T cell receptor (TCR) affinity is a critical factor of Treg lineage commitment, but whether self-reactivity is a determining factor in peripheral Treg function remains unknown. Here, we report that a high degree of self-reactivity is crucial for tissue-specific Treg function in autoimmunity. Based on high expression of CD5, we identified a subset of self-reactive Tregs expressing elevated levels of T-bet, GITR, CTLA-4, and ICOS, which imparted significant protection from autoimmune diabetes. We observed that T-bet expression in Tregs, necessary for control of Th1 autoimmunity, could be induced in an IFNγ-independent fashion and, unlike in conventional T cells (Tconv), was strongly correlated with the strength of TCR signaling. The level of CD5 similarly identified human Tregs with an increased functional profile, suggesting that CD5hi Tregs may constitute an efficacious subpopulation appropriate for use in adoptive Treg therapies for treatment of inflammatory conditions. Overall, this work establishes an instrumental role of high TCR self-reactivity in driving Treg function.
Maran L. Sprouse, Marissa A. Scavuzzo, Samuel Blum, Ivan Shevchenko, Thomas Lee, George Makedonas, Malgorzata Borowiak, Matthew L. Bettini, Maria Bettini
B cells play an important role in type 1 diabetes (T1D) development. However, the role of B cell activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) in diabetes development is not clear. We hypothesized that AID is important in the immunopathogenesis of T1D. To test this hypothesis, we generated AID-deficient (AID–/–) NOD mice. We found that AID–/–NOD mice developed accelerated T1D, with worse insulitis and high levels of anti-insulin autoantibody in the circulation. Interestingly, neither maternal IgG transferred through placenta, nor IgA transferred through milk affected the accelerated diabetes development. AID–/–NOD mice showed increased activation and proliferation of B and T cells. We found enhanced T-B cell interactions in AID–/–NOD mice, with increased T-bet and IFN-γ expression in CD4+ T cells in the presence of AID–/– B cells. Moreover, excessive lymphoid expansion was observed in AID–/–NOD mice. Importantly, antigen-specific BDC2.5 CD4+ T cells caused more rapid onset of diabetes when cotransferred with AID–/– B cells than when cotransferred with AID+/+ B cells. Thus, our study provides insights into the role of AID in T1D. Our data also suggest that AID is a negative regulator of immune tolerance and ablation of AID can lead to exacerbated islet autoimmunity and accelerated T1D development.
Qiyuan Tan, Ningwen Tai, Yangyang Li, James Pearson, Sean Pennetti, Zhiguang Zhou, F. Susan Wong, Li Wen
Neutrophils contribute to demyelinating autoimmune diseases, yet their phenotype and functions have been elusive to date. Here, we demonstrate that ICAM1 surface expression distinguishes extra- from intravascular neutrophils in the mouse CNS during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Transcriptomic analysis of these 2 subpopulations indicated that neutrophils, once extravasated, acquire macrophage-like properties, including the potential for immunostimulation and MHC class II–mediated antigen presentation. In corroboration, super-resolution (3D stimulated emission-depletion [STED]) microscopy revealed neutrophils forming synapses with T and B cells in situ. Further, neutrophils specifically express the aspartic retroviral-like protease ASPRV1, which increases in the CNS during EAE and severe cases of multiple sclerosis. Without ASPRV1, mice immunized with a new B cell–dependent myelin antigen (but not with the traditional myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide) develop a chronic phase of EAE that is less severe and even completely fades in many individuals. Therefore, ICAM1+ macrophage–like neutrophils can play both shared and nonredundant roles in autoimmune demyelination, among them perpetuating inflammation via ASPRV1.
Ryder F. Whittaker Hawkins, Alexandre Patenaude, Aline Dumas, Rajiv Jain, Yodit Tesfagiorgis, Steven Kerfoot, Takeshi Matsui, Matthias Gunzer, Patrice E. Poubelle, Catherine Larochelle, Martin Pelletier, Luc Vallières
A role of B cells in multiple sclerosis (MS) is well established, but there is limited understanding of their involvement during active disease. Here, we examined cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and peripheral blood (PB) B cells in treatment-naive patients with MS or high-risk clinically isolated syndrome. Using flow cytometry, we found increased CSF lymphocytes with a disproportionate increase of B cells compared with T cells in patients with gadolinium-enhancing (Gd+) lesions on brain MRI. Ig gene heavy chain variable region (Ig-VH) repertoire sequencing of CSF and PB B cells revealed clonal relationships between intrathecal and peripheral B cell populations, which could be consistent with migration of B cells to and activation in the CNS in active MS. In addition, we found evidence for bystander immigration of B cells from the periphery, which could be supported by a CXCL13 gradient between CSF and blood. Understanding what triggers B cells to migrate and home to the CNS may ultimately aid in the rational selection of therapeutic strategies to limit progression in MS.
Erica L. Eggers, Brady A. Michel, Hao Wu, Sheng-zhi Wang, Carolyn J. Bevan, Aya Abounasr, Natalie S. Pierson, Antje Bischof, Max Kazer, Elizabeth Leitner, Ariele L. Greenfield, Stanislas Demuth, Michael R. Wilson, Roland G. Henry, Bruce A.C. Cree, Stephen L. Hauser, H.-Christian von Büdingen
The microbiome affects development and activity of the immune system, and may modulate immune therapies, but there is little direct information about this control in vivo. We studied how the microbiome affects regulation of human immune cells in humanized mice. When humanized mice were treated with a cocktail of 4 antibiotics, there was an increase in the frequency of effector T cells in the gut wall, circulating levels of IFN-γ, and appearance of anti-nuclear antibodies. Teplizumab, a non–FcR-binding anti-CD3ε antibody, no longer delayed xenograft rejection. An increase in CD8+ central memory cells and IL-10, markers of efficacy of teplizumab, were not induced. IL-10 levels were only decreased when the mice were treated with all 4 but not individual antibiotics. Antibiotic treatment affected CD11b+CD11c+ cells, which produced less IL-10 and IL-27, and showed increased expression of CD86 and activation of T cells when cocultured with T cells and teplizumab. Soluble products in the pellets appeared to be responsible for the reduced IL-27 expression in DCs. Similar changes in IL-10 induction were seen when human peripheral blood mononuclear cells were cultured with human stool samples. We conclude that changes in the microbiome may impact the efficacy of immunosuppressive medications by altering immune regulatory pathways.
Elke Gülden, Nalini K. Vudattu, Songyan Deng, Paula Preston-Hurlburt, Mark Mamula, James C. Reed, Sindhu Mohandas, Betsy C. Herold, Richard Torres, Silvio M. Vieira, Bentley Lim, Jose D. Herazo-Maya, Martin Kriegel, Andrew L. Goodman, Chris Cotsapas, Kevan C. Herold
Foxp3+ Tregs possess potent immunosuppressive activity, which is critical for maintaining immune homeostasis and self-tolerance. Defects in Treg development or function result in inadvertent immune activation and autoimmunity. Despite recent advances in Treg biology, we still do not completely understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms governing the development and suppressive function of these cells. Here, we have demonstrated an essential role of the dedicator of cytokinesis 8 (DOCK8), guanine nucleotide exchange factors required for cytoskeleton rearrangement, cell migration, and immune cell survival in controlling Treg fitness and their function. Treg-specific DOCK8 deletion led to spontaneous multiorgan inflammation in mice due to uncontrolled T cell activation and production of proinflammatory cytokines. In addition, we show that DOCK8-deficient Tregs are defective in competitive fitness and in vivo suppressive function. Furthermore, DOCK8 controls IL-2 signaling, crucial for maintenance and competitive fitness of Tregs, via a STAT5-dependent manner. Our study provides potentially novel insights into the essential function of DOCK8 in Tregs and immune regulation, and it explains the autoimmune manifestations associated with DOCK8 deficiency.
Akhilesh K. Singh, Ahmet Eken, David Hagin, Khushbu Komal, Gauri Bhise, Azima Shaji, Tanvi Arkatkar, Shaun W. Jackson, Estelle Bettelli, Troy R. Torgerson, Mohamed Oukka
Patients deficient in the guanine nucleotide exchange factor DOCK8 have decreased numbers and impaired in vitro function of Tregs and make autoantibodies, but they seldom develop autoimmunity. We show that, similarly, Dock8–/– mice have decreased numbers and impaired in vitro function of Tregs but do not develop autoimmunity. In contrast, mice with selective DOCK8 deficiency in Tregs develop lymphoproliferation, autoantibodies, and gastrointestinal inflammation, despite a normal percentage and in vitro function of Tregs, suggesting that deficient T effector cell function might protect DOCK8-deficient patients from autoimmunity. We demonstrate that DOCK8 associates with STAT5 and is important for IL-2–driven STAT5 phosphorylation in Tregs. DOCK8 localizes within the lamellar actin ring of the Treg immune synapse (IS). Dock8–/– Tregs have abnormal TCR-driven actin dynamics, decreased adhesiveness, an altered gene expression profile, an unstable IS with decreased recruitment of signaling molecules, and impaired transendocytosis of the costimulatory molecule CD86. These data suggest that DOCK8 enforces immunological tolerance by promoting IL-2 signaling, TCR-driven actin dynamics, and the IS in Tregs.
Erin Janssen, Sudha Kumari, Mira Tohme, Sumana Ullas, Victor Barrera, Jeroen M.J. Tas, Marcela Castillo-Rama, Roderick T. Bronson, Shariq M. Usmani, Darrell J. Irvine, Thorsten R. Mempel, Raif S. Geha
Subsets of mature B cell neoplasms are linked to infection with intracellular pathogens such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), or Helicobacter pylori. However, the association between infection and the immunoglobulin-secreting (Ig-secreting) B proliferative disorders remains largely unresolved. We investigated whether the monoclonal IgG (mc IgG) produced by patients diagnosed with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) or multiple myeloma (MM) targets infectious pathogens. Antigen specificity of purified mc IgG from a large patient cohort (n = 244) was determined using a multiplex infectious-antigen array (MIAA), which screens for reactivity to purified antigens or lysates from 9 pathogens. Purified mc IgG from 23.4% of patients (57 of 244) specifically recognized 1 pathogen in the MIAA. EBV was the most frequent target (15.6%), with 36 of 38 mc IgGs recognizing EBV nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA-1). MM patients with EBNA-1–specific mc IgG (14.0%) showed substantially greater bone marrow plasma cell infiltration and higher β2-microglobulin and inflammation/infection–linked cytokine levels compared with other smoldering myeloma/MM patients. Five other pathogens were the targets of mc IgG: herpes virus simplex-1 (2.9%), varicella zoster virus (1.6%), cytomegalovirus (0.8%), hepatitis C virus (1.2%), and H. pylori (1.2%). We conclude that a dysregulated immune response to infection may underlie disease onset and/or progression of MGUS and MM for subsets of patients.
Adrien Bosseboeuf, Delphine Feron, Anne Tallet, Cédric Rossi, Cathy Charlier, Laurent Garderet, Denis Caillot, Philippe Moreau, Marina Cardó-Vila, Renata Pasqualini, Wadih Arap, Alfreda Destea Nelson, Bridget S. Wilson, Hélène Perreault, Eric Piver, Pierre Weigel, François Girodon, Jean Harb, Edith Bigot-Corbel, Sylvie Hermouet
Antiphospholipid antibodies, present in one-third of lupus patients, increase the risk of thrombosis. We recently reported a key role for neutrophils — neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), in particular — in the thrombotic events that define antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). To further elucidate the role of neutrophils in APS, we performed a comprehensive transcriptome analysis of neutrophils isolated from patients with primary APS. Moreover, APS-associated venous thrombosis was modeled by treating mice with IgG prepared from APS patients, followed by partial restriction of blood flow through the inferior vena cava. In patients, APS neutrophils demonstrated a proinflammatory signature with overexpression of genes relevant to IFN signaling, cellular defense, and intercellular adhesion. For in vivo studies, we focused on P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1), a key adhesion molecule overexpressed in APS neutrophils. The introduction of APS IgG (as compared with control IgG) markedly potentiated thrombosis in WT mice, but not PSGL-1–KOs. PSGL-1 deficiency was also associated with reduced leukocyte vessel wall adhesion and NET formation. The thrombosis phenotype was restored in PSGL-1–deficient mice by infusion of WT neutrophils, while an anti–PSGL-1 monoclonal antibody inhibited APS IgG–mediated thrombosis in WT mice. PSGL-1 represents a potential therapeutic target in APS.
Jason S. Knight, He Meng, Patrick Coit, Srilakshmi Yalavarthi, Gautam Sule, Alex A. Gandhi, Robert C. Grenn, Levi F. Mazza, Ramadan A. Ali, Paul Renauer, Jonathan D. Wren, Paula L. Bockenstedt, Hui Wang, Daniel T. Eitzman, Amr H. Sawalha
The factors that promote the differentiation of pathogenic T cells in autoimmune diseases are poorly defined. Use of genetically modified mice has provided insight into molecules necessary for the development of autoimmunity, but the sum of the data has led to contradictory observations based on what is currently known about specific molecules in specific signaling pathways. To define the minimum signals required for development of encephalitogenic T cells that cause CNS autoimmunity, myelin-specific T cells were differentiated with various cytokine cocktails, and pathogenicity was determined by transfer into mice. IL-6+IL-23 or IL-12+IL-23 generated encephalitogenic T cells and recapitulated the essential cytokine signals provided by antigen-presenting cells, and both IL-6 and IL-12 induced IL-23 receptor expression on both mouse and human naive T cells. IL-23 signaled through both STAT3 and STAT4, and disruption in STAT4 signaling impaired CNS autoimmunity independent of IL-12. These data explain why IL-12–deficient mice develop CNS autoimmunity, while STAT4-deficient mice are resistant. CD4+ memory T cells from multiple sclerosis patients had significantly higher levels of p-STAT3/p-STAT4, and p-STAT3/p-STAT4 heterodimers were observed upon IL-23 signaling, suggesting that p-STAT3/p-STAT4 induced by IL-23 signaling orchestrate the generation of pathogenic T cells in CNS autoimmunity, regardless of Th1 or Th17 phenotype.
Priscilla W. Lee, Alan J. Smith, Yuhong Yang, Amanda J. Selhorst, Yue Liu, Michael K. Racke, Amy E. Lovett-Racke
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