FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) rely on fatty acid -oxidation (FAO)-driven oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) for differentiation and function. Recent data demonstrate a role for Tregs in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis with tissue-resident Tregs possessing tissue-specific transcriptomes. However, specific signals that establish tissue-resident Treg programs remain largely unknown. Tregs metabolically rely on FAO, and considering the lipid-rich environments of tissues, we hypothesized that environmental lipids drive Treg homeostasis. First, using human adipose tissue to model tissue residency, we identified oleic acid as the most prevalent free fatty acid. Mechanistically, oleic acid amplified Treg FAO-driven OXPHOS metabolism, creating a positive feedback mechanism that increased the expression of FOXP3 and phosphorylation of STAT5, which enhanced Treg suppressive function. Comparing the transcriptomic program induced by oleic acid to the pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid, we found that Tregs sorted from peripheral blood and adipose of healthy donors transcriptomically resembled the oleic acid in vitro treated Tregs, whereas Tregs from the adipose of MS patients more closely resembled an arachidonic acid transcriptomic profile. Finally, we found oleic acid concentrations were reduced in the adipose of MS patients, and exposure of MS Tregs to oleic acid restored defects in their suppressive function. These data demonstrate the importance of fatty acids in regulating tissue inflammatory signals.
Saige L. Pompura, Allon Wagner, Alexandra Kitz, Jacob Laperche, Nir Yosef, Margarita Dominguez-Villar, David Hafler
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by inflammatory cell infiltration, as well as hyperproliferation of keratinocytes in skin lesions, and is considered a metabolic syndrome. We found that the expression of galectin-7 is reduced in the skin lesions of patients with psoriasis. IL-17A and TNF-α, two cytokines intimately involved in the development of psoriatic lesions, suppressed galectin-7 expression in human primary keratinocytes (HEKn cells) and the immortalized human keratinocyte cell line HaCaT. A galectin-7 knockdown in these cells elevated the production of IL-6 and IL-8 and enhanced ERK signaling when the cells were stimulated with IL-17A. Galectin-7 attenuated IL-17A–induced production of inflammatory mediators by keratinocytes via the miR-146a–ERK pathway. Moreover, galectin-7–deficient mice showed enhanced epidermal hyperplasia and skin inflammation in response to intradermal IL-23 injection. We identified fluvastatin as an inducer of galectin-7 expression by connectivity map (cMAP) analysis, confirmed this effect in keratinocytes, and demonstrated that fluvastatin attenuated IL-6 and IL-8 production induced by IL-17A. Thus, we validate a role of galectin-7 in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, in both epidermal hyperplasia and keratinocyte-mediated inflammatory responses, and formulated a rationale for the use of statins in the treatment of psoriasis.
Hung-Lin Chen, Chia-Hui Lo, Chi-Chun Huang, Meng-Ping Lu, Po-Yuan Hu, Chang-Shan Chen, Di-Yen Chueh, Peilin Chen, Teng-Nan Lin, Yuan-Hsin Lo, Yu-Ping Hsiao, Daniel K. Hsu, Fu-Tong Liu
The aorta and the large conductive arteries are immunoprivileged tissues and are protected against inflammatory attack. A breakdown of the immunoprivilege leads to autoimmune vasculitis, such as giant cell arteritis (GCA), in which CD8+ T regulatory (Treg) cells fail to contain CD4+ T cells and macrophages, resulting in the formation of tissue-destructive granulomatous lesions. Here, we report that the molecular defect of malfunctioning CD8+ Treg cells lies in aberrant NOTCH4 signaling that deviates endosomal trafficking and minimizes exosome production. By transcriptionally controlling the profile of RAB GTPases, NOTCH4 signaling restricted membrane translocation and vesicular secretion of the enzyme NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2). Specifically, NOTCH4hiCD8+ Treg cells increased RAB5A and RAB11A expression and suppressed RAB7A, culminating in the accumulation of early and recycling endosomes and trapping of NOX2 in an intracellular, non-secretory compartment. RAB7AloCD8+ Treg cells failed in the surface translocation and the exosomal release of NOX2. NOTCH4hi RAB5Ahi RAB7Alo RAB11Ahi CD8+ Treg cells left adaptive immunity unopposed, enabling a breakdown in tissue tolerance and aggressive vessel wall inflammation. Inhibiting NOTCH4 signaling corrected the defect and protected arteries from inflammatory insult. The study implicates NOTCH4-dependent transcriptional control of RAB proteins and intracellular vesicle trafficking in autoimmune disease and in vascular inflammation.
Ke Jin, Zhenke Wen, Bowen Wu, Hui Zhang, Jingtao Qiu, Yanan Wang, Kenneth J. Warrington, Gerald Berry, Jörg J. Goronzy, Cornelia M. Weyand
Regulatory T (Treg) cells require Foxp3 expression and induction of a specific DNA hypomethylation signature during development, after which Treg cells persist as a self-renewing population that regulates immune system activation. Whether maintenance DNA methylation is required for Treg cell lineage development and stability and how methylation patterns are maintained during lineage self-renewal remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the epigenetic regulator Uhrf1 is essential for maintenance of methyl-DNA marks that stabilize Treg cellular identity by repressing effector T cell transcriptional programs. Constitutive and induced deficiency of Uhrf1 within Foxp3+ cells resulted in global yet non-uniform loss of DNA methylation, derepression of inflammatory transcriptional programs, destabilization of the Treg cell lineage, and spontaneous inflammation. These findings support a paradigm in which maintenance DNA methylation is required in distinct regions of the Treg cell genome for both lineage establishment and stability of identity and suppressive function.
Kathryn A. Helmin, Luisa Morales-Nebreda, Manuel A. Torres Acosta, Kishore R. Anekalla, Shang-Yang Chen, Hiam Abdala-Valencia, Yuliya Politanska, Paul Cheresh, Mahzad Akbarpour, Elizabeth M. Steinert, Samuel E. Weinberg, Benjamin D. Singer
The transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) is a central mediator of innate and adaptive immunity. Genetic variations within IRF5 associate with risk of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and mice lacking Irf5 are protected from lupus onset and severity, but how IRF5 functions in the context of SLE disease progression remains unclear. Using the NZB/W F1 model of murine lupus, we show that murine Irf5 becomes hyper-activated before clinical onset. In SLE patients, IRF5 hyper-activation correlated with dsDNA titers. To test whether IRF5 hyper-activation is a targetable function, we developed novel inhibitors that are cell permeable, non-toxic and selectively bind to the inactive IRF5 monomer. Preclinical treatment of NZB/W F1 mice with inhibitor attenuated lupus pathology by reducing serum ANA, dsDNA titers and the number of circulating plasma cells, which alleviated kidney pathology and improved survival. Clinical treatment of MRL/lpr and pristane-induced mice with inhibitor led to significant reductions in dsDNA levels and improved survival. In ex vivo human studies, the inhibitor blocked SLE serum-induced IRF5 activation in healthy immune cells and reversed basal IRF5 hyper-activation in SLE immune cells. Altogether, this study provides the first in vivo clinical support for treating SLE patients with an IRF5 inhibitor.
Su Song, Saurav De, Victoria Nelson, Samin Chopra, Margaret LaPan, Kyle Kampta, Shan Sun, Mingzhu He, Cherrie D. Thompson, Dan Li, Tiffany Shih, Natalie Tan, Yousef Al-Abed, Eugenio Capitle, Cynthia Aranow, Meggan Mackay, William L. Clapp, Betsy J. Barnes
Psoriasis is a severe disease associated with the disturbance of metabolism and inflammation, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these aspects of psoriasis pathology are poorly understood. Here, we report that glutaminase 1–mediated (GLS1-mediated) glutaminolysis was aberrantly activated in patients with psoriasis and in psoriasis-like mouse models, which promoted Th17 and γδ T17 (IL-17A–producing γδ T) cell differentiation through enhancement of histone H3 acetylation of the Il17a promoter, thereby contributing to the immune imbalance and development of psoriasis. We further demonstrate that mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma translocation protein 1 (MALT1) protease was constitutively active in psoriatic CD4+ and γδ T cells, thereby supporting GLS1 expression by stabilizing c-Jun, which directly binds to the GLS1 promoter region. Blocking the activity of either GLS1 or MALT1 protease resolved Th17 and γδ T17 cell differentiation and epidermal hyperplasia in the psoriasis-like mouse models. Finally, IL-17A enhanced GLS1 expression via the MALT1/cJun pathway in keratinocytes, resulting in hyperproliferation of and chemokine production by keratinocytes. Our findings identify the role of the MALT1/cJun/GLS1/glutaminolysis/H3 acetylation/T17 axis in psoriasis pathogenesis and reveal potential therapeutic targets for this disease.
Xichun Xia, Guangchao Cao, Guodong Sun, Leqing Zhu, Yixia Tian, Yueqi Song, Chengbin Guo, Xiao Wang, Jingxiang Zhong, Wei Zhou, Peng Li, Hua Zhang, Jianlei Hao, Zhizhong Li, Liehua Deng, Zhinan Yin, Yunfei Gao
Desmoglein 3 chimeric autoantibody receptor T-cells (DSG3-CAART) expressing the pemphigus vulgaris (PV) autoantigen DSG3, fused to CD137-CD3ζ signaling domains, represent a precision cellular immunotherapy approach for antigen-specific B-cell depletion. Here, we present definitive preclinical studies enabling a first-in-human trial of DSG3-CAART for mucosal PV. DSG3-CAART specifically lysed human anti-DSG3 B-cells from PV patients and demonstrated activity consistent with a threshold dose in vivo, resulting in decreased target cell burden, decreased serum and tissue-bound autoantibodies, and increased DSG3-CAART engraftment. In a PV active immune model with physiologic anti-DSG3 IgG levels, DSG3-CAART inhibited antibody responses against pathogenic DSG3 epitopes and autoantibody binding to epithelial tissues, leading to clinical and histologic resolution of blisters. DSG3 autoantibodies stimulate DSG3-CAART IFNγ secretion and homotypic clustering, consistent with an activated phenotype. Toxicology screens using primary human cells and high-throughput membrane proteome arrays did not identify off-target cytotoxic interactions. These preclinical data guided the trial design for DSG3-CAART and may help inform CAART preclinical development for other antibody-mediated diseases.
Jinmin Lee, Daniel K. Lundgren, Xuming Mao, Silvio Manfredo-Vieira, Selene Nunez-Cruz, Erik F. Williams, Charles-Antoine Assenmacher, Enrico Radaelli, Sangwook Oh, Baomei Wang, Christoph T. Ellebrecht, Joseph A. Fraietta, Michael C. Miloneǂ, Aimee S. Payne
FOXP3+CD4+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are critical for immune homeostasis and respond to local tissue cues, which control their stability and function. We explored here whether DEL-1, which, like Tregs, increases during resolution of inflammation, promotes Treg responses. DEL-1 enhanced Treg numbers and function at barrier sites (oral and lung mucosa). The underlying mechanism was dissected using mice lacking DEL-1 or expressing a point mutant thereof, or mice with T cell-specific deletion of the transcription factor RUNX1, identified by RNA-seq analysis of the DEL-1-induced Treg transcriptome. Specifically, through interaction with αvβ3-integrin, DEL-1 promoted induction of RUNX1-dependent FOXP3 expression and conferred stability of FOXP3 expression upon Treg restimulation in the absence of exogenous TGFβ1. Consistently, DEL-1 enhanced the demethylation of the Treg-specific demethylated region (TSDR) in the mouse Foxp3 gene and the suppressive function of sorted induced Tregs. Similarly, DEL-1 increased RUNX1 and FOXP3 expression in human conventional T cells promoting their conversion into induced Tregs with increased TSDR demethylation, enhanced stability and suppressive activity. We thus uncovered a DEL-1-αvβ3-RUNX1 axis that promotes Treg responses at barrier sites and offers novel therapeutic options for modulating inflammatory/autoimmune disorders.
Xiaofei Li, Alessandra Colamatteo, Lydia Kalafati, Tetsuhiro Kajikawa, Hui Wang, Jong-Hyung Lim, Khalil Bdeir, Kyoung-Jin Chung, Xiang Yu, Clorinda Fusco, Antonio Porcellini, Salvatore De Simone, Giuseppe Matarese, Triantafyllos Chavakis, Veronica De Rosa, George Hajishengallis
Clinical trials are currently testing whether induction of MHC-haploidentical mixed chimerism (Haplo-MC) induces organ transplantation tolerance. Whether Haplo-MC can be used to treat established autoimmune diseases remains unknown. Here, we show that established autoimmunity in euthymic and adult-thymectomized NOD (H-2g7) mice was cured by induction of Haplo-MC under a non-myeloablative anti-thymocyte globulin-based conditioning regimen and infusion of CD4+ T-depleted hematopoietic graft from H-2b/g7 F1 donors that express autoimmune-resistant H-2b or from H-2s/g7 F1 donors that express autoimmune susceptible H-2s. The cure was associated with enhanced thymic negative selection, increased thymic Treg (tTreg) production, and anergy or exhaustion of residual host-type autoreactive T cells in the periphery. The peripheral tolerance was accompanied with expansion of donor- and host-type CD62L1Helios+ tTreg as well as host-type Helios-Nrp1+ peripheral Treg (pTreg) and PD-L1hi plasmacytoid DCs (pDC). Depletion of donor- or host-type Treg cells led to reduction of host-type PD-L1hi pDCs and recurrence of autoimmunity; whereas PD-L1 deficiency in host-type DCs led to reduction of host-type pDCs and Helios-Nrp1+ pTreg cells. Thus, induction of Haplo-MC re-established both central and peripheral tolerance through mechanisms that depend on allo-MHC+ donor-type DC, PD-L1hi host-type DCs, and the generation and persistence of donor and host-type tTreg and pTreg cells.
Yuqing Liu, Xiaoqi Wang, Yongping Zhu, Mingfeng Zhang, Ubaydah Nasri, Sharne S. Sun, Stephen J. Forman, Arthur D. Riggs, Zhang Xi, Defu Zeng
How T cells integrate environmental cues into signals that limit the magnitude and length of immune responses is poorly understood. Here, we provide data that demonstrates that B55ß, a regulatory subunit of the phosphatase PP2A, represents a molecular link between cytokine concentration and apoptosis in activated CD8 T cells. Through the modulation of AKT, B55ß induced the expression of the pro-apoptotic molecule Hrk in response to cytokine withdrawal. Accordingly, B55ß and Hrk were both required for in vivo and in vitro contraction of activated CD8 lymphocytes. We show that this process plays a role during clonal contraction, establishment of immune memory, and preservation of peripheral tolerance. This regulatory pathway may represent an unexplored opportunity to end unwanted immune responses, or to promote immune memory.
Noé Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Iris K. Madera-Salcedo, J. Alejandro Cisneros-Segura, H. Benjamin García-González, Sokratis A. Apostolidis, Abril Saint-Martin, Marcela Esquivel-Velázquez, Tran Nguyen, Dámaris P. Romero-Rodríguez, George C. Tsokos, Jorge Alcocer-Varela, Florencia Rosetti, Jose C. Crispin
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