Food allergies are a major clinical problem and are driven by IgE antibodies specific for food antigens. T follicular regulatory (TFR) cells are a specialized subset of Foxp3+ T cells that modulate antibody responses. Here we analyzed the role of TFR cells in regulating antigen-specific IgE using a peanut-based food allergy model in mice. Peanut-specific IgE titers and anaphylaxis responses were significantly blunted in TFR cell-deficient Foxp3-cre Bcl6-fl/fl mice. Loss of TFR cells led to greatly increased non-specific IgE levels, showing that TFR cells have both helper and suppressor functions on IgE production in the GC that work together to facilitate the production of antigen-specific IgE. Foxp3-cre Pten-fl/fl mice with augmented TFR cell responses had markedly higher levels of peanut-specific IgE, revealing an active helper function by TFR cells on antigen-specific IgE. The helper function of TFR cells for IgE production involves IL-10, and the loss of IL-10 signaling by B cells led to a severely curtailed peanut-specific IgE response, decreased GC B cell survival and loss of GC dark zone B cells after peanut sensitization. We thus reveal that TFR cells have an unexpected helper role in promoting food allergy and are a novel target for drug development.
Markus M. Xie, Qiang Chen, Hong Liu, Kai Yang, Byunghee Koh, Hao Wu, Soheila J. Maleki, Barry K. Hurlburt, Joan Cook-Mills, Mark H. Kaplan, Alexander L. Dent
Allergic asthma is mediated by T helper 2 (Th2) responses to inhaled allergens. Although previous experiments indicated that Notch signaling activates expression of the key Th2 transcription factor Gata3, it remains controversial how Notch promotes allergic airway inflammation. Here we show that T cell-specific Notch deficiency in mice prevented house dust mite-driven eosinophilic airway inflammation and significantly reduced Th2 cytokine production, serum IgE levels and airway hyperreactivity. However, transgenic Gata3 overexpression in Notch-deficient T cells only partially rescued this phenotype. We found that Notch signaling was not required for T cell proliferation or Th2 polarization. Instead, Notch-deficient in vitro polarized Th2 cells showed reduced accumulation in the lungs upon in vivo transfer and allergen challenge, as Notch-deficient Th2 cells were retained in the lung draining lymph nodes. Transcriptome analyses and sequential adoptive transfer experiments revealed that while Notch-deficient lymph node Th2 cells established competence for lung migration, they failed to upregulate the sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor (S1PR1) and its critical upstream transcriptional activator Krüppel-like factor 2 (KLF2). As this KLF2-S1PR1 axis represents the essential cell-intrinsic regulator of T cell lymph node egress, we conclude that the druggable Notch signaling pathway licenses the Th2 response in allergic airway inflammation via promoting lymph node egress.
Irma Tindemans, Anne van Schoonhoven, Alex KleinJan, Marjolein J.W. de Bruijn, Melanie Lukkes, Menno van Nimwegen, Anouk van den Branden, Ingrid M. Bergen, Odilia B. J. Corneth, Wilfred F.J. van IJcken, Ralph Stadhouders, Rudi W. Hendriks
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has spurred a global health crisis. To date, there are no proven options for prophylaxis for those who have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, nor therapy for those who develop COVID-19. Immune (i.e. “convalescent”) plasma refers to plasma that is collected from individuals, following resolution of infection and development of antibodies. Passive antibody administration through transfusion of convalescent plasma may offer the only short-term strategy to confer immediate immunity to susceptible individuals. There are numerous examples, where convalescent plasma has been used successfully as post-exposure prophylaxis and/or treatment of infectious diseases, including other outbreaks of coronaviruses (e.g., SARS-1, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome [MERS]). Convalescent plasma has also been used in the COVID-19 pandemic; limited data from China suggest clinical benefit, including radiological resolution, reduction in viral loads and improved survival. Globally, blood centers have robust infrastructure to undertake collections and construct inventories of convalescent plasma to meet the growing demand. Nonetheless, there are nuanced challenges, both regulatory and logistical, spanning donor eligibility, donor recruitment, collections and transfusion itself. Data from rigorously controlled clinical trials of convalescent plasma are also few, underscoring the need to evaluate its use objectively for a range of indications (e.g., prevention vs treatment) and patient populations (e.g., age, comorbid disease). We provide an overview of convalescent plasma, from evidence of benefit, regulatory considerations, logistical work flow and proposed clinical trials, as scale up is brought underway to mobilize this critical resource.
Evan M. Bloch, Shmuel Shoham, Arturo Casadevall, Bruce S. Sachais, Beth Shaz, Jeffrey L. Winters, Camille van Buskirk, Brenda J. Grossman, Michael Joyner, Jeffrey P. Henderson, Andrew Pekosz, Bryan Lau, Amy Wesolowski, Louis Katz, Hua Shan, Paul G. Auwaerter, David Thomas, David J. Sullivan, Nigel Paneth, Eric Gehrie, Steven Spitalnik, Eldad Hod, Lewis Pollack, Wayne T. Nicholson, Liise-anne Pirofski, Jeffrey A. Bailey, Aaron A.R. Tobian
The current COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, but presents profound consequences for patients with kidney disease, health care providers, and biomedical researchers. In this Viewpoint, I will discuss a number of kidney-specific aspects of COVID-19 infection, noting therapeutic and basic research opportunities.
This viewpoint addresses the major impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on biomedical research, the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic for research-intensive institutions, and what investigators can do to maintain some level of research activity while keeping their coworkers and trainees safe and engaged.
M. Bishr Omary, Jeetendra R. Eswaraka, S. David Kimball, Prabhas V. Moghe, Reynold A. Panettieri, Jr., Kathleen W. Scotto
A common variant in the RAB27A gene in adults was recently found to be associated with the fractional exhaled nitric oxide level, a marker of eosinophilic airway inflammation. The small GTPase, Rab27, is known to regulate intracellular vesicle traffic, although its role in allergic responses is unclear. We demonstrated that exophilin-5, a Rab27 binding protein, was predominantly expressed in both the major IL-33 producers, lung epithelial cells, and the specialized IL-5 and IL-13 producers in CD44highCXCR3lowCD62Llow pathogenic T helper 2 (Th2) cell population in mice. Exophilin-5 deficiency increased stimulant-dependent damages and IL-33 secretion of lung epithelial cells. Moreover, it enhanced IL-5 and IL-13 production in response to TCR and IL-33 stimulation from a specific subset of pathogenic Th2 cells that expresses a high level of IL-33 receptor, which exacerbated allergic airway inflammation in a mouse model of asthma. Mechanistically, exophilin-5 regulates extracellular superoxide release, intracellular ROS production, and phosphoinositide 3-kinase activity by controlling intracellular traffic of Nox2-containing vesicles, which seems to prevent the overactivation of pathogenic Th2 cells mediated by IL-33. This is the first report to establish the significance of Rab27-related protein exophilin-5 in the development of allergic airway inflammation, and provides new insights into the pathophysiology of asthma.
Katsuhide Okunishi, Hao Wang, Maho Suzukawa, Ray Ishizaki, Eri Kobayashi, Miho Kihara, Takaya Abe, Jun-ichi Miyazaki, Masafumi Horie, Akira Saito, Hirohisa Saito, Susumu Nakae, Tetsuro Izumi
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, relapsing, inflammatory skin disease. HS appears to be a primary abnormality in the pilosebaceous-apocrine unit. In this work, we characterized hair follicle stem cells isolated from HS patients and more precisely the Outer Root Sheath Cells (ORS). We show that hair follicles from HS patients have an increased number of proliferating progenitor cells and lose quiescent stem cells. Remarkably, we also show that the progression of replication forks is altered in HS-ORS and activates the ATR-CHK1 pathway. These alterations are associated with an increased number of micronuclei and with the presence of cytoplasmic ssDNA, leading to the activation of IFI16-STING pathway and the production of type I IFNs. This mechanistic analysis of the etiology of HS in the hair follicle stem cells compartment establishes a formal link between the genetic predisposition and skin inflammation observed in HS.
Cindy Orvain, Yea-Lih Lin, Francette Jean-Louis, Hakim Hocini, Barbara Hersant, Yamina Bennasser, Nicolas Ortonne, Claire Hotz, Pierre Wolkenstein, Michele Boniotto, Pascaline Tisserand, Cecile Lefebvre, Jean-Daniel Lelievre, Monsef Benkirane, Philippe Pasero, Yves Levy, Sophie Hue
Germinal center (GC) responses require B cells to respond to a dynamic set of intercellular and microenvironmental signals that instruct B cell positioning, differentiation, and metabolic reprogramming. ROCK2, a serine-threonine kinase that can be therapeutically targeted by ROCK inhibitors or statins, is a key downstream effector of RHOA-GTPases. While RHOA-mediated pathways are emerging as critical regulators of GC responses, the role of ROCK2 in B cells is unknown. Here, we find that ROCK2 was activated in response to key T cell signals like CD40 and IL21 and that it regulated GC formation and maintenance. RNA-seq analyses revealed that ROCK2 controlled a unique transcriptional program in GC B cells that promoted optimal GC polarization and cholesterol biosynthesis. ROCK2 regulated this program by restraining AKT activation and subsequently enhancing FOXO1 activity. ATAC-seq and biochemical analyses revealed that the effects of ROCK2 on cholesterol biosynthesis were instead mediated via a novel mechanism. ROCK2 directly phosphorylated IRF8, a crucial mediator of GC responses, and promoted its interaction with SREBP2 at key regulatory regions controlling the expression of cholesterol biosynthetic enzymes, resulting in optimal recruitment of SREBP2 at these sites. These findings thus uncover ROCK2 as a multifaceted and therapeutically targetable regulator of GC responses.
Edd Ricker, Yurii Chinenov, Tania Pannellini, Danny M. Flores Castro, Chao Ye, Sanjay Gupta, Michela Manni, James K. Liao, Alessandra Pernis
Immune microenvironment plays a critical role in lung cancer control versus progression and metastasis. In this investigation, we explored the impact of tumor-infiltrating-lymphocyte subpopulations on lung cancer biology by studying in vitro co-cultures, in vivo mouse models and human lung cancer tissue. Lymphocyte conditioned media-(CM) induced epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT), and migration in both primary human lung cancer cells and cell lines. Correspondingly, major accumulation of Th9 and Th17 cells was detected in human lung cancer tissue, and correlated with poor survival. Co-culturing lung cancer cells with Th9/Th17 cells or exposing them to the respective-CM induced-EMT in cancer cells and modulated the expression profile of genes implicated in EMT and metastasis. These features were reproduced by the signatory cytokines IL–9 and IL–17, with gene regulatory profiles evoked by these cytokines partly overlapping and partly complementary. Co-injection of Th9 and/or Th17 cells with tumor cells in wildtype, Rag1-/-, Il9r-/- and Il17ra-/- mice altered tumor growth and metastasis. Accordingly, inhibition of IL–9 or IL–17 cytokines by neutralizing antibodies decreased EMT and slowed lung cancer progression and metastasis. In conclusion, Th9 and Th17 lymphocytes induce lung cancer cell EMT, thereby promoting migration, and metastatic spreading and offering for novel therapeutic strategies.
Ylia Salazar, Xiang Zheng, David Brunn, Hartmann Raifer, Felix S.R. Picard, Yajuan Zhang, Hauke Winter, Stefan Günther, Andreas Weigert, Benno Weigmann, Laure Dumoutier, Jean-Christophe Renauld, Ari Waisman, Anja Schmall, Amanda Tufman, Ludger Fink, Bernhard Brüne, Tobias Bopp, Friedrich Grimminger, Werner Seeger, Soni Savai Pullamsetti, Magdalena Huber, Rajkumar Savai
The threat of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to health systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) can be compared metaphorically to a lake in Africa infested with a bask of crocodiles and the saying: “the eye of the crocodile.” In the lake, only the eyes of the crocodile appear on the surface while the rest of the body is submerged in water. In this Viewpoint, the eyes and the body of the crocodile represent the public health preparedness and health systems, respectively, in SSA.
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