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
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