T cells are central to the detrimental alloresponses that develop in autoimmunity and transplantation, with CD28 costimulatory signals being key to T cell activation and proliferation. CTLA4-Ig molecules that bind CD80/86 and inhibit CD28 costimulation offer an alternative immunosuppressive treatment, free from some of the chronic toxicities associated with calcineurin inhibition. However, CD80/86 blockade by CTLA4-Ig also results in the loss of coinhibitory CTLA4 signals that are critical to the regulation of T cell activation. Here, we show that a nonactivating monovalent anti-CD28 that spares CTLA4 signaling is an effective immunosuppressant in a clinically relevant humanized mouse transplant model. We demonstrate that selective CD28 blockade prolongs human skin allograft survival through a mechanism that includes a reduction in the cellular graft infiltrate. Critically, selective CD28 blockade promotes Treg function in vivo and synergizes with adoptive Treg therapy to promote transplant survival. In contrast to CTLA4-Ig treatment, selective CD28 blockade promotes regulation of alloimmune responses and facilitates Treg-based cellular therapy.
Masaaki Zaitsu, Fadi Issa, Joanna Hester, Bernard Vanhove, Kathryn J. Wood
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
Rejection affects greater than 80% of face transplants, yet no diagnostic criteria for antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) following face transplantation have been established. Given that different treatment strategies are required to address AMR and T cell–mediated rejection (TCMR), there is a critical need to delineate the features that can differentiate these two alloimmune responses. Here, we report the longitudinal immunological examination of what we believe to be the first and only highly sensitized recipient of a crossmatch-positive face transplant up to 4 years following transplantation. We conducted gene expression profiling on allograft biopsies collected during suspected AMR and TCMR episodes as well as during 5 nonrejection time points. Our data suggest that there are distinctive molecular features in AMR, characterized by overexpression of endothelial-associated genes, including ICAM1, VCAM1, and SELE. Although our findings are limited to a single patient, these findings highlight the potential importance of developing and implementing molecular markers to differentiate AMR from TCMR to guide clinical management. Furthermore, our case illustrates that molecular assessment of allograft biopsies offers the potential for new insights into the mechanisms underlying rejection. Finally, our medium-term outcomes demonstrate that face transplantation in a highly sensitized patient with a positive preoperative crossmatch is feasible and manageable.
Thet Su Win, Naoka Murakami, Thiago J. Borges, Anil Chandraker, George Murphy, Christine Lian, Victor Barrera, Shannan Ho Sui, David Schoenfeld, Jessica Teague, Ericka Bueno, Stefan G. Tullius, Bohdan Pomahac, Rachael A. Clark, Leonardo V. Riella
Adiponectin is a pleiotropic cytokine with diverse immunomodulatory effects on macrophages and lymphocytes. In the current paradigm, lymphocytes and macrophages respond to adiponectin that is produced by adipocytes and other parenchymal cells. Using a model of chronic arterial inflammation in cardiac transplants, we found that T cells derived from the recipient migrate to the heart and produce adiponectin locally. The evidence that T cells produce significant amounts of adiponectin is based on 3 experimental approaches. First, CD4+ T cells isolated from the blood and spleen after cardiac transplantation express mRNA for adiponectin. Second, reconstitution of T cell–deficient recipients with transgenic CD4+ T cells that express receptors for donor antigens results in arterial infiltrates containing T cells and increased mRNA expression for adiponectin in cardiac transplants. Third, CD4+ T cells isolated from the allograft secrete adiponectin in vitro. Taken together, these data indicate that adiponectin-competent cells originating in the recipient migrate into the transplant. Establishing T cells as a source of adiponectin provides a new dimension, to our knowledge, to the modulatory effects of adiponectin on immune responses.
Sreedevi Danturti, Karen S. Keslar, Leah R. Steinhoff, Ran Fan, Nina Dvorina, Anna Valujskikh, Robert L. Fairchild, William M. Baldwin III
Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGvHD) remains a major complication of allogeneic stem cell transplantation requiring novel therapies. CD146 and CCR5 are expressed by activated T cells and associated with increased T cell migration capacity and Th17 polarization. We performed a multiparametric flow cytometry analysis in a cohort of 40 HSCT patients together with a cGvHD murine model to understand the role of CD146-expressing subsets. We observed an increased frequency of CD146+ CD4 T cells in the 20 patients with active cGvHD with enhanced RORγt expression. This Th17-prone subset was enriched for cells coexpressing CD146 and CCR5 that harbor mixed Th1/Th17 features and were more frequent in cGvHD patients. Utilizing a murine cGvHD model with bronchiolitis obliterans (BO), we observed that donor T cells from CD146-deficient mice versus those from WT mice caused significantly reduced pulmonary cGvHD. Reduced cGvHD was not the result of failed germinal center B cell or T follicular helper cell generation. Instead, CD146-deficient T cells had significantly lower pulmonary macrophage infiltration and T cell CCR5, IL-17, and IFN-γ coexpression, suggesting defective pulmonary end-organ effector mechanisms. We, thus, evaluated the effect of TMP778, a small-molecule RORγt activity inhibitor. TMP778 markedly alleviated cGvHD in murine models similarly to agents targeting the Th17 pathway, such as STAT3 inhibitor or IL-17–blocking antibody. Our data suggest CD146-expressing T cells as a cGvHD biomarker and suggest that targeting the Th17 pathway may represent a promising therapy for cGvHD.
Edouard Forcade, Katelyn Paz, Ryan Flynn, Brad Griesenauer, Tohti Amet, Wei Li, Liangyi Liu, Giorgos Bakoyannis, Di Jiang, Hong Wei Chu, Mercedes Lobera, Jianfei Yang, David S. Wilkes, Jing Du, Kate Gartlan, Geoffrey R. Hill, Kelli P.A. MacDonald, Eduardo L. Espada, Patrick Blanco, Jonathan S. Serody, John Koreth, Corey S. Cutler, Joseph H. Antin, Robert J. Soiffer, Jerome Ritz, Sophie Paczesny, Bruce R. Blazar
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) offers a cure for cancers that are refractory to chemotherapy and radiation. Most HSCT recipients develop chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), a systemic alloimmune attack on host organs. Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and symptoms, as biopsies are risky. T cells are central to the biology of cGVHD. We found that a low Treg/CD4+ T effector memory (Tem) ratio in circulation, lymphoid, and target organs identified early and established mouse cGVHD. Using deuterated water labeling to measure multicompartment in vivo kinetics of these subsets, we show robust Tem and Treg proliferation in lymphoid and target organs, while Tregs undergo apoptosis in target organs. Since deuterium enrichment into DNA serves as a proxy for cell proliferation, we developed a whole-body clinically relevant deuterium MRI approach to nonradioactively detect cGVHD and potentially allow imaging of other diseases characterized by rapidly proliferating cells.
Nataliya P. Buxbaum, Donald E. Farthing, Natella Maglakelidze, Martin Lizak, Hellmut Merkle, Andrea C. Carpenter, Brittany U. Oliver, Veena Kapoor, Ehydel Castro, Gregory A. Swan, Liliane M. dos Santos, Nicolas J. Bouladoux, Catherine V. Bare, Francis A. Flomerfelt, Michael A. Eckhaus, William G. Telford, Yasmine Belkaid, Remy J. Bosselut, Ronald E. Gress
Conventional histologic diagnosis of rejection in kidney transplants has limited repeatability due to its inherent requirement for subjective assessment of lesions, in a rule-based system that does not acknowledge diagnostic uncertainty. Molecular phenotyping affords opportunities for increased precision and improved disease classification to address the limitations of conventional histologic diagnostic systems and quantify levels of uncertainty. Microarray data from 1,208 kidney transplant biopsies were collected prospectively from 13 centers. Cross-validated classifier scores predicting the presence of antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR), T cell–mediated rejection (TCMR), and 5 related histologic lesions were generated using supervised machine learning methods. These scores were used as input for archetypal analysis, an unsupervised method similar to cluster analysis, to examine the distribution of molecular phenotypes related to rejection. Six archetypes were generated: no rejection, TCMR, 3 associated with ABMR (early-stage, fully developed, and late-stage), and mixed rejection (TCMR plus early-stage ABMR). Each biopsy was assigned 6 scores, one for each archetype, representing a probabilistic assessment of that biopsy based on its rejection-related molecular properties. Viewed as clusters, the archetypes were similar to existing histologic Banff categories, but there was 32% disagreement, much of it probably reflecting the “noise” in the current histologic assessment system. Graft survival was lowest for fully developed and late-stage ABMR, and it was better predicted by molecular archetype scores than histologic diagnoses. The results provide a system for precision molecular assessment of biopsies and a new standard for recalibrating conventional diagnostic systems.
Jeff Reeve, Georg A. Böhmig, Farsad Eskandary, Gunilla Einecke, Carmen Lefaucheur, Alexandre Loupy, Philip F. Halloran, the MMDx-Kidney study group
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is an effective immunotherapy for a variety of hematologic malignances, yet its efficacy is impeded by the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). GVHD is characterized by activation, expansion, cytokine production, and migration of alloreactive donor T cells. Hence, strategies to limit GVHD are highly desirable. Ceramides are known to contribute to inflammation and autoimmunity. However, their involvement in T-cell responses to alloantigens is undefined. In the current study, we specifically characterized the role of ceramide synthase 6 (CerS6) after allo-HCT using genetic and pharmacologic approaches. We found that CerS6 was required for optimal T cell activation, proliferation, and cytokine production in response to alloantigen and for subsequent induction of GVHD. However, CerS6 was partially dispensable for the T cell–mediated antileukemia effect. At the molecular level, CerS6 was required for efficient TCR signal transduction, including tyrosine phosphorylation, ZAP-70 activation, and PKCθ/TCR colocalization. Impaired generation of C16-ceramide was responsible for diminished allogeneic T cell responses. Furthermore, targeting CerS6 using a specific inhibitor significantly reduced T cell activation in mouse and human T cells in vitro. Our study provides a rationale for targeting CerS6 to control GVHD, which would enhance the efficacy of allo-HCT as an immunotherapy for hematologic malignancies in the clinic.
M. Hanief Sofi, Jessica Heinrichs, Mohammed Dany, Hung Nguyen, Min Dai, David Bastian, Steven Schutt, Yongxia Wu, Anusara Daenthanasanmak, Salih Gencer, Aleksandra Zivkovic, Zdzislaw Szulc, Holger Stark, Chen Liu, Ying-Jun Chang, Besim Ogretmen, Xue-Zhong Yu
Infusion of in vitro–derived T cell progenitor (proT) therapy with hematopoietic stem cell transplant aids the recovery of the thymus damaged by total body irradiation. To understand the interaction between proTs and the thymic microenvironment, WT mice were lethally irradiated and given T cell–deficient (
Michelle J. Smith, Dawn K. Reichenbach, Sarah L. Parker, Megan J. Riddle, Jason Mitchell, Kevin C. Osum, Mahmood Mohtashami, Heather E. Stefanski, Brian T. Fife, Avinash Bhandoola, Kristin A. Hogquist, Georg A. Holländer, Juan Carlos Zúñiga-Pflücker, Jakub Tolar, Bruce R. Blazar
Despite recent evidence of improved graft outcomes and safety, the high incidence of early acute cellular rejection with belatacept, a high-affinity CTLA4-Ig, has limited its use in clinical transplantation. Here we define how the incomplete control of endogenous donor-reactive memory T cells results in belatacept-resistant rejection in an experimental model of BALB/c.2W-OVA donor heart transplantation into C57BL/6 recipients presensitized to donor splenocytes. These sensitized mice harbored modestly elevated numbers of endogenous donor-specific memory T cells and alloantibodies compared with naive recipients. Continuous CTLA4-Ig treatment was unexpectedly efficacious at inhibiting endogenous graft-reactive T cell expansion but was unable to inhibit late CD4+ and CD8+ T cell infiltration into the allografts, and rejection was observed in 50% of recipients by day 35 after transplantation. When CTLA4-Ig was combined with the sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor-1 (S1PR1) functional antagonist FTY720, alloantibody production was inhibited and donor-specific IFN-γ–producing T cells were reduced to levels approaching nonsensitized tolerant recipients. Late T cell recruitment into the graft was also restrained, and graft survival improved with this combination therapy. These observations suggest that a rational strategy consisting of inhibiting memory T cell expansion and trafficking into the allograft with CTLA4-Ig and FTY720 can promote allograft survival in allosensitized recipients.
Stella H. Khiew, Jinghui Yang, James S. Young, Jianjun Chen, Qiang Wang, Dengping Yin, Vinh Vu, Michelle L. Miller, Roger Sciammas, Maria-Luisa Alegre, Anita S. Chong
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