Lysosomal acid lipase (LAL) is a key enzyme in the metabolic pathway of neutral lipids. In the blood of LAL deficient (lal-/-) mice, increased CD11c+ cells were accompanied by up-regulated PD-L1 expression. Single cell RNA sequencing of lal-/- CD11c+ cells identified two distinctive clusters with a major metabolic shift towards glucose utilization and reactive oxygen species (ROS) over-production. Pharmacologically blocking pyruvate dehydrogenase in glycolysis not only reduced CD11c+ cells and their PD-L1 expression, but also reversed their capabilities of T cell suppression and tumor growth stimulation. Colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) plays an essential role in controlling lal-/- CD11c+ cell homeostasis and function and PD-L1 expression. Inhibition of LAL activity by pharmacological inhibitor increased CD11c, PD-L1 and CSF1R levels in both normal murine myeloid cells and human blood cells. Tumor-bearing mice and human non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients also showed CD11c+ cell expansion with PD-L1 and CSF1R up-regulation and immunosuppression. There were positive correlations among CD11c, PD-L1 and CSF1R expression and negative correlations with LAL expression in lung cancer and melanoma patients using the TCGA database and patient samples. Therefore, CD11c+ cells switched their functions to immune suppression and tumor growth stimulation through CSF1R/PD-L1 upregulation and metabolic reprogramming.
Ting Zhao, Sheng Liu, Xinchun Ding, Erica M. Johnson, Nasser H. Hanna, Kanhaiya Singh, Chandan K. Sen, Jun Wan, Hong Du, Cong Yan
Pneumocystis is the most common fungal pulmonary infection in children under 5. In children with primary immunodeficiency, Pneumocystis often presents at 3-6 months that coincides with the nadir of maternal IgG and where IgM is the dominant immunoglobulin isotype. Since B cells are the dominant antigen-presenting cells for Pneumocystis, we hypothesized the presence of fungal specific IgMs in human and mice and that these IgM specificities would predict T cell antigens. We detected fungal specific IgMs in human and mouse serum and utilized immunoprecipitation to determine if any antigens were similar across donors. We then assessed T cell responses to these antigens. We found anti-Pneumocystis IgM in wild-type mice as well as Aicda-/- mice and in human cord blood. Immunoprecipitation of Pneumocystis murina with human cord blood identified shared antigens among these donors. Using class II MHC binding prediction, we designed peptides with these antigens and identified robust peptide specific lung T cell responses after P. murina infection. After mice were immunized with two of the antigens, adoptive transfer of vaccine elicited CD4+ T cells showed effector activity suggesting that these antigens contain protective Pneumocystis epitopes. These data support the notion that germline encoded IgM B-cell receptors are critical in antigen presentation and T cell priming in early Pneumocystis infection.
Kristin Noell, Guixiang Dai, Dora Pungan, Anna Ebacher, Janet E. McCombs, Samuel J. Landry, Jay K. Kolls
Regulatory CD4+Foxp3+ T cells (Treg) restrain inflammation and immunity. However, the mechanisms underlying Treg suppressor function in inflamed non-lymphoid tissues remain largely unexplored. Here, we restricted immune responses to non-lymphoid tissues and used intravital microscopy to visualize Treg suppression of rejection by effector T cells (Teff) within inflamed allogeneic islet transplants. Despite their elevated motility, Treg preferentially contact antigen-presenting cells (APCs) over Teff. Interestingly, Treg specifically target APCs that are extensively and simultaneously contacted by Teff. In turn, Treg decrease MHC-II expression on APCs and hinder Teff function. Lastly, we demonstrate that Treg suppressor function within inflamed allografts requires ecto-nucleotidase CD73 activity, which generates the anti-inflammatory adenosine. Consequently, CD73-/- Treg exhibit reduced contacts with APCs within inflamed allografts compared to wt Treg, but not in spleen. Overall, our findings demonstrate that Treg suppress immunity within inflamed grafts through CD73 activity and suggest that Treg-APC direct contacts are central to this process.
Hehua Dai, Andressa Pena, Lynne Bauer, Amanda Williams, Simon c. Watkins, Geoffrey Camirand
Accumulation of activated natural killer (NK) cells in tissues during Ebola virus infection contributes to Ebola virus disease (EVD) pathogenesis. Yet, immunization with Ebola virus-like particles (VLPs) comprising glycoprotein (GP) and matrix protein VP40 provides rapid, NK cell-mediated protection against Ebola challenge. We used Ebola VLPs as the viral surrogates to elucidate the molecular mechanism by which Ebola virus triggers heightened NK cell activity. Incubation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with Ebola VLPs or VP40 protein led to increased expression of IFN-γ, TNF-α, granzyme B, and perforin by CD3-CD56+ NK cells, along with concomitant increase in degranulation and cytotoxic activity of these cells. Optimal activation required accessory cells like CD14+ myeloid and CD14- cells and triggered increased secretion of numerous inflammatory cytokines. VP40-induced IFN-γ and TNF-α secretion by NK cells was dependent on IL-12 and IL-18 and suppressed by IL-10. In contrast, their increased degranulation was dependent on IL-12 with little influence of IL-18 or IL-10. These results demonstrate that Ebola VP40 stimulates NK cell functions in an IL-12 and IL-18 dependent manner that involves CD14+ and CD14- accessory cells. These novel findings may help in designing improved intervention strategies required to control viral transmission during Ebola outbreaks.
Hung Le, Paul Spearman, Stephen N. Waggoner, Karnail Singh
Although published studies have demonstrated that interferon epsilon (IFNε) has a crucial role in regulating protective immunity in the mouse female reproductive tract (mFRT), expression and regulation of IFNε in the human female reproductive tract (hFRT) have not been characterised. To characterise human IFNε, we obtained hFRT samples from a well- characterized cohort of women, enabling us to comprehensively assess ex vivo IFNε expression in the hFRT at various stages of the menstrual cycle. We found that among the various types of IFNs, IFNε is uniquely selectively and constitutively expressed in the hFRT epithelium. It has distinct expression patterns in the surface and glandular epithelia of the upper hFRT compared with basal layers of the stratified squamous epithelia of the lower hFRT. There is cyclical variation of IFNε expression in the endometrial epithelium of the upper hFRT and not in the distal FRT, consistent with selective endometrial expression of the progesterone receptor and regulation of the IFNE promoter by progesterone. Since we show IFNε stimulates important protective IFN-regulated genes (IRGs) in FRT epithelium, this characterisation is a key element in understanding the mechanisms of hormonal control of mucosal immunity.
Nollaig M. Bourke, Sharon L. Achilles, Stephanie U-Shane Huang, Helen E. Cumming, San S. Lim, Irene Papageorgiou, Linden J. Gearing, Ross Chapman, Suruchi Thakore, Niamh E. Mangan, Sam Mesiano, Paul J. Hertzog
Recent clinical trials show promising results for the next-generation Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor evobrutinib in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). BTK has a central role in signaling pathways that govern the development of B cells. Whether and how BTK activity shapes B cells as key drivers of MS is currently unclear. In contrast to BTK protein, we found higher levels of phospho-BTK in ex vivo blood memory B cells of relapsing and secondary progressive MS patients versus controls. In these MS groups, BTK activity was induced to a lesser extent after anti-IgM stimulation. BTK positively correlated with CXCR3 expression, both of which were increased in blood B cells of clinical responders to natalizumab (anti-VLA-4 antibody) treatment. Under in vitro TFH-like conditions, BTK phosphorylation was enhanced by T-bet-inducing stimuli IFN-γ and CpG-ODN, whilst the expression of T-bet and T-bet-associated molecules CXCR3, CD21 and CD11c were affected by evobrutinib. Furthermore, evobrutinib interfered with in vitro class switching as well as memory recall responses, and disturbed CXCL10-mediated migration of CXCR3+ switched B cells through human brain endothelial monolayers. These findings demonstrate a functional link between BTK activity and disease-relevant B cells and offer valuable insights into how next-generation BTK inhibitors could modulate the clinical course in MS patients.
Liza Rijvers, Jamie van Langelaar, Laurens Bogers, Marie-José Melief, Steven C. Koetzier, Katelijn M. Blok, Annet F. Wierenga-Wolf, Helga E. De Vries, Jasper Rip, Odilia B.J. Corneth, Rudi W. Hendriks, Roland Grenningloh, Ursula Boschert, Joost Smolders, Marvin M. van Luijn
Immunosuppressed patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) generate lower amounts of SARS-CoV-2 spike antibodies after mRNA vaccination than healthy controls. We assessed SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 receptor binding domain–specific (S1-RBD–specific) B lymphocytes to identify the underlying cellular defects. Patients with IBD produced fewer anti–S1-RBD antibody–secreting B cells than controls after the first mRNA vaccination and lower amounts of total and neutralizing antibodies after the second. S1-RBD–specific memory B cells were generated to the same degree in IBD and control groups and were numerically stable for 5 months. However, the memory B cells in patients with IBD had a lower S1-RBD–binding capacity than those in controls, which is indicative of a defect in antibody affinity maturation. Administration of a third shot to patients with IBD elevated serum antibodies and generated memory B cells with a normal antigen-binding capacity. These results show that patients with IBD have defects in the formation of antibody-secreting B cells and affinity-matured memory B cells that are corrected by a third vaccination.
Kathryn A. Pape, Thamotharampillai Dileepan, William E. Matchett, Charles Ellwood, Samuel Stresemann, Amanda J. Kabage, Daria Kozysa, Clayton Evert, Michael Matson, Sharon Lopez, Peter D. Krueger, Carolyn T. Graiziger, Byron P. Vaughn, Eugenia Shmidt, Joshua Rhein, Timothy W. Schacker, Tyler D. Bold, Ryan A. Langlois, Alexander Khoruts, Marc K. Jenkins
Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by dysregulated host response to an infection. The metabolic aberrations associated with sepsis underly an acute and organism-wide hyperinflammatory response and multiple organ dysfunction; however, crosstalk between systemic metabolomic alterations and metabolic reprogramming at organ levels remains unknown. We analyzed substrate utilization by the respiratory exchange ratio, energy expenditure, metabolomic screening, and transcriptional profiling in a cecal ligation and puncture model to show that sepsis increases circulating free fatty acids and acylcarnitines but decreases levels of amino acids and carbohydrates, leading to a drastic shift in systemic fuel preference. Comparative analysis of previously published metabolomics from septic liver indicated a positive correlation with hepatic and plasma metabolites during sepsis. In particular, glycine deficiency was a common abnormality of the plasma and liver during sepsis. Interrogation of the hepatic transcriptome in septic mice suggested that the septic liver may contribute to systemic glycine deficiency by downregulating genes involved in glycine synthesis. Interestingly, intraperitoneal injection of the pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) inhibitor dichloroacetate reversed sepsis-induced anorexia, energy imbalance, inflammation, dyslipidemia, hypoglycemia, and glycine deficiency. Collectively, our data indicated that PDK inhibition rescued systemic energy imbalance and metabolic dysfunction in sepsis partly through restoration of hepatic fuel metabolism.
Tae Seok Oh, Manal Zabalawi, Shalini Jain, David Long, Peter W. Stacpoole, Charles E. McCall, Matthew A. Quinn
Natural killer (NK) cell exhaustion is caused by chronic exposure to activating stimuli during viral infection, tumorigenesis, and prolonged cytokine treatment. Evidence suggests that exhaustion may play a role in disease progression, however relative to T cell exhaustion, the mechanisms underlying NK cell exhaustion and methods of reversing it are poorly understood. Here, we describe a novel in vitro model of exhaustion that employs plate-bound agonists of the NK cell activating receptors NKp46 and NKG2D to induce canonical exhaustion phenotypes. In this model, prolonged activation results in downregulation of activating receptors, upregulation of checkpoint markers, decreased cytokine production and cytotoxicity in vitro, defects in glycolytic metabolism, and decreased persistence, function, and tumor control in vivo. Furthermore, we discover a beneficial effect of NK cell inhibitory receptor signaling during exhaustion. By simultaneously engaging the inhibitory receptor NKG2A during activation in our model, cytokine production and cytotoxicity defects can be mitigated, suggesting that balancing positive and negative signals integrated by effector NK cells can be beneficial for anti-tumor immunity. Together, these data uncover some of the mechanisms underlying NK cell exhaustion in humans and establish our novel in vitro model as a valuable tool for studying the processes regulating exhaustion.
Jacob A. Myers, Dawn Schirm, Laura Bendzick, Rachel Hopps, Carly Selleck, Peter Hinderlie, Martin Felices, Jeffrey S. Miller
Acute kidney injury increases morbidity and mortality and previous studies have shown that remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) reduces the risk of acute kidney injury after cardiac surgery. RIPC increases urinary HMGB1 (high mobility group box protein-1) levels in patients which correlates with kidney protection. Here, we show that RIPC reduces renal ischemia-reperfusion injury and improves kidney function in mice. Mechanistically, RIPC increases HMGB1 levels in the plasma and urine and HMGB1 binds to Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) on renal tubular epithelial cells, inducing transcriptomic modulation of renal tubular epithelial cells and providing renal protection, whereas TLR4 activation on non-renal cells was shown to contribute to renal injury. This protection is mediated by activation of induction of AMPK⍺ and NF-kB, which induces the upregulation of Sema5b that triggers a transient, protective G1 cell-cycle arrest. In cardiac surgery patients at high risk for postoperative acute kidney injury, increased HMGB1 and Sema5b levels after RIPC were associated with renal protection after surgery. The results may help to develop future clinical treatment options for acute kidney injury.
Jan Rossaint, Melanie Meersch, Katharina Thomas, Sina Mersmann, Martin Lehmann, Jennifer Skupski, Tobias Tekath, Peter Rosenberger, John A. Kellum, Hermann Pavenstädt, Alexander Zarbock
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