ Treg-type cells, compared with MMF– patients. Plasma soluble mediators were decreased in MMF+ patients including chemokines (MIG/CXCL9 and SDF-1α/CXCL12) and growth factors (VEGF-A and PDGF-BB). Soluble mediators and cell subsets grouped by functional properties revealed significant modifications associated with STAT3 and B cell pathways. Further, healthy PBMCs treated with IL-6 revealed a reduction in p-STAT3 following the addition of mycophenolic acid (the active metabolite of MMF). In conclusion, the inhibition of STAT3 phosphorylation by MMF may explain the effectiveness of this treatment in SLE patients, since increased levels of p-STAT3 are associated with disease pathology.
Samantha Slight-Webb, Joel M. Guthridge, Eliza F. Chakravarty, Hua Chen, Rufei Lu, Susan Macwana, Krista Bean, Holden T. Maecker, Paul J. Utz, Judith A. James
To address challenges in the diagnosis of cognitive dysfunction (CD) related to systemic lupus erythematosus–associated (SLE-associated) autoimmune mechanisms rather than confounding factors, we employed an integrated approach, using resting-state functional (FDG-PET) and structural (diffusion tensor imaging [DTI]) neuroimaging techniques and cognitive testing, in adult SLE patients with quiescent disease and no history of neuropsychiatric illness. We identified resting hypermetabolism in the sensorimotor cortex, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe of SLE subjects, in addition to validation of previously published resting hypermetabolism in the hippocampus, orbitofrontal cortex, and putamen/GP/thalamus. Regional hypermetabolism demonstrated abnormal interregional metabolic correlations, associated with impaired cognitive performance, and was stable over 15 months. DTI analyses demonstrated 4 clusters of decreased microstructural integrity in white matter tracts adjacent to hypermetabolic regions and significantly diminished connecting tracts in SLE subjects. Decreased microstructural integrity in the parahippocampal gyrus correlated with impaired spatial memory and increased serum titers of DNRAb, a neurotoxic autoantibody associated with neuropsychiatric lupus. These findings of regional hypermetabolism, associated with decreased microstructural integrity and poor cognitive performance and not associated with disease duration, disease activity, medications, or comorbid disease, suggest that this is a reproducible, stable marker for SLE-associated CD that may be may be used for early disease detection and to discriminate between groups, evaluate response to treatment strategies, or assess disease progression.
Meggan Mackay, An Vo, Chris C. Tang, Michael Small, Erik W. Anderson, Elisabeth J. Ploran, Justin Storbeck, Brittany Bascetta, Simran Kang, Cynthia Aranow, Carl Sartori, Philip Watson, Bruce T. Volpe, Betty Diamond, David Eidelberg
The 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78) is an ER molecular chaperone that aids in protein folding and secretion. However, pathological conditions that cause ER stress can promote the relocalization of GRP78 to the cell surface (csGRP78), where it acts as a signaling receptor to promote cancer progression. csGRP78 also possesses antigenic properties, leading to the production of anti-GRP78 autoantibodies, which contribute to tumor growth. In contrast, the presence and role of anti-GRP78 autoantibodies in atherosclerosis is unknown. Here, we show that atherosclerotic-prone ApoE–/– mice develop circulating anti-GRP78 autoantibodies that bind to csGRP78 on lesion-resident endothelial cells. Moreover, GRP78-immunized ApoE–/– mice exhibit a marked increase in circulating anti-GRP78 autoantibody titers that correlated with accelerated lesion growth. Mechanistically, engagement of anti-GRP78 autoantibodies with csGRP78 on human endothelial cells activated NF-κB, thereby inducing the expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, a process blocked by NF-κB inhibitors. Disrupting the autoantibody/csGRP78 complex with enoxaparin, a low-molecular-weight heparin, reduced the expression of adhesion molecules and attenuated lesion growth. In conclusion, anti-GRP78 autoantibodies play a crucial role in atherosclerosis development, and disruption of the interaction between anti-GRP78 autoantibodies and csGRP78 represents a therapeutic strategy.
Elizabeth D. Crane, Ali A. Al-Hashimi, Jack Chen, Edward G. Lynn, Kevin Doyoon Won, Šárka Lhoták, Magda Naeim, Khrystyna Platko, Paul Lebeau, Jae Hyun Byun, Bobby Shayegan, Joan C. Krepinsky, Katey J. Rayner, Serena Marchiò, Renata Pasqualini, Wadih Arap, Richard C. Austin
Tregs are impaired in human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and contribute to effector T cell activation. However, the mechanisms responsible for the Treg deficiency in SLE remain unclear. We hypothesized that the OX40L/OX40 axis is implicated in Treg and regulatory follicular helper T (Tfr) cell dysfunction in human SLE. OX40L/OX40 axis engagement on Tregs and Tfr cells not only specifically impaired their ability to regulate effector T cell proliferation, but also their ability to suppress T follicular helper (Tfh) cell–dependent B cell activation and immunoglobulin secretion. Antigen-presenting cells from patients with active SLE mediated Treg dysfunction in an OX40L-dependent manner, and OX40L-expressing cells colocalized with Foxp3+ cells in active SLE skin lesions. Engagement of the OX40L/OX40 axis resulted in Foxp3 downregulation in Tregs, and expression in SLE Tregs correlated with the proportion of circulating OX40L-expressing myeloid DCs. These data support that OX40L/OX40 signals are implicated in Treg dysfunction in human SLE. Thus, blocking the OX40L/OX40 axis appears to be a promising therapeutic strategy.
Clément Jacquemin, Jean-François Augusto, Marc Scherlinger, Noémie Gensous, Edouard Forcade, Isabelle Douchet, Emeline Levionnois, Christophe Richez, Estibaliz Lazaro, Pierre Duffau, Marie-Elise Truchetet, Julien Seneschal, Lionel Couzi, Jean-Luc Pellegrin, Jean-François Viallard, Thierry Schaeverbeke, Virginia Pascual, Cécile Contin-Bordes, Patrick Blanco
CD141+ DC are implicated in antiviral and antitumor immunity. However, mechanistic studies in autoimmune disease are limited. This is the first study to our knowledge examining CD141+ DC in autoimmune disease, specifically inflammatory arthritis (IA). We identified significant enrichment of CD141+ DC in the inflamed synovial joint, which were transcriptionally distinct from IA and healthy control (HC) blood CD141+ DC and significantly more activated, and they exhibited increased responsiveness to TLR3. Synovial CD141+ DC represent a bone fide CD141+ DC population that is distinct from CD1c+ DC. Synovial CD141+ DC induced higher levels of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell activation compared with their peripheral blood counterparts, as made evident by expression of IFN-γ, TNF-α, and granulocyte-macrophage CSF (GMCSF). Autologous synovial CD141+ DC cocultures also induce higher levels of these cytokines, further highlighting their contribution to synovial inflammation. Synovial CD141+ DC–T cell interactions had the ability to further activate synovial fibroblasts, inducing adhesive and invasive pathogenic mechanisms. Furthermore, we identify a mechanism in which synovial CD141+ DC are activated, via ligation of the hypoxia-inducible immune-amplification receptor TREM-1, which increased synovial CD141+ DC activation, migratory capacity, and proinflammatory cytokines. Thus, synovial CD141+ DC display unique mechanistic and transcriptomic signatures, which are distinguishable from blood CD141+ DC and can contribute to synovial joint inflammation.
Mary Canavan, Alice M. Walsh, Vipul Bhargava, Sarah M. Wade, Trudy McGarry, Viviana Marzaioli, Barry Moran, Monika Biniecka, Hannah Convery, Siobhan Wade, Carl Orr, Ronan Mullan, Jean M. Fletcher, Sunil Nagpal, Douglas J. Veale, Ursula Fearon
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