Recent years have witnessed the groundbreaking success of immune checkpoint blockage (ICB) in metastasized malignant melanoma. However, biomarkers predicting the response to ICB are still urgently needed. In the present study, we investigated CTLA4 promoter methylation (mCTLA4) in 470 malignant melanoma patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas (non-ICB cohort) and in 50 individuals with metastasized malignant melanomas under PD-1/CTLA-4–targeted immunotherapy (ICB cohort). mCTLA4 levels were quantified using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip (non-ICB cohort) and methylation-specific quantitative real-time PCR in DNA formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissues (ICB cohort). Methylation levels were associated with molecular and clinicopathological variables and analyzed with respect to response (irRECIST) and overall survival. CTLA-4 mRNA and mCTLA4 showed a significant inverse correlation (non-ICB cohort: Spearman’s ρ = –0.416, P < 0.001). In ICB-treated melanoma patients, low mCTLA4 was further strongly correlated with response to therapy (P = 0.009, ANOVA) and overall survival (hazard ratio = 2.06 [95% CI: 1.29–3.29], P = 0.003). Our data strongly support the assumption that mCTLA4 predicts response to both anti–PD-1 and anti–CTLA-4 targeted ICB in melanoma and provides paramount information for the selection of patients likely to respond to ICB.
Diane Goltz, Heidrun Gevensleben, Timo J. Vogt, Joern Dietrich, Carsten Golletz, Friedrich Bootz, Glen Kristiansen, Jennifer Landsberg, Dimo Dietrich
T cells engineered to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) against B cell antigens are being investigated as cellular immunotherapies. Similar approaches designed to target T cell malignancies have been hampered by the critical issue of T-on-T cytotoxicity, whereby fratricide or self-destruction of healthy T cells prohibits cell product manufacture. To date, there have been no reports of T cells engineered to target the definitive T cell marker, CD3 (3CAR). Recent improvements in gene editing now provide access to efficient disruption of such molecules on T cells, and this has provided a route to generation of 3CAR, CD3-specific CAR T cells. T cells were transduced with a lentiviral vector incorporating an anti-CD3ε CAR derived from OKT3, either before or after TALEN-mediated disruption of the endogenous TCRαβ/CD3 complex. Only transduction after disrupting assembly of TCRαβ/CD3 yielded viable 3CAR T cells, and these cultures were found to undergo self-enrichment for 3CAR+TCR–CD3– T cells without any further processing. Specific cytotoxicity against CD3ε was demonstrated against primary T cells and against childhood T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). 3CAR T cells mediated potent antileukemic effects in a human/murine chimeric model, supporting the application of cellular immunotherapy strategies against T cell malignancies. 3CAR provides a bridging strategy to achieve T cell eradication and leukemic remission ahead of conditioned allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Jane Rasaiyaah, Christos Georgiadis, Roland Preece, Ulrike Mock, Waseem Qasim
The gut-liver axis is of clinical importance as a potential therapeutic target in a wide range of liver diseases; however, the mechanisms underlying interactions between microbial products and immune responses in the liver remain unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that IL-10–producing macrophages contribute to immune tolerance in the inflamed liver under intestinal barrier disruption in a murine tandem model of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) colitis and concanavalin A (Con A) hepatitis. Intestinal barrier disruption protected mice from subsequent liver injury, and the severity of colitis directly affected susceptibility to such injury. The protective effect of DSS–Con A was canceled in gut-sterilized mice, suggesting that gut microbiota play a substantial role in this process. Altered gut microbiota and their metabolites, along with a disrupted intestinal barrier, directly gave rise to immunological permissiveness in the inflamed liver. We identified 1-methylnicotinamide (1-MNA) as a candidate metabolite capable of suppressing liver injury with the potential to induce IL-10–producing macrophages. Consistently, expression of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase, which converts nicotinamide to 1-MNA, was upregulated in the liver of DSS–Con A mice, and this effect was abrogated by gut sterilization. Collectively, our results provide a mechanistic insight into the regulation of immunological balance in the liver via the gut-liver axis.
Nobuhito Taniki, Nobuhiro Nakamoto, Po-Sung Chu, Yohei Mikami, Takeru Amiya, Toshiaki Teratani, Takahiro Suzuki, Tomoya Tsukimi, Shinji Fukuda, Akihiro Yamaguchi, Shunsuke Shiba, Rei Miyake, Tadashi Katayama, Hirotoshi Ebinuma, Takanori Kanai
Data from clinical trials for hemophilia B using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors have demonstrated decreased transgenic coagulation factor IX (hFIX) expression 6–10 weeks after administration of a high vector dose. While it is likely that capsid-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes eliminate vector-transduced hepatocytes, thereby resulting in decreased hFIX, this observation is not intuitively consistent with restored hFIX levels following prednisone application. Although the innate immune response is immediately activated following AAV vector infection via TLR pathways, no studies exist regarding the role of the innate immune response at later time points after AAV vector transduction. Herein, activation of the innate immune response in cell lines, primary human hepatocytes, and hepatocytes in a human chimeric mouse model was observed at later time points following AAV vector transduction. Mechanistic analysis demonstrated that the double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) sensor MDA5 was necessary for innate immune response activation and that transient knockdown of MDA5, or MAVS, decreased IFN-β expression while increasing transgene production in AAV-transduced cells. These results both highlight the role of the dsRNA-triggered innate immune response in therapeutic transgene expression at later time points following AAV transduction and facilitate the execution of effective strategies to block the dsRNA innate immune response in future clinical trials.
Wenwei Shao, Lauriel F. Earley, Zheng Chai, Xiaojing Chen, Junjiang Sun, Ting He, Meng Deng, Matthew L. Hirsch, Jenny Ting, R. Jude Samulski, Chengwen Li
Despite the discovery of key pattern recognition receptors and CD4+ T cell subsets in laboratory mice, there is ongoing discussion of the value of murine models to reflect human disease. Pneumocystis is an AIDS-defining illness, in which risk of infection is inversely correlated with peripheral CD4+ T cell counts. Due to medical advances in the control of HIV, the current epidemiology of Pneumocystis infection is predominantly due to primary human immunodeficiencies and immunosuppressive therapies. To this end, we found that every human genetic immunodeficiency associated with Pneumocystis infection that has been tested in mice recapitulated susceptibility. For example, humans with a loss-of-function IL21R mutation are severely immunocompromised. We found that IL-21R, in addition to CD4+ T cell intrinsic STAT3 signaling, were required for generating protective antifungal class-switched antibody responses, as well as effector T cell–mediated protection. Furthermore, CD4+ T cell intrinsic IL-21R/STAT3 signaling was required for CD4+ T cell effector responses, including IL-22 production. Recombinant IL-22 administration to Il21r–/– mice induced the expression of a fungicidal peptide, cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, which showed in vitro fungicidal activity. In conclusion, SPF laboratory mice faithfully replicate many aspects of human primary immunodeficiency and provide useful tools to understand the generation and nature of effector CD4+ T cell immunity.
Waleed Elsegeiny, Mingquan Zheng, Taylor Eddens, Richard L. Gallo, Guixiang Dai, Giraldina Trevejo-Nunez, Patricia Castillo, Kara Kracinovsky, Hillary Cleveland, William Horne, Jonathan Franks, Derek Pociask, Mark Pilarski, John F. Alcorn, Kong Chen, Jay K. Kolls
The nasal mucosa is an important component of mucosal immunity. Immunogenic particles in inspired air are known to activate the local nasal mucosal immune system and can lead to sinonasal inflammation; however, little is known about the effect of this activation on the lung immune environment. Here, we showed that nasal inoculation of murine coronavirus (CoV) in the absence of direct lung infection primes the lung immune environment by recruiting activated monocytes (Ly6C+ inflammatory monocytes) and NK cells into the lungs. Unlike infiltration of these cells into directly infected lungs, a process that requires type I IFN signaling, nasally induced infiltration of Ly6C+ inflammatory monocytes into the lungs is IFN-I independent. These activated macrophages ingested antigen and migrated to pulmonary lymph nodes, and enhanced both innate and adaptive immunity after heterologous virus infection. Clinically, such nasal-only inoculation of MHV-1 failed to cause pneumonia but significantly reduced mortality and morbidity of lethal pneumonia caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV (SARS-CoV) or influenza A virus. Together, the data indicate that the nose and upper airway remotely prime the lung immunity to protect the lungs from direct viral infections.
Xiaoyang Hua, Rahul Vijay, Rudragouda Channappanvar, Jeremiah Athmer, David K. Meyerholz, Nitin Pagedar, Stephen Tilley, Stanley Perlman
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by CNS inflammation leading to demyelination and axonal damage. IFN-β is an established treatment for MS; however, up to 30% of IFN-β–treated MS patients develop neutralizing antidrug antibodies (nADA), leading to reduced drug bioactivity and efficacy. Mechanisms driving antidrug immunogenicity remain uncertain, and reliable biomarkers to predict immunogenicity development are lacking. Using high-throughput flow cytometry, NOTCH2 expression on CD14+ monocytes and increased frequency of proinflammatory monocyte subsets were identified as baseline predictors of nADA development in MS patients treated with IFN-β. The association of this monocyte profile with nADA development was validated in 2 independent cross-sectional MS patient cohorts and a prospective cohort followed before and after IFN-β administration. Reduced monocyte NOTCH2 expression in nADA+ MS patients was associated with NOTCH2 activation measured by increased expression of Notch-responsive genes, polarization of monocytes toward a nonclassical phenotype, and increased proinflammatory IL-6 production. NOTCH2 activation was T cell dependent and was only triggered in the presence of serum from nADA+ patients. Thus, nADA development was driven by a proinflammatory environment that triggered activation of the NOTCH2 signaling pathway prior to first IFN-β administration.
Marsilio Adriani, Petra Nytrova, Cyprien Mbogning, Signe Hässler, Karel Medek, Poul Erik H. Jensen, Paul Creeke, Clemens Warnke, Kathleen Ingenhoven, Bernhard Hemmer, Claudia Sievers, Raija L.P. Lindberg Gasser, Nicolas Fissolo, Florian Deisenhammer, Zsolt Bocskei, Vincent Mikol, Anna Fogdell-Hahn, Eva Kubala Havrdova, Philippe Broët, Pierre Dönnes, Claudia Mauri, Elizabeth C. Jury, The ABIRISK Consortium
Lupus nephritis is a major cause of morbidity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Among the different types of lupus nephritis, intracapillary immune complex (IC) deposition and accumulation of monocytes are hallmarks of lupus nephritis class III and IV. The relevance of intracapillary ICs in terms of monocyte recruitment and activation, as well as the nature and function of these monocytes are not well understood. For the early focal form of lupus nephritis (class III) we demonstrate a selective accumulation of the proinflammatory population of 6-sulfo LacNAc+ (slan) monocytes (slanMo), which locally expressed TNF-α. Immobilized ICs induced a direct recruitment of slanMo from the microcirculation via interaction with Fc γ receptor IIIA (CD16). Interestingly, intravenous immunoglobulins blocked CD16 and prevented cell recruitment. Engagement of immobilized ICs by slanMo induced the production of neutrophil-attracting chemokine CXCL2 as well as TNF-α, which in a forward feedback loop stimulated endothelial cells to produce the slanMo-recruiting chemokine CX3CL1 (fractalkine). In conclusion, we observed that expression of CD16 equips slanMo with a unique capacity to orchestrate early IC-induced inflammatory responses in glomeruli and identified slanMo as a pathogenic proinflammatory cell type in lupus nephritis.
Florina Olaru, Thomas Döbel, Anke S. Lonsdorf, Stephanie Oehrl, Michael Maas, Alexander H. Enk, Marc Schmitz, Elisabeth F. Gröne, Hermann-J. Gröne, Knut Schäkel
Foxp3-positive regulatory T cells (Tregs) are crucial for the maintenance of immune homeostasis and keep immune responses in check. Upon activation, Tregs are transferred into an effector state expressing transcripts essential for their suppressive activity, migration, and survival. However, it is not completely understood how different intrinsic and environmental factors control differentiation. Here, we present for the first time to our knowledge data suggesting that Treg-intrinsic expression of CD83 is essential for Treg differentiation upon activation. Interestingly, mice with Treg-intrinsic CD83 deficiency are characterized by a proinflammatory phenotype. Furthermore, the loss of CD83 expression by Tregs leads to the downregulation of Treg-specific differentiation markers and the induction of an inflammatory profile. In addition, Treg-specific conditional knockout mice showed aggravated autoimmunity and an impaired resolution of inflammation. Altogether, our results show that CD83 expression in Tregs is an essential factor for the development and function of effector Tregs upon activation. Since Tregs play a crucial role in the maintenance of immune tolerance and thus prevention of autoimmune disorders, our findings are also clinically relevant.
Marina Doebbeler, Christina Koenig, Lena Krzyzak, Christine Seitz, Andreas Wild, Thomas Ulas, Kevin Baßler, Dmitry Kopelyanskiy, Alina Butterhof, Christine Kuhnt, Simon Kreiser, Lena Stich, Elisabeth Zinser, Ilka Knippertz, Stefan Wirtz, Christin Riegel, Petra Hoffmann, Matthias Edinger, Lars Nitschke, Thomas Winkler, Joachim L. Schultze, Alexander Steinkasserer, Matthias Lechmann
Multiple modes of immunosuppression restrain immune function within tumors. We previously reported that phosphoinositide 3-kinase δ (PI3Kδ) inactivation in mice confers resistance to a range of tumor models by disrupting immunosuppression mediated by regulatory T cells (Tregs). The PI3Kδ inhibitor idelalisib has proven highly effective in the clinical treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and the potential to extend the use of PI3Kδ inhibitors to nonhematological cancers is being evaluated. In this work, we demonstrate that the antitumor effect of PI3Kδ inactivation is primarily mediated through the disruption of Treg function, and correlates with tumor dependence on Treg immunosuppression. Compared with Treg-specific PI3Kδ deletion, systemic PI3Kδ inactivation is less effective at conferring resistance to tumors. We show that PI3Kδ deficiency impairs the maturation and reduces the capacity of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) to kill tumor cells in vitro, and to respond to tumor antigen–specific immunization in vivo. PI3Kδ inactivation antagonized the antitumor effects of tumor vaccines and checkpoint blockade therapies intended to boost the CD8+ T cell response. These findings provide insights into mechanisms by which PI3Kδ inhibition promotes antitumor immunity and demonstrate that the mechanism is distinct from that mediated by immune checkpoint blockade.
Ee Lyn Lim, Fiorella M. Cugliandolo, Dalya R. Rosner, David Gyori, Rahul Roychoudhuri, Klaus Okkenhaug
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