Clinical responses to infection or vaccination and the development of effective immunity are characterized in humans by a marked interindividual variability. To gain an insight into the factors affecting this variability, we used a controlled human infection system to study early immune events following primary infection of healthy human volunteers with blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum malaria. By day 4 of infection, a dichotomous pattern of high or low expression of a defined set of microRNAs (miRs) emerged in volunteers that correlated with variation in parasite growth rate. Moreover, high-miR responders had higher numbers of activated CD4+ T cells, and developed significantly enhanced antimalarial antibody responses. Notably, a set of 17 miRs was identified in the whole blood of low-miR responders prior to infection that differentiated them from high-miR responders. These data implicate preexisting host factors as major determinants in the ability to effectively respond to primary malaria infection.
Julie G. Burel, Simon H. Apte, Penny L. Groves, Michelle J. Boyle, Christine Langer, James G. Beeson, James S. McCarthy, Denise L. Doolan
Cellular and humoral constituents of the immune system differ significantly between children and adults, yet very little is known about the impact of early-life pathogen exposure on this immunologic transition. We examined CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets defined by CCR7 and CD45RA expression in two longitudinal pediatric cohorts experiencing divergent levels of pathogen burden. Using multiparameter flow cytometry, along with serological, cytokine, and transcriptomic data, we show that cumulative pathogen burden promotes the development of atypical CD8dim T cells with an innate-like profile (Granzyme Bhi, IFNγlow, TNFαlow, PLFZhi, ID2hi, IKZF2hi) in contrast to age-matched children residing in a low pathogen–exposure area who display a more conventional CD8bright profile (IFNγ+, TNFα+, CCL4+). Furthermore, these unconventional T cells had stunted proliferation, distinct transcriptional programs, and impaired T cell receptor signaling and were enriched in hallmark TNFα, NF-κB, and IL-6 gene signaling pathways, reminiscent of NK cells and type-1 innate lymphoid cells. Our findings suggest that these unconventional CD8dim T cells arise in a very particular immunological context and may provide a deeper understanding of the heterogeneity in human immune responses.
Yves T. Falanga, Michela Frascoli, Yasin Kaymaz, Catherine Forconi, John Michael Ong’echa, Jeffrey A. Bailey, Leslie J. Berg, Ann M. Moormann
Evaluation of T lymphocyte frequency provides prognostic information for patients with oral squamous cell cancer (OSCC). However, the effect of simultaneously evaluating T cell frequency and assessing suppressive elements and defects in antigen-processing machinery (APM) has not been clarified. Simultaneous characterization of CD3+, CD8+, FoxP3+, CD163+, and PD-L1+ cells using multispectral imaging was performed on sections from 119 patients with HPV– OSCC. Expression of β2-microglobulin, MHC class I heavy chain, and large multifunctional peptidase 10 was quantified, and all data were correlated with patient outcome. We found that, consistent with previous reports, high numbers of CD8+ T cells at the invasive margin correlated significantly with prolonged overall survival (OS), while the number of FoxP3+ or PD-L1+ cells did not. Compiling the number of FoxP3+ or PD-L1+ cells within 30 μm of CD8+ T cells identified a significant association with a high number of suppressive elements close to CD8+ T cells and reduced OS. Integrating this information into a cumulative suppression index (CSI) increased correlation with OS. Incorporating tumor expression levels of APM components with CSI further improved prognostic power. This multiparametric immune profiling may be useful for stratifying patients with OSCC for clinical trials.
Zipei Feng, Daniel Bethmann, Matthias Kappler, Carmen Ballesteros-Merino, Alexander Eckert, R. Bryan Bell, Allen Cheng, Tuan Bui, Rom Leidner, Walter J. Urba, Kent Johnson, Clifford Hoyt, Carlo B. Bifulco, Juergen Bukur, Claudia Wickenhauser, Barbara Seliger, Bernard A. Fox
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) induces pathological damage in peripheral target organs leading to well-characterized, organ-specific clinical manifestations. Patients with GVHD, however, can also have behavioral alterations that affect overall cognitive function, but the extent to which GVHD alters inflammatory and biochemical pathways in the brain remain poorly understood. In the current study, we employed complementary murine GVHD models to demonstrate that alloreactive donor T cells accumulate in the brain and affect a proinflammatory cytokine milieu that is associated with specific behavioral abnormalities. Host IL-6 was identified as a pivotal cytokine mediator, as was host indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO-1), which was upregulated in GVHD in an IL-6–dependent manner in microglial cells and was accompanied by dysregulated tryptophan metabolism in the dorsal raphe nucleus and prefrontal cortex. Blockade of the IL-6 signaling pathway significantly reduced donor T cell accumulation, inflammatory cytokine gene expression, and host microglial cell expansion, but did not reverse GVHD-induced tryptophan metabolite dysregulation. Thus, these results indicate that inhibition of IL-6 signaling attenuates neuroinflammation, but does not reverse all of the metabolic abnormalities in the brain during GVHD, which may also have implications for the treatment of neurotoxicity occurring after other T cell–based immune therapies with IL-6–directed approaches.
Ludovic Belle, Vivian Zhou, Kara L. Stuhr, Margaret Beatka, Emily M. Siebers, Jennifer M. Knight, Michael W. Lawlor, Casey Weaver, Misato Hashizume, Cecilia J. Hillard, William R. Drobyski
The role of negative regulators or suppressors of the damage-associated molecular pattern–mediated (DAMP-mediated) stimulation of innate immune responses is being increasingly appreciated. However, the presence and function of suppressors of DAMP-mediated effects on T cells, and whether they can be targeted to mitigate T cell–dependent immunopathology remain unknown. Sialic acid–binding immunoglobulin-like lectin G (Siglec-G) is a negative regulator of DAMP-mediated responses in innate immune cells, but its T cell–autonomous role is unknown. Utilizing loss-of-function–based (genetic knockout) and gain-of-function–based (agonist) approaches, we demonstrate that in the presence of certain DAMPs, Siglec-G suppressed in vitro and in vivo T cell responses. We also demonstrate that its T cell–autonomous role is critical for modulating the severity of the T cell–mediated immunopathology, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Enhancing the Siglec-G signaling in donor T cells with its agonist, a CD24Fc fusion protein, ameliorated GVHD while preserving sufficient graft-versus-tumor (GVT) effects in vivo. Collectively, these data demonstrate that Siglec-G is a potentially novel negative regulator of T cell responses, which can be targeted to mitigate GVHD.
Tomomi Toubai, Corinne Rossi, Katherine Oravecz-Wilson, Cynthia Zajac, Chen Liu, Thomas Braun, Hideaki Fujiwara, Julia Wu, Yaping Sun, Stuart Brabbs, Hiroya Tamaki, John Magenau, Pang Zheng, Yang Liu, Pavan Reddy
Despite influencing many aspects of T cell biology, the kinetics of T cell receptor (TCR) binding to peptide-major histocompatibility molecules (pMHC) remain infrequently determined in patient monitoring or for adoptive T cell therapy. Using specifically designed reversible fluorescent pMHC multimeric complexes, we performed a comprehensive study of TCR-pMHC off-rates combined with various functional assays on large libraries of self/tumor– and virus-specific CD8+ T cell clones from melanoma patients and healthy donors. We demonstrate that monomeric TCR-pMHC dissociation rates accurately predict the extent of cytotoxicity, cytokine production, polyfunctionality, cell proliferation, activating/inhibitory receptor expression, and in vivo antitumor potency of naturally occurring antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. Our data also confirm the superior binding avidities of virus-specific T cells as compared with self/tumor–specific T cell clonotypes (n > 300). Importantly, the TCR-pMHC off-rate is a more stable and robust biomarker of CD8+ T cell potency than the frequently used functional assays/metrics that depend on the T cell’s activation state, and therefore show major intra- and interexperimental variability. Taken together, our data show that the monomeric TCR-pMHC off-rate is highly useful for the ex vivo high-throughput functional assessment of antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses and a strong candidate as a biomarker of T cell therapeutic efficacy.
Mathilde Allard, Barbara Couturaud, Laura Carretero-Iglesia, Minh Ngoc Duong, Julien Schmidt, Gwennaëlle C. Monnot, Pedro Romero, Daniel E. Speiser, Michael Hebeisen, Nathalie Rufer
Dengue virus (DENV) is the most prevalent mosquito-borne virus causing human disease. Of the 4 DENV serotypes, epidemiological data suggest that DENV-2 secondary infections are associated with more severe disease than DENV-4 infections. Mass cytometry by time-of-flight (CyTOF) was used to dissect immune changes induced by DENV-2 and DENV-4 in human DCs, the initial targets of primary infections that likely affect infection outcomes. Strikingly, DENV-4 replication peaked earlier and promoted stronger innate immune responses, with increased expression of DC activation and migration markers and increased cytokine production, compared with DENV-2. In addition, infected DCs produced higher levels of inflammatory cytokines compared with bystander DCs, which mainly produced IFN-induced cytokines. These high-dimensional analyses during DENV-2 and DENV-4 infections revealed distinct viral signatures marked by different replication strategies and antiviral innate immune induction in DCs, which may result in different viral fitness, transmission, and pathogenesis.
Rebecca E. Hamlin, Adeeb Rahman, Theodore R. Pak, Kevin Maringer, Ignacio Mena, Dabeiba Bernal-Rubio, Uma Potla, Ana M. Maestre, Anthony C. Fredericks, El-ad D. Amir, Andrew Kasarskis, Irene Ramos, Miriam Merad, Ana Fernandez-Sesma
We previously showed that Th1/type 1 inflammation marked by increased IFN-γ levels in the airways can be appreciated in 50% of patients with severe asthma, despite high dose corticosteroid (CS) treatment. We hypothesized that a downstream target of IFN-γ, CXCL10, which recruits Th1 cells via the cognate receptor CXCR3, is an important contributor to Th1high asthma and CS unresponsiveness. We show high levels of CXCL10 mRNA closely associated with IFNG levels in the BAL cells of 50% of severe asthmatics and also in the airways of mice subjected to a severe asthma model, both in the context of high-dose CS treatment. The inability of CS to dampen IFNG or CXCL10 expression was not because of impaired nuclear translocation of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) or its transactivational functions. Rather, in the presence of CS and IFN-γ, STAT1 and GR were recruited on critical regulatory elements in the endogenous CXCL10 promoter in monocytes, albeit without any abatement of CXCL10 gene expression. High CXCL10 gene expression was also associated with a mast cell signature in both humans and mice, CXCR3 being also expressed by mast cells. These findings suggest that the IFN-γ–CXCL10 axis plays a central role in persistent type 1 inflammation that may be facilitated by CS therapy through GR-STAT1 cooperation converging on the CXCL10 promoter.
Marc Gauthier, Krishnendu Chakraborty, Timothy B. Oriss, Mahesh Raundhal, Sudipta Das, Jie Chen, Rachael Huff, Ayan Sinha, Merritt Fajt, Prabir Ray, Sally E. Wenzel, Anuradha Ray
Today, it is known that autoimmune diseases start a long time before clinical symptoms appear. Anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs) appear many years before the clinical onset of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, it is still unclear if and how ACPAs are arthritogenic. To better understand the molecular basis of pathogenicity of ACPAs, we investigated autoantibodies reactive against the C1 epitope of collagen type II (CII) and its citrullinated variants. We found that these antibodies are commonly occurring in RA. A mAb (ACC1) against citrullinated C1 was found to cross-react with several noncitrullinated epitopes on native CII, causing proteoglycan depletion of cartilage and severe arthritis in mice. Structural studies by X-ray crystallography showed that such recognition is governed by a shared structural motif “RG-TG” within all the epitopes, including electrostatic potential-controlled citrulline specificity. Overall, we have demonstrated a molecular mechanism that explains how ACPAs trigger arthritis.
Changrong Ge, Dongmei Tong, Bibo Liang, Erik Lönnblom, Nadine Schneider, Cecilia Hagert, Johan Viljanen, Burcu Ayoglu, Roma Stawikowska, Peter Nilsson, Gregg B. Fields, Thomas Skogh, Alf Kastbom, Jan Kihlberg, Harald Burkhardt, Doreen Dobritzsch, Rikard Holmdahl
In recent years, the extent of our vulnerability to misinterpretation due to poorly characterized reagents has become an issue of great concern. Antibody reagents have been identified as a major source of error, contributing to the “reproducibility crisis.” In the current report, we define an additional dimension of the crisis; in particular, we define variation of the targets being analyzed. We report that natural variation in the immunoglobulin “constant” region alters the reactivity with commonly used subtype-specific anti-IgG reagents, resulting in cross-reactivity of polyclonal regents with inappropriate targets and blind spots of monoclonal reagents for desired targets. This raises the practical concern that numerous studies characterizing IgG subtypes in human disease may contain errors due to such previously unappreciated defects. These studies also focus attention on the broader concern that genetic variation may affect the performance of any laboratory or research test that uses antibodies for detection.
Heather L. Howie, Meghan Delaney, Xiaohong Wang, Lay See Er, Linda Kapp, Jenna N. Lebedev, James C. Zimring
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