Patients deficient in the guanine nucleotide exchange factor DOCK8 have decreased numbers and impaired in vitro function of Tregs and make autoantibodies, but they seldom develop autoimmunity. We show that, similarly, Dock8–/– mice have decreased numbers and impaired in vitro function of Tregs but do not develop autoimmunity. In contrast, mice with selective DOCK8 deficiency in Tregs develop lymphoproliferation, autoantibodies, and gastrointestinal inflammation, despite a normal percentage and in vitro function of Tregs, suggesting that deficient T effector cell function might protect DOCK8-deficient patients from autoimmunity. We demonstrate that DOCK8 associates with STAT5 and is important for IL-2–driven STAT5 phosphorylation in Tregs. DOCK8 localizes within the lamellar actin ring of the Treg immune synapse (IS). Dock8–/– Tregs have abnormal TCR-driven actin dynamics, decreased adhesiveness, an altered gene expression profile, an unstable IS with decreased recruitment of signaling molecules, and impaired transendocytosis of the costimulatory molecule CD86. These data suggest that DOCK8 enforces immunological tolerance by promoting IL-2 signaling, TCR-driven actin dynamics, and the IS in Tregs.
Erin Janssen, Sudha Kumari, Mira Tohme, Sumana Ullas, Victor Barrera, Jeroen M.J. Tas, Marcela Castillo-Rama, Roderick T. Bronson, Shariq M. Usmani, Darrell J. Irvine, Thorsten R. Mempel, Raif S. Geha
BACKGROUND. Our goal was to identify changes in the metabolome in multiple sclerosis (MS) and how vitamin D supplementation alters metabolic profiles in MS patients and healthy controls. METHODS. We applied global untargeted metabolomics to plasma from a cross-sectional cohort of age- and sex-matched MS patients and controls and a second longitudinal cohort of MS patients and healthy controls who received 5,000 IU cholecalciferol daily for 90 days. We applied partial least squares discriminant analysis, weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA), and pathway analysis to the metabolomics data. Generalized estimating equations models were used to assess change in WGCNA-identified module scores or metabolite pathways with vitamin D supplementation. RESULTS. Utilizing multiple analytical techniques, we identified metabolic alterations in oxidative stress (γ-glutamyl amino acid, glutathione) and xenobiotic metabolism (benzoate, caffeine) in MS patients compared with healthy controls in the first cohort. In the vitamin D supplementation cohort, we identified two sets of metabolites altered differentially between MS patients and healthy controls with vitamin D supplementation. The first included markers of oxidative stress and protein oxidation (P = 0.006), while the second contained lysolipids and fatty acids (P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS. Using metabolomics, we identified alterations in oxidative stress and xenobiotic metabolism in MS patients and subsequently demonstrated a reduction of oxidative stress markers with vitamin D supplementation in healthy controls but not in MS patients. We demonstrate the utility of metabolomics in identifying aberrant metabolic processes and in monitoring the ability of therapeutic interventions to correct these abnormalities. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01667796. FUNDING. This study was supported by NIH grant K23 NS067055, grants from the Race to Erase MS, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Academy of Neurology, and North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis.
Pavan Bhargava, Kathryn C. Fitzgerald, Peter A. Calabresi, Ellen M. Mowry
Subsets of mature B cell neoplasms are linked to infection with intracellular pathogens such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), or Helicobacter pylori. However, the association between infection and the immunoglobulin-secreting (Ig-secreting) B proliferative disorders remains largely unresolved. We investigated whether the monoclonal IgG (mc IgG) produced by patients diagnosed with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) or multiple myeloma (MM) targets infectious pathogens. Antigen specificity of purified mc IgG from a large patient cohort (n = 244) was determined using a multiplex infectious-antigen array (MIAA), which screens for reactivity to purified antigens or lysates from 9 pathogens. Purified mc IgG from 23.4% of patients (57 of 244) specifically recognized 1 pathogen in the MIAA. EBV was the most frequent target (15.6%), with 36 of 38 mc IgGs recognizing EBV nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA-1). MM patients with EBNA-1–specific mc IgG (14.0%) showed substantially greater bone marrow plasma cell infiltration and higher β2-microglobulin and inflammation/infection–linked cytokine levels compared with other smoldering myeloma/MM patients. Five other pathogens were the targets of mc IgG: herpes virus simplex-1 (2.9%), varicella zoster virus (1.6%), cytomegalovirus (0.8%), hepatitis C virus (1.2%), and H. pylori (1.2%). We conclude that a dysregulated immune response to infection may underlie disease onset and/or progression of MGUS and MM for subsets of patients.
Adrien Bosseboeuf, Delphine Feron, Anne Tallet, Cédric Rossi, Cathy Charlier, Laurent Garderet, Denis Caillot, Philippe Moreau, Marina Cardó-Vila, Renata Pasqualini, Wadih Arap, Alfreda Destea Nelson, Bridget S. Wilson, Hélène Perreault, Eric Piver, Pierre Weigel, François Girodon, Jean Harb, Edith Bigot-Corbel, Sylvie Hermouet
Blockade of immune checkpoint proteins (e.g., CTLA-4, PD-1) improves overall survival in advanced melanoma; however, therapeutic benefit is limited to only a subset of patients. Because checkpoint blockade acts by “removing the brakes” on effector T cells, the efficacy of checkpoint blockade may be constrained by the limited pool of melanoma-reactive T cells in the periphery. In the thymus, autoimmune regulator (Aire) promotes deletion of T cells reactive against self-antigens that are also expressed by tumors. Thus, while protecting against autoimmunity, Aire also limits the generation of melanoma-reactive T cells. Here, we show that Aire deficiency in mice expands the pool of CD4+ T cells capable of melanoma cell eradication and has additive effects with anti–CTLA-4 antibody in slowing melanoma tumor growth and increasing survival. Moreover, pharmacologic blockade of central T cell tolerance and peripheral checkpoint blockade in combination enhanced antimelanoma immunity in a synergistic manner. In melanoma patients treated with anti–CTLA-4 antibody, clinical response to therapy was associated with a human Aire polymorphism. Together, these findings suggest that Aire-mediated central tolerance constrains the efficacy of peripheral checkpoint inhibition and point to simultaneous blockade of Aire and checkpoint inhibitors as a novel strategy to enhance antimelanoma immunity.
Pearl Bakhru, Meng-Lei Zhu, Hsing-Hui Wang, Lee K. Hong, Imran Khan, Maria Mouchess, Ajay S. Gulati, Joshua Starmer, Yafei Hou, David Sailer, Sandra Lee, Fengmin Zhao, John M. Kirkwood, Stergios Moschos, Lawrence Fong, Mark S. Anderson, Maureen A. Su
Checkpoint inhibitors have demonstrated efficacy in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, the majority of patients do not benefit from these agents. To improve the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors, intratumoral (i.t.) injection with innate immune activators, TLR7 and TLR9 agonists, were tested along with programmed death-1 receptor (PD-1) blockade. The combination therapy suppressed tumor growth at the primary injected and distant sites in human papillomavirus–negative (HPV-negative) SCC7 and MOC1, and HPV-positive MEER syngeneic mouse models. Abscopal effects and suppression of secondary challenged tumor suggest that local treatment with TLR agonists in combination with anti–PD-1 provided systemic adaptive immunity. I.t. treatment with a TLR7 agonist increased the ratio of M1 to M2 tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and promoted the infiltration of tumor-specific IFNγ-producing CD8+ T cells. Anti–PD-1 treatment increased T cell receptor (TCR) clonality of CD8+ T cells in tumors and spleens of treated mice. Collectively, these experiments demonstrate that combination therapy with i.t. delivery of TLR agonists and PD-1 blockade activates TAMs and induces tumor-specific adaptive immune responses, leading to suppression of primary tumor growth and prevention of metastasis in HNSCC models.
Fumi Sato-Kaneko, Shiyin Yao, Alast Ahmadi, Shannon S. Zhang, Tadashi Hosoya, Megan M. Kaneda, Judith A. Varner, Minya Pu, Karen S. Messer, Cristiana Guiducci, Robert L. Coffman, Kazutaka Kitaura, Takaji Matsutani, Ryuji Suzuki, Dennis A. Carson, Tomoko Hayashi, Ezra E.W. Cohen
V-domain immunoglobulin suppressor of T cell activation (VISTA) is a recently discovered immune checkpoint ligand that functions to suppress T cell activity. The therapeutic potential of activating this immune checkpoint pathway to reduce inflammatory responses remains untapped, largely due to the inability to derive agonists targeting its unknown receptor. A dimeric construct of the IgV domain of VISTA (VISTA-Fc) was shown to suppress the activation of T cells in vitro. However, this effect required its immobilization on a solid surface, suggesting that VISTA-Fc may display limited efficacy as a VISTA-receptor agonist in vivo. Herein, we have designed a stable pentameric VISTA construct (VISTA.COMP) by genetically fusing its IgV domain to the pentamerization domain from the cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP). In contrast to VISTA-Fc, VISTA.COMP does not require immobilization to inhibit the proliferation of CD4+ T cells undergoing polyclonal activation. Furthermore, we show that VISTA.COMP, but not VISTA-Fc, functions as an immunosuppressive agonist in vivo capable of prolonging the survival of skin allografts in a mouse transplant model as well as rescuing mice from acute concanavalin-A–induced hepatitis. Collectively, we believe our data demonstrate that VISTA.COMP is a checkpoint receptor agonist and the first agent to our knowledge targeting the putative VISTA-receptor to suppress T cell–mediated immune responses.
Aaron Prodeus, Aws Abdul-Wahid, Amanda Sparkes, Nicholas W. Fischer, Marzena Cydzik, Nicholas Chiang, Mays Alwash, Alessandra Ferzoco, Nathalie Vacaresse, Michael Julius, Reginald M. Gorczysnki, Jean Gariépy
BACKGROUND. Inflammation and monocytes are thought to be important to human malaria pathogenesis. However, the relationship of inflammation and various monocyte functions to acute malaria, recovery from acute malaria, and asymptomatic parasitemia in endemic populations is poorly understood. METHODS. We evaluated plasma cytokine levels, monocyte subsets, monocyte functional responses, and monocyte inflammatory transcriptional profiles of 1- to 10-year-old Kenyan children at the time of presentation with acute uncomplicated malaria and at recovery 6 weeks later; these results were compared with analogous data from asymptomatic children and adults in the same community. RESULTS. Acute malaria was marked by elevated levels of proinflammatory and regulatory cytokines and expansion of the inflammatory “intermediate” monocyte subset that returned to levels of healthy asymptomatic children 6 weeks later. Monocytes displayed activated phenotypes during acute malaria, with changes in surface expression of markers important to innate and adaptive immunity. Functionally, acute malaria monocytes and monocytes from asymptomatic infected children had impaired phagocytosis of P. falciparum–infected erythrocytes relative to asymptomatic children with no blood-stage infection. Monocytes from both acute malaria and recovery time points displayed strong and equivalent cytokine responsiveness to innate immune agonists that were independent of infection status. Monocyte transcriptional profiles revealed regulated and balanced proinflammatory and antiinflammatory and altered phagocytosis gene expression patterns distinct from malaria-naive monocytes. CONCLUSION. These observations provide insights into monocyte functions and the innate immune response during uncomplicated malaria and suggest that asymptomatic parasitemia in children is not clinically benign. FUNDING. Support for this work was provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (R01AI095192-05), the Burroughs Wellcome Fund/American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Foundation.
Katherine R. Dobbs, Paula Embury, John Vulule, Peter S. Odada, Bruce A. Rosa, Makedonka Mitreva, James W. Kazura, Arlene E. Dent
Dendritic cells (DCs) are important in regulating immunity and tolerance and consist of functionally distinct subsets that differentially regulate T lymphocyte function. The underlying basis for this subset specificity is lacking, particularly in humans, where the classification of tissue DCs is currently incomplete. Examination of healthy human epidermal Langerhans cells and dermal skin cells revealed a tissue CD5-expressing DC subtype. The CD5+ DCs were potent inducers of cytotoxic T cells and Th22 cells. The products of these T cells, IL-22 and IFN-γ, play a key role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Remarkably, CD5+ DCs were significantly enriched in lesional psoriatic skin compared with distal tissues, suggesting their involvement in the disease. We show that CD5+ DCs can be differentiated from hematopoietic progenitor cells independently of the CD5– DCs. A progenitor population found in human cord blood and in the dermal skin layer, marked as CD34–CD123+CD117dimCD45RA+, was an immediate precursor of these CD11c+CD1c+CD5+ DCs. Overall, our discovery of the CD5-expressing DC subtype suggests that strategies to regulate their composition or function in the skin will represent an innovative approach for the treatment of immune-mediated disorders in and beyond the skin.
Daniel Korenfeld, Laurent Gorvel, Adiel Munk, Joshua Man, Andras Schaffer, Thomas Tung, Caroline Mann, Eynav Klechevsky
The factors that promote the differentiation of pathogenic T cells in autoimmune diseases are poorly defined. Use of genetically modified mice has provided insight into molecules necessary for the development of autoimmunity, but the sum of the data has led to contradictory observations based on what is currently known about specific molecules in specific signaling pathways. To define the minimum signals required for development of encephalitogenic T cells that cause CNS autoimmunity, myelin-specific T cells were differentiated with various cytokine cocktails, and pathogenicity was determined by transfer into mice. IL-6+IL-23 or IL-12+IL-23 generated encephalitogenic T cells and recapitulated the essential cytokine signals provided by antigen-presenting cells, and both IL-6 and IL-12 induced IL-23 receptor expression on both mouse and human naive T cells. IL-23 signaled through both STAT3 and STAT4, and disruption in STAT4 signaling impaired CNS autoimmunity independent of IL-12. These data explain why IL-12–deficient mice develop CNS autoimmunity, while STAT4-deficient mice are resistant. CD4+ memory T cells from multiple sclerosis patients had significantly higher levels of p-STAT3/p-STAT4, and p-STAT3/p-STAT4 heterodimers were observed upon IL-23 signaling, suggesting that p-STAT3/p-STAT4 induced by IL-23 signaling orchestrate the generation of pathogenic T cells in CNS autoimmunity, regardless of Th1 or Th17 phenotype.
Priscilla W. Lee, Alan J. Smith, Yuhong Yang, Amanda J. Selhorst, Yue Liu, Michael K. Racke, Amy E. Lovett-Racke
Recent data indicate that there are different subpopulations of Th17 cells that can express a regulatory as opposed to an inflammatory gene signature. The transmembrane glycoprotein PDPN is critical in the development of multiple organs including the lymphatic system and has been described on T cells in mouse models of autoimmune Th17 inflammation. Here, we demonstrate that unlike in mice, PDPN+ T cells induced under classic Th17-polarizing conditions express transcription factors associated with Th17 cells but do not produce IL-17. Moreover, these cells express a transcriptional profile enriched for immunosuppressive and regulatory pathways and express a distinct cytokine profile compared with potentially pathogenic PDPN– Th17 cells. Ligation of PDPN by its ligand CLEC-2 ameliorates the Th17 inflammatory response. IL-17 secretion is restored with shRNA gene silencing of PDPN. Furthermore, PDPN expression is reduced via an Sgk1-mediated pathway under proinflammatory, high sodium chloride conditions. Finally, CD3+PDPN+ T cells are devoid of IL-17 in skin biopsies from patients with candidiasis, a prototypical Th17-driven skin disease. Thus, our data support the hypothesis that PDPN may serve as a marker of a nonpathogenic Th17 cell subset and may also functionally regulate pathogenic Th17 inflammation.
Alyssa N. Nylander, Gerald D. Ponath, Pierre-Paul Axisa, Mayyan Mubarak, Mary Tomayko, Vijay K. Kuchroo, David Pitt, David A. Hafler
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