Following the advent of molecular assays that measure T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) present in recent thymic emigrants, it has been conclusively shown that thymopoiesis persists in most adults, but that functional output decreases with age, influencing the maintenance of a diverse and functional T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire. Space flight has been shown to result in a variety of phenotypic and functional changes in human T cells and in the reactivation of latent viruses. While space flight has been shown to influence thymic architecture in rodents, thymopoiesis has not previously been assessed in astronauts. Here, we assessed thymopoiesis longitudinally over a 1-year period prior to and after long-term space flight (median duration, 184 days) in 16 astronauts. While preflight assessments of thymopoiesis remained quite stable in individual astronauts, we detected significant suppression of thymopoiesis in all subjects upon return from space flight. We also found significant increases in urine and plasma levels of endogenous glucocorticoids coincident with the suppression of thymopoiesis. The glucocorticoid induction and thymopoiesis suppression were transient, and they normalized shortly after return to Earth. This is the first report to our knowledge to prospectively demonstrate a significant change in thymopoiesis in healthy individuals in association with a defined physiologic emotional and physical stress event. These results suggest that suppression of thymopoiesis has the potential to influence the maintenance of the TCR repertoire during extended space travel. Further studies of thymopoiesis and endogenous glucocorticoids in other stress states, including illness, are warranted.
Cara L. Benjamin, Raymond P. Stowe, Lisa St. John, Clarence F. Sams, Satish K. Mehta, Brian E. Crucian, Duane L. Pierson, Krishna V. Komanduri
Over one-fifth of North American women of childbearing age are obese, putting these women at risk for a variety of detrimental chronic diseases. In addition, obesity increases the risk for developing major complications during pregnancy. The mechanisms by which obesity contributes to pregnancy complications and loss remain unknown. Increasing evidence indicates that obesity results in major changes to adipose tissue immune cell composition and function; whether or not obesity also affects immune function in the uterus has not been explored. Here we investigated the effect of obesity on uterine natural killer (uNK) cells, which are essential for uterine artery remodeling and placental development. Using a cohort of obese or lean women, we found that obesity led to a significant reduction in uNK cell numbers accompanied with impaired uterine artery remodeling. uNK cells isolated from obese women had altered expression of genes and pathways associated with extracellular matrix remodeling and growth factor signaling. Specifically, uNK cells were hyper-responsive to PDGF, resulting in overexpression of decorin. Functionally, decorin strongly inhibited placental development by limiting trophoblast survival. Together, these findings establish a potentially new link between obesity and poor pregnancy outcomes, and indicate that obesity-driven changes to uterine-resident immune cells critically impair placental development.
Sofie Perdu, Barbara Castellana, Yoona Kim, Kathy Chan, Lauren DeLuca, Alexander G. Beristain
Zoheb B. Kazi, Sean N. Prater, Joyce A. Kobori, David Viskochil, Carrie Bailey, Renuka Gera, David W. Stockton, Paul McIntosh, Amy S. Rosenberg, Priya S. Kishnani
Suresh Gopi Kalathil, Amit Anand Lugade, Austin Miller, Renuka Iyer, Yasmin Thanavala
Low-grade chronic inflammation is a key etiological phenomenon responsible for the initiation and perpetuation of obesity and diabetes. Novel therapeutic approaches that can specifically target inflammatory pathways are needed to avert this looming epidemic of metabolic disorders. Genetic and chemical inhibition of SH2-containing inositol 5′ phosphatase 1 (SHIP1) has been associated with systemic expansion of immunoregulatory cells that promote a lean-body state; however, SHIP1 function in immunometabolism has never been assessed. This led us to investigate the role of SHIP1 in metabolic disorders during excess caloric intake in mice. Using a small-molecule inhibitor of SHIP1 (SHIPi), here we show that SHIPi treatment in mice significantly reduces body weight and fat content, improves control of blood glucose and insulin sensitivity, and increases energy expenditure, despite continued consumption of a high-fat diet. Additionally, SHIPi reduces age-associated fat in mice. We found that SHIPi treatment reverses diet-associated obesity by attenuating inflammation in the visceral adipose tissue (VAT). SHIPi treatment increases IL-4–producing eosinophils in VAT and consequently increases both alternatively activated macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. In addition, SHIPi decreases the number of IFN-γ–producing T cells and NK cells in VAT. Thus, SHIPi represents an approach that permits control of obesity and diet-induced metabolic syndrome without apparent toxicity.
Neetu Srivastava, Sonia Iyer, Raki Sudan, Christie Youngs, Robert W. Engelman, Kyle T. Howard, Christopher M. Russo, John D. Chisholm, William G. Kerr
Tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM) are a recently defined, noncirculating subset with the potential for rapid in situ protective responses, although their generation and role in vaccine-mediated immune responses is unclear. Here, we assessed TRM generation and lung-localized protection following administration of currently licensed influenza vaccines, including injectable inactivated influenza virus (IIV, Fluzone) and i.n. administered live-attenuated influenza virus (LAIV, FluMist) vaccines. We found that, while IIV preferentially induced strain-specific neutralizing antibodies, LAIV generated lung-localized, virus-specific T cell responses. Moreover, LAIV but not IIV generated lung CD4+ TRM and virus-specific CD8+ TRM, similar in phenotype to those generated by influenza virus infection. Importantly, these vaccine-generated TRM mediated cross-strain protection, independent of circulating T cells and neutralizing antibodies, which persisted long-term after vaccination. Interestingly, intranasal administration of IIV or injection of LAIV failed to elicit T cell responses or provide protection against viral infection, demonstrating dual requirements for respiratory targeting and a live-attenuated strain to establish TRM. The ability of LAIV to generate lung TRM capable of providing long-term protection against nonvaccine viral strains, as demonstrated here, has important implications for protecting the population against emergent influenza pandemics by direct fortification of lung-specific immunity.
Kyra D. Zens, Jun Kui Chen, Donna L. Farber
Successful induction of allograft tolerance has been achieved in nonhuman primates (NHPs) and humans via induction of transient hematopoietic chimerism. Since allograft tolerance was achieved in these recipients without durable chimerism, peripheral mechanisms are postulated to play a major role. Here, we report our studies of T cell immunity in NHP recipients that achieved long-term tolerance versus those that rejected the allograft (AR). All kidney, heart, and lung transplant recipients underwent simultaneous or delayed donor bone marrow transplantation (DBMT) following conditioning with a nonmyeloablative regimen. After DBMT, mixed lymphocyte culture with CFSE consistently revealed donor-specific loss of CD8+ T cell responses in tolerant (TOL) recipients, while marked CD4+ T cell proliferation in response to donor antigens was found to persist. Interestingly, a significant proportion of the proliferated CD4+ cells were FOXP3+ in TOL recipients, but not in AR or naive NHPs. In TOL recipients, CD4+FOXP3+ cell proliferation against donor antigens was greater than that observed against third-party antigens. Finally, the expanded Tregs appeared to be induced Tregs (iTregs) that were converted from non-Tregs. These data provide support for the hypothesis that specific induction of iTregs by donor antigens is key to long-term allograft tolerance induced by transient mixed chimerism.
Kiyohiko Hotta, Akihiro Aoyama, Tetsu Oura, Yohei Yamada, Makoto Tonsho, Kyu Ha Huh, Kento Kawai, David Schoenfeld, James S. Allan, Joren C. Madsen, Gilles Benichou, Rex-Neal Smith, Robert B. Colvin, David H. Sachs, A. Benedict Cosimi, Tatsuo Kawai
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is characterized by reduced barrier function, reduced innate immune activation, and susceptibility to
Ian A. Myles, Kelli W. Williams, Jensen D. Reckhow, Momodou L. Jammeh, Nathan B. Pincus, Inka Sastalla, Danial Saleem, Kelly D. Stone, Sandip K. Datta
DC vaccination with autologous tumor lysate has demonstrated promising results for the treatment of glioblastoma (GBM) in preclinical and clinical studies. While the vaccine appears capable of inducing T cell infiltration into tumors, the effectiveness of active vaccination in progressively growing tumors is less profound. In parallel, a number of studies have identified negative costimulatory pathways, such as programmed death 1/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1), as relevant mediators of the intratumoral immune responses. Clinical responses to PD-1 pathway inhibition, however, have also been varied. To evaluate the relevance to established glioma, the effects of PD-1 blockade following DC vaccination were tested in intracranial (i.c.) glioma tumor–bearing mice. Treatment with both DC vaccination and PD-1 mAb blockade resulted in long-term survival, while neither agent alone induced a survival benefit in animals with larger, established tumors. This survival benefit was completely dependent on CD8+ T cells. Additionally, DC vaccine plus PD-1 mAb blockade resulted in the upregulation of integrin homing and immunologic memory markers on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). In clinical samples, DC vaccination in GBM patients was associated with upregulation of PD-1 expression in vivo, while ex vivo blockade of PD-1 on freshly isolated TILs dramatically enhanced autologous tumor cell cytolysis. These findings strongly suggest that the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway plays an important role in the adaptive immune resistance of established GBM in response to antitumor active vaccination and provide us with a rationale for the clinical translation of this combination therapy.
Joseph P. Antonios, Horacio Soto, Richard G. Everson, Joey Orpilla, Diana Moughon, Namjo Shin, Shaina Sedighim, William H. Yong, Gang Li, Timothy F. Cloughesy, Linda M. Liau, Robert M. Prins
Cancer testis antigens (CTAs) are of clinical interest as biomarkers and present valuable targets for immunotherapy. To comprehensively characterize the CTA landscape of non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), we compared RNAseq data from 199 NSCLC tissues to the normal transcriptome of 142 samples from 32 different normal organs. Of 232 CTAs currently annotated in the Caner Testis Database (CTdatabase), 96 were confirmed in NSCLC. To obtain an unbiased CTA profile of NSCLC, we applied stringent criteria on our RNAseq data set and defined 90 genes as CTAs, of which 55 genes were not annotated in the CTdatabase, thus representing potential new CTAs. Cluster analysis revealed that CTA expression is histology dependent and concurrent expression is common. IHC confirmed tissue-specific protein expression of selected new CTAs (TKTL1, TGIF2LX, VCX, and CXORF67). Furthermore, methylation was identified as a regulatory mechanism of CTA expression based on independent data from The Cancer Genome Atlas. The proposed prognostic impact of CTAs in lung cancer was not confirmed, neither in our RNAseq cohort nor in an independent meta-analysis of 1,117 NSCLC cases. In summary, we defined a set of 90 reliable CTAs, including information on protein expression, methylation, and survival association. The detailed RNAseq catalog can guide biomarker studies and efforts to identify targets for immunotherapeutic strategies.
Dijana Djureinovic, Björn M. Hallström, Masafumi Horie, Johanna Sofia Margareta Mattsson, Linnea La Fleur, Linn Fagerberg, Hans Brunnström, Cecilia Lindskog, Katrin Madjar, Jörg Rahnenführer, Simon Ekman, Elisabeth Ståhle, Hirsh Koyi, Eva Brandén, Karolina Edlund, Jan G. Hengstler, Mats Lambe, Akira Saito, Johan Botling, Fredrik Pontén, Mathias Uhlén, Patrick Micke
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