Mutations in the tumor-suppressor gene phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (Pten) are associated with multiple cancers in humans, including T cell malignancies. Targeted deletion of Pten in T cells induces both a disseminated “mature phenotype” lymphoma and a lymphoproliferative autoimmune syndrome in mice. Here, we have shown that these two diseases are separable and mediated by T lineage cells of distinct developmental stages. Loss of PTEN was found to be a powerful driver of lymphomagenesis within the thymus characterized by overexpression of the c-myc oncogene. In an otherwise normal thymic environment, PTEN-deficient T cell lymphomas invariably harbored RAG-dependent reciprocal t(14:15) chromosomal translocations involving the T cell receptor alpha/delta locus and c-myc, and their survival and growth was TCR dependent, but Notch independent. However, lymphomas occurred even if TCR recombination was prevented, although these lymphomas were less mature, arose later in life, and, importantly, were dependent upon Notch pathways to upregulate c-myc expression. In contrast, using the complementary methods of early thymectomy and adoptive transfers, we found that PTEN-deficient mature T cells were unable to undergo malignant transformation but were sufficient for the development of autoimmunity. These data suggest multiple and distinct regulatory roles for PTEN in the molecular pathogenesis of lymphoma and autoimmunity.
Xiaohe Liu, Jodi L. Karnell, Bu Yin, Ruan Zhang, Jidong Zhang, Peiying Li, Yongwon Choi, Jonathan S. Maltzman, Warren S. Pear, Craig H. Bassing, Laurence A. Turka
Establishing long-term allograft acceptance without the requirement for continuous immunosuppression, a condition known as allograft tolerance, is a highly desirable therapeutic goal in solid organ transplantation. Determining which recipients would benefit from withdrawal or minimization of immunosuppression would be greatly facilitated by biomarkers predictive of tolerance. In this study, we identified the largest reported cohort to our knowledge of tolerant renal transplant recipients, as defined by stable graft function and receiving no immunosuppression for more than 1 year, and compared their gene expression profiles and peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets with those of subjects with stable graft function who are receiving immunosuppressive drugs as well as healthy controls. In addition to being associated with clinical and phenotypic parameters, renal allograft tolerance was strongly associated with a B cell signature using several assays. Tolerant subjects showed increased expression of multiple B cell differentiation genes, and a set of just 3 of these genes distinguished tolerant from nontolerant recipients in a unique test set of samples. This B cell signature was associated with upregulation of CD20 mRNA in urine sediment cells and elevated numbers of peripheral blood naive and transitional B cells in tolerant participants compared with those receiving immunosuppression. These results point to a critical role for B cells in regulating alloimmunity and provide a candidate set of genes for wider-scale screening of renal transplant recipients.
Kenneth A. Newell, Adam Asare, Allan D. Kirk, Trang D. Gisler, Kasia Bourcier, Manikkam Suthanthiran, William J. Burlingham, William H. Marks, Ignacio Sanz, Robert I. Lechler, Maria P. Hernandez-Fuentes, Laurence A. Turka, Vicki L. Seyfert-Margolis
The potent regulatory properties of NKT cells render this subset of lipid-specific T cells a promising target for immunotherapeutic interventions. The marine sponge glycolipid α-galactosylceramide (αGalCer) is the prototypic NKT cell agonist, which elicits this function when bound to CD1d. However, our understanding of the in vivo properties of NKT cell agonists and the host factors that control their bioactivity remains very limited. In this report, we isolated the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) from mouse serum as an αGalCer-binding protein that modulates the induction of key effector functions of NKT cells in vivo. FAAH bound αGalCer in vivo and in vitro and was required for the efficient targeting of lipid antigens for CD1d presentation. Immunization of Faah-deficient mice with αGalCer resulted in a reduced systemic cytokine production, but enhanced expansion of splenic NKT cells. This distinct NKT response conferred a drastically increased adjuvant effect and strongly promoted protective CTL responses. Thus, our findings identify not only the presence of FAAH in normal mouse serum, but also its critical role in the tuning of immune responses to lipid antigens by orchestrating their transport and targeting for NKT cell activation. Our results suggest that the serum transport of lipid antigens directly shapes the quality of NKT cell responses, which could potentially be modulated in support of novel vaccination strategies.
Stefan Freigang, Victoria Zadorozhny, Michele K. McKinney, Philippe Krebs, Rana Herro, Joanna Pawlak, Lisa Kain, Nicolas Schrantz, Kim Masuda, Yang Liu, Paul B. Savage, Albert Bendelac, Benjamin F. Cravatt, Luc Teyton
Clinical tools that measure changes in immune cell metabolism would improve the diagnosis and treatment of immune dysfunction. PET, utilizing probes for specific metabolic processes, detects regions of immune activation in vivo. In this study we investigated the immune cell specificity of PET probes for two different metabolic pathways: [18F]–2-fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]-FDG) for glycolysis and [18F]–2-fluoro-d-(arabinofuranosyl)cytosine ([18F]-FAC) for deoxycytidine salvage. We isolated innate and adaptive immune cells from tissues of mice challenged with a retrovirus-induced sarcoma and measured their ability to accumulate FDG and FAC. We determined that the two probes had distinct patterns of accumulation: FDG accumulated to the highest levels in innate immune cells, while FAC accumulated predominantly in CD8+ T cells in a manner that correlated with cellular proliferation. This study demonstrates that innate and adaptive cell types differ in glycolytic and deoxycytidine salvage demands during an immune response and that these differential metabolic requirements can be detected with specific PET probes. Our findings have implications for the interpretation of clinical PET scans that use [18F]-FDG or [18F]-FAC to assess immune function in vivo and suggest potential applications of metabolic PET to monitor the effects of targeted immune modulation.
Evan Nair-Gill, Stephanie M. Wiltzius, Xiao X. Wei, Donghui Cheng, Mireille Riedinger, Caius G. Radu, Owen N. Witte
IgE-mediated hypersensitivity is central to the pathogenesis of asthma and other allergic diseases. Although neutralization of serum IgE with IgE-specific antibodies is in general an efficacious treatment for allergic asthma, one limitation of this approach is its lack of effect on IgE production. Here, we have developed a strategy to disrupt IgE production by generating monoclonal antibodies that target a segment of membrane IgE on human IgE-switched B cells that is not present in serum IgE. This segment is known as the M1′ domain, and using genetically modified mice that contain the human M1′ domain inserted into the mouse IgE locus, we demonstrated that M1′-specific antibodies reduced serum IgE and IgE-producing plasma cells in vivo, without affecting other immunoglobulin isotypes. M1′-specific antibodies were effective when delivered prophylactically and therapeutically in mouse models of immunization, allergic asthma, and Nippostrongylus brasiliensis infection, likely by inducing apoptosis of IgE-producing B cells. In addition, we generated a humanized M1′-specific antibody that was active on primary human cells in vivo, as determined by its reduction of serum IgE levels and IgE plasma cell numbers in a human PBMC-SCID mouse model. Thus, targeting of human IgE-producing B cells with apoptosis-inducing M1′-specific antibodies may be a novel treatment for asthma and allergy.
Hans D. Brightbill, Surinder Jeet, Zhonghua Lin, Donghong Yan, Meijuan Zhou, Martha Tan, Allen Nguyen, Sherry Yeh, Donnie Delarosa, Steven R. Leong, Terence Wong, Yvonne Chen, Mark Ultsch, Elizabeth Luis, Sree Ranjani Ramani, Janet Jackman, Lino Gonzalez, Mark S. Dennis, Anan Chuntharapai, Laura DeForge, Y. Gloria Meng, Min Xu, Charles Eigenbrot, Wyne P. Lee, Canio J. Refino, Mercedesz Balazs, Lawren C. Wu
Persistent viral infections are often associated with inefficient T cell responses and sustained high-level expression of inhibitory receptors, such as the NK cell receptor 2B4 (also known as CD244), on virus-specific T cells. However, the role of 2B4 in T cell dysfunction is undefined, and it is unknown whether NK cells contribute to regulation of these processes. We show here that persistent lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection of mice lacking 2B4 resulted in diminished LCMV-specific CD8+ T cell responses, prolonged viral persistence, and spleen and thymic pathologies that differed from those observed in infected wild-type mice. Surprisingly, these altered phenotypes were not caused by 2B4 deficiency in T cells. Rather, the entire and long-lasting pathology and viral persistence were regulated by 2B4-deficient NK cells acting early in infection. In the absence of 2B4, NK cells lysed activated (defined as CD44hi) but not naive (defined as CD44lo) CD8+ T cells in a perforin-dependent manner in vitro and in vivo. These results illustrate the importance of NK cell self-tolerance to activated CD8+ T cells and demonstrate how an apparent T cell–associated persistent infection can actually be regulated by NK cells.
Stephen N. Waggoner, Ruth T. Taniguchi, Porunelloor A. Mathew, Vinay Kumar, Raymond M. Welsh
The transcription factor kruppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) is required for the quiescent and migratory properties of naive T cells. Statins, a class of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, display pleiotropic immunomodulatory effects that are independent of their lipid-lowering capacity and may be beneficial as therapeutic agents for T cell–mediated inflammatory diseases. Statins upregulate KLF2 expression in endothelial cells, and this activity is associated with an antiinflammatory phenotype. We therefore hypothesized that the immunomodulatory effects of statins are due, in part, to their direct effects on T cell KLF2 gene expression. Here we report that lipophilic statin treatment of mouse and human T cells increased expression of KLF2 through a HMG-CoA/prenylation–dependent pathway. Statins also diminished T cell proliferation and IFN-γ expression. shRNA blockade of KLF2 expression in human T cells increased IFN-γ expression and prevented statin-induced IFN-γ reduction. In a mouse model of myocarditis induced by heart antigen–specific CD8+ T cells, both statin treatment of the T cells and retrovirally mediated overexpression of KLF2 in the T cells had similar ameliorating effects on disease induction. We conclude that statins reduce inflammatory functions and pathogenic activity of T cells through KLF2-dependent mechanisms, and this pathway may be a potential therapeutic target for cardiovascular diseases.
De-xiu Bu, Margarite Tarrio, Nir Grabie, Yuzhi Zhang, Hiroyuki Yamazaki, George Stavrakis, Elena Maganto-Garcia, Zachary Pepper-Cunningham, Petr Jarolim, Masanori Aikawa, Guillermo García-Cardeña, Andrew H. Lichtman
CD8+ T cell responses to viral infection are characterized by the emergence of dominant and subdominant CTL populations. The immunodominance hierarchies of these populations are highly reproducible for any given spectrum of virus-induced peptide-MHCI complexes and are likely determined by multiple factors. Recent studies demonstrate a direct correlation between naive epitope-specific CD8+ T cell precursor (CTLp) frequency and the magnitude of the response after antigen challenge. Thus, the number of available precursors in the naive pool has emerged as a key predictor of immunodominance. In contrast to this, we report here no consistent relationship between CTLp frequency and the subsequent magnitude of the immune response for 4 influenza virus–derived epitopes following intranasal infection of mice with influenza A virus. Rather, the characteristic, antigen-driven T cell immunodominance hierarchy was determined by the extent of recruitment from the available pool of epitope-specific precursors and the duration of their continued expansion over the course of the infection. These findings suggest possibilities for enhancing protective immune memory by maximizing both the size and diversity of typically subdominant T cell responses through rational vaccine design.
Nicole L. La Gruta, William T. Rothwell, Tania Cukalac, Natasha G. Swan, Sophie A. Valkenburg, Katherine Kedzierska, Paul G. Thomas, Peter C. Doherty, Stephen J. Turner
Sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1) and SphK2 are ubiquitous enzymes that generate sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a ligand for a family of G protein–coupled receptors (S1PR1–S1PR5) with important functions in the vascular and immune systems. Here we explore the role of these kinases and receptors in recovery from anaphylaxis in mice. We found that Sphk2–/– mice had a rapid recovery from anaphylaxis. In contrast, Sphk1–/– mice showed poor recovery from anaphylaxis and delayed histamine clearance. Injection of S1P into Sphk1–/– mice increased histamine clearance and promoted recovery from anaphylaxis. Adoptive cell transfer experiments demonstrated that SphK1 activity was required in both the hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic compartments for recovery from anaphylaxis. Mice lacking the S1P receptor S1PR2 also showed a delay in plasma histamine clearance and a poor recovery from anaphylaxis. However, S1P did not promote the recovery of S1pr2–/– mice from anaphylaxis, whereas S1pr2+/– mice showed partial recovery. Unlike Sphk2–/– mice, Sphk1–/– and S1pr2–/– mice had severe hypotension during anaphylaxis. Thus, SphK1-produced S1P regulates blood pressure, histamine clearance, and recovery from anaphylaxis in a manner that involves S1PR2. This suggests that specific S1PR2 agonists may serve to counteract the vasodilation associated with anaphylactic shock.
Ana Olivera, Christoph Eisner, Yoshiaki Kitamura, Sandra Dillahunt, Laura Allende, Galina Tuymetova, Wendy Watford, Francoise Meylan, Susanne C. Diesner, Lingli Li, Jurgen Schnermann, Richard L. Proia, Juan Rivera
Genetic susceptibility to autoimmunity is frequently associated with specific MHC alleles. Diabetogenic MHC class II molecules, such as human HLA-DQ8 and mouse I-Ag7, typically have a small, uncharged amino acid residue at position 57 of their β chain (β57); this results in the absence of a salt bridge between β57 and Argα76, which is adjacent to the P9 pocket of the peptide-binding groove. However, the influence of Argα76 on the selection of the TCR repertoire remains unknown, particularly when the MHC molecule binds a peptide with a neutral amino acid residue at position P9. Here, we have shown that diabetogenic MHC class II molecules bound to a peptide with a neutral P9 residue primarily selected and expanded cells expressing TCRs bearing a negatively charged residue in the first segment of their complementarity determining region 3β. The crystal structure of one such TCR in complex with I-Ag7 bound to a peptide containing a neutral P9 residue revealed that a network of favorable long-range (greater than 4 Å) electrostatic interactions existed among Argα76, the neutral P9 residue, and TCR, which supported the substantially increased TCR/peptide-MHC affinity. This network could be modulated or switched to a lower affinity interaction by the introduction of a negative charge at position P9 of the peptide. Our results support the existence of a switch at residue β57 of the I-Ag7 and HLA-DQ8 class II molecules and potentially link normal thymic TCR selection with abnormal peripheral behavior.
Kenji Yoshida, Adam L. Corper, Rana Herro, Bana Jabri, Ian A. Wilson, Luc Teyton