Recent guidelines recommend antiretroviral therapy (ART) to be administered as early as possible during HIV-1 infection. Few studies addressed the immunological benefit of commencing ART during the acute phase of infection. We used mass cytometry to characterize blood CD4+ T cells from HIV-1–infected patients who initiated ART during acute or chronic phase of infection. Using this method, we analyzed a large number of markers on millions of individual immune cells. The results revealed that CD4+ T cell clusters with high expression of CD27, CD28, CD127, and CD44, whose function involves T cell migration to inflamed tissues and survival, are more abundant in healthy controls and patients initiating ART during the acute phase; on the contrary, CD4+ T cell clusters in patients initiating ART during the chronic phase had reduced expression of these markers. The results are suggestive of a better preserved immune function in HIV-1–infected patients initiating ART during acute infection.
Yonas Bekele, Tadepally Lakshmikanth, Yang Chen, Jaromir Mikes, Aikaterini Nasi, Stefan Petkov, Bo Hejdeman, Petter Brodin, Francesca Chiodi
High macrophage infiltration in cancer is associated with reduced survival in animal models and in patients. This reflects a shift in the macrophage response from a tumor-suppressive to tumor-supportive program governed by transcriptional events regulated by the inflammatory milieu. Although several transcription factors are known to drive a prometastatic program, those that govern an antimetastatic program are less understood. IFN regulatory factor-8 (IRF8) is integral for macrophage responses against infections. Using a genetic loss-of-function approach, we tested the hypothesis that IRF8 expression in macrophages governs their capacity to inhibit metastasis. We found that: (a) metastasis was significantly increased in mice with IRF8-deficient macrophages; (b) IRF8-deficient macrophages displayed a program enriched for genes associated with metastasis; and (c) lower IRF8 expression correlated with reduced survival in human breast and lung cancer, as well as melanoma, with high or low macrophage infiltration. Thus, a macrophagehiIRF8hi signature was more favorable than a macrophagehiIRF8lo signature. The same held true for a macrophageloIRF8hi vs. a macrophageloIRF8lo signature. These data suggest that incorporating IRF8 expression levels within a broader macrophage signature or profile strengthens prognostic merit. Overall, to our knowledge, our findings reveal a previously unrecognized role for IRF8 in macrophage biology to control metastasis or predict outcome.
Danielle Y.F. Twum, Sean H. Colligan, Nicholas C. Hoffend, Eriko Katsuta, Eduardo Cortes Gomez, Mary Lynn Hensen, Mukund Seshadri, Michael J. Nemeth, Scott I. Abrams
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
Macrophages are well-recognized for their dual roles in orchestrating inflammatory responses and regulating tissue repair. In almost all acutely inflamed tissues, two main subclasses of macrophages co-exist. These include embryonically-derived resident tissue macrophages and bone marrow-derived recruited macrophages. While it is clear that macrophage subsets categorized in this fashion display distinct transcriptional and functional profiles, whether all cells within these categories and in the same inflammatory microenvironment share similar functions or whether further specialization exists has not been determined. To investigate inflammatory macrophage heterogeneity on a more granular level, we induced acute lung inflammation in mice and performed single cell RNA sequencing of macrophages isolated from the airspaces during health, peak inflammation, and resolution of inflammation. In doing so, we confirm that cell origin is the major determinant of AM programing and describe two previously uncharacterized, transcriptionally distinct subdivisions of AMs based on proliferative capacity and inflammatory programing.
Kara J. Mould, Nathan D. Jackson, Peter M. Henson, Max A. Seibold, William J. Janssen
The dysregulated, unbalanced immune response of sepsis results in a mortality exceeding 20%, yet recent findings by our group indicate that patients with allergic, type 2-mediated immune diseases are protected from developing sepsis. We evaluated CD4+ T helper (Th) cell polarization among patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia and confirmed that survivors had a higher percentage of circulating Th2 cells, but lower frequencies of Th17 cells and neutrophils early in the course of infection. To establish the mechanism of this protection, we employed a mouse model of lethal S. aureus bacteremia and found that intratracheal pretreatment with the type 2-initiating cytokine IL-33 activated pulmonary type 2 innate lymphocytes (ILC2s) and promoted eosinophilia. In addition, stimulation of type 2 immunity prior to lethal infection suppressed the pulmonary neutrophilic response to S. aureus. Mice lacking functional ILC2s did not respond to IL-33 and were not protected from lethal bacteremia, but treatment of these mice with the type 2 cytokines IL-5 and IL-13 rescued them from death. Depletion of eosinophils abrogated IL-33-mediated protection, indicating that eosinophilia is also necessary for the survival benefit. Thus, we have identified a novel mechanism by which type 2 immunity can balance dysregulated septic inflammatory responses, thereby clarifying the protective benefit of type 2 immune diseases on sepsis mortality.
Paulette A. Krishack, Tyler J. Louviere, Trevor S. Decker, Timothy G. Kuzel, Jared A. Greenberg, Daniel F. Camacho, Cara L. Hrusch, Anne I. Sperling, Philip A. Verhoef
miR-155 has recently emerged as an important promoter of antitumor immunity through its functions in T lymphocytes. However, the impact of T cell expressed miR-155 on immune cell dynamics in solid tumors remains unclear. In the present study, we used single-cell RNA-sequencing to define the CD45+ immune cell populations at different timepoints within B16F10 murine melanoma tumors growing in either wild-type or miR-155 T cell conditional knockout (TCKO) mice. miR-155 was required for optimal T cell activation and reinforced the T cell response at the expense of infiltrating myeloid cells. Further, myeloid cells from tumors growing in TCKO mice were defined by an increase in wound healing genes and a decreased IFN-γ response gene signature. Finally, we found that miR-155 expression predicted a favorable outcome in human melanoma patients and was associated with a strong immune signature. Moreover, gene expression analysis of the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data revealed that miR-155 expression also correlates with an immune-enriched subtype in 29 other human solid tumors. Together, our study provides an unprecedented analysis of the cell types and gene expression signatures of immune cells within experimental melanoma tumors and elucidates the role of miR-155 in coordinating antitumor immune responses in mammalian tumors.
H. Atakan Ekiz, Thomas B. Huffaker, Allie H. Grossmann, W. Zac Stephens, Matthew A. Williams, June L. Round, Ryan M. O'Connell
The tumor microenvironment presents physical, immunologic, and metabolic barriers to durable immunotherapy responses. We have recently described roles for both T cell metabolic insufficiency as well as tumor hypoxia as inhibitory mechanisms which prevent T cell activity in murine tumors, but whether intratumoral T cell activity or response to immunotherapy vary between patients as a function of distinct metabolic profiles in tumor cells remains unclear. Here we show that metabolic derangement can vary widely in both degree and type in patient-derived cell lines and in ex vivo analysis of patient samples, such that some cells demonstrate solely deregulated oxidative or glycolytic metabolism. Further, deregulated oxidative, but not glycolytic, metabolism was associated with increased generation of hypoxia upon implantation into immunodeficient animals. Generation of murine single cell melanoma cell lines that lacked either oxidative or glycolytic metabolism showed that elevated tumor oxygen consumption was associated with increased T cell exhaustion and decreased immune activity. Further, melanoma lines lacking oxidative metabolism were solely responsive to anti-PD1 therapy among those tested. Prospective analysis of patient samples immunotherapy revealed that oxidative, but not glycolytic, metabolism was associated with progression on PD-1 blockade. Our data highlight a role for oxygen as a crucial metabolite required for the tumor-infiltrating T cells to differentiate appropriately upon PD-1 blockade, and suggesting tumor oxidative metabolism may be a target to improve immunotherapeutic response.
Yana G. Najjar, Ashley V. Menk, Cindy Sander, Uma Rao, Arivarasan Karunamurthy, Roma Bhatia, Shuyan Zhai, John M. Kirkwood, Greg M. Delgoffe
Soluble STimulation-2 (ST2) is increased during graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) while regulatory T cells (Tregs) that express ST2 prevent GVHD through unknown mechanisms. Transplantation of Foxp3- T cells and Tregs sorted from different Foxp3 reporter mice indicated that ST2+Tregs isolated from GVHD mice were thymus-derived and predominantly intestine localized. ST2-/- Tregs transplantation was associated with reduced total intestinal Tregs frequency and activation. ST2-/- vs wild-type intestinal Tregs transcriptomes showed decreased Treg functional markers and reciprocally, increased Rorc expression. Rorc-/- T cells transplantation enhanced the frequency and function of intestinal ST2+Tregs and reduced GVHD through decreased gut-infiltrating soluble ST2-producing type-1 and increased IL-4+IL-10+ producing type-2 T cells. Cotransfer of ST2+Tregs sorted from Rorc-/- mice with WT CD25-depleted T cells decreased GVHD severity and mortality, increased intestinal ST2+KLRG1+ Tregs and decreased type-1 T cells after transplantation, indicating an intrinsic mechanism. Ex vivo IL-33 stimulated Tregs (TregIL-33) expressed higher amphiregulin, displayed better immunosuppression, and adoptive transfer prevented GVHD better than control Tregs or TregIL-33 cultured with IL-23/IL-17. Amphiregulin blockade by neutralizing antibody in vivo abolished the protective effect of TregIL-33. Our data show an inversely expression of ST2 and RORγt in intestinal Tregs, and TregIL-33 is a potential cellular therapy avenue for preventing GVHD.
Jinfeng Yang, Abdulraouf Ramadan, Dawn K. Reichenbach, Michael Loschi, Jilu Zhang, Brad Griesenauer, Hong Liu, Keli L. Hippen, Bruce R. Blazar, Sophie Paczesny
Macrophage activation, i.e., the classical M1 and the alternative M2, plays a critical role in many pathophysiological processes, such as inflammation and tissue injury and repair. Although the regulation of macrophage activation has been under extensive investigations, there is little knowledge about the role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the event. In this study, we found that lncRNA Malat1 expression is distinctly regulated in differentially activated macrophages in that it is upregulated in LPS-, whereas downregulated in IL-4-treated cells. Malat1 knockdown attenuates LPS induced M1 macrophage activation. In contrast, Malat1 knockdown enhanced IL-4 activated M2 differentiation as well as macrophage pro-fibrotic phenotype. Mechanistically, Malat1 knockdown led to decreased expression of Clec16a, of which silencing phenocopied the regulatory effect of Malat1 on M1 activation. Interestingly, Malat1 knockdown promoted IL-4 induction of mitochondrial pyruvate carriers (MPCs) and their mediation of glucose derived oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos), which was crucial to the Malat1 regulation of M2 differentiation and pro-fibrotic phenotype. Furthermore, mice with either global or conditional myeloid knockout of Malat1 demonstrated diminished LPS induced systemic and pulmonary inflammation and injury. Conversely, these mice developed more severe bleomycin induced lung fibrosis, accompanied by alveolar macrophages displaying augmented M2 and pro-fibrotic phenotype. In summary, we have identified a previously unrecognized role of Malat1 in regulation of macrophage polarization. Our data demonstrate that Malat1 is involved in pulmonary pathogeneses in association with aberrant macrophage activation.
Huachun Cui, Sami Banerjee, Sijia Guo, Na Xie, Jing Ge, Dingyuan Jiang, Martin Zörnig, Victor J. Thannickal, Gang Liu
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
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