Angiopoietin-2 (Ang2), a ligand of the endothelial Tie2 tyrosine kinase, is involved in vascular inflammation and leakage in critically ill patients. However, the role of Ang2 in demyelinating central nervous system (CNS) autoimmune diseases is unknown. Here, we report that Ang2 is critically involved in the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a rodent model of multiple sclerosis. Ang2 expression was induced in CNS autoimmunity, and transgenic mice overexpressing Ang2 specifically in endothelial cells (ECs) developed a significantly more severe EAE. In contrast, treatment with Ang2-blocking Abs ameliorated neuroinflammation and decreased spinal cord demyelination and leukocyte infiltration into the CNS. Similarly, Ang2-binding and Tie2-activating Ab attenuated the development of CNS autoimmune disease. Ang2 blockade inhibited expression of EC adhesion molecules, improved blood-brain barrier integrity, and decreased expression of genes involved in antigen presentation and proinflammatory responses of microglia and macrophages, which was accompanied by inhibition of α5β1 integrin activation in microglia. Taken together, our data suggest that Ang2 provides a target for increasing Tie2 activation in ECs and inhibiting proinflammatory polarization of CNS myeloid cells via α5β1 integrin in neuroinflammation. Thus, Ang2 targeting may serve as a therapeutic option for the treatment of CNS autoimmune disease.
Zhilin Li, Emilia A. Korhonen, Arianna Merlini, Judith Strauss, Eleonoora Wihuri, Harri Nurmi, Salli Antila, Jennifer Paech, Urban Deutsch, Britta Engelhardt, Sudhakar Chintharlapalli, Gou Young Koh, Alexander Flügel, Kari Alitalo
Peptide MHC class II–based (pMHCII-based) nanomedicines trigger the formation of multicellular regulatory networks by reprogramming autoantigen-experienced CD4+ T cells into autoimmune disease–suppressing T regulatory type 1 (TR1) cells. We have shown that pMHCII-based nanomedicines displaying liver autoimmune disease–relevant yet ubiquitously expressed antigens can blunt various liver autoimmune disorders in a non–disease-specific manner without suppressing local or systemic immunity against infectious agents or cancer. Here, we show that such ubiquitous autoantigen-specific T cells are also awakened by extrahepatic tissue damage and that the corresponding TR1 progeny can suppress experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and pancreatic β cell autoreactivity. In mice having EAE, nanomedicines displaying either ubiquitous or CNS-specific epitopes triggered the formation and expansion of cognate TR1 cells and their recruitment to the CNS-draining lymph nodes, sparing their liver-draining counterparts. Surprisingly, in mice having both liver autoimmunity and EAE, liver inflammation sequestered these ubiquitous or even CNS-specific TR1 cells away from the CNS, abrogating their antiencephalitogenic activity. In these mice, only the ubiquitous antigen-specific TR1 cells suppressed liver autoimmunity. Thus, the scope of antigen spreading in autoimmune disorders is larger than previously anticipated, involving specificities expected to be silenced by mechanisms of tolerance; the regulatory activity, but not the retention of autoreactive TR1 cells, requires local autoantigen expression.
Channakeshava Sokke Umeshappa, Jacques Mbongue, Santiswarup Singha, Saswat Mohapatra, Jun Yamanouchi, Justin A. Lee, Roopa Hebbandi Nanjundappa, Kun Shao, Urs Christen, Yang Yang, Kristofor K. Ellestad, Pere Santamaria
Protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) catalyzes symmetric dimethylation (SDM) of arginine, a posttranslational modification involved in oncogenesis and embryonic development. However, the role and mechanisms by which PRMT5 modulates Th cell polarization and autoimmune disease have not yet been elucidated. Here, we found that PRMT5 promoted SREBP1 SDM and the induction of cholesterol biosynthetic pathway enzymes that produce retinoid-related orphan receptor (ROR) agonists that activate RORγt. Specific loss of PRMT5 in the CD4+ Th cell compartment suppressed Th17 differentiation and protected mice from developing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). We also found that PRMT5 controlled thymic and peripheral homeostasis in the CD4+ Th cell life cycle and invariant NK (iNK) T cell development and CD8+ T cell maintenance. This work demonstrates that PRMT5 expression in recently activated T cells is necessary for the cholesterol biosynthesis metabolic gene expression program that generates RORγt agonistic activity and promotes Th17 differentiation and EAE. These results point to Th PRMT5 and its downstream cholesterol biosynthesis pathway as promising therapeutic targets in Th17-mediated diseases.
Lindsay M. Webb, Shouvonik Sengupta, Claudia Edell, Zayda L. Piedra-Quintero, Stephanie A. Amici, Janiret Narvaez Miranda, Makenzie Bevins, Austin Kennemer, Georgios Laliotis, Philip N. Tsichlis, Mireia Guerau-de-Arellano
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune fibrotic disease whose pathogenesis is poorly understood and lacks effective therapies. We undertook quantitative analyses of T cell infiltrates in the skin of thirty-five untreated patients with early diffuse SSc and here show that CD4+ cytotoxic T cells and CD8+ T cells contribute prominently to these infiltrates. We also observed an accumulation of apoptotic cells in SSc tissues, suggesting that recurring cell death may contribute to tissue damage and remodeling in this fibrotic disease. HLA-DR expressing endothelial cells were frequent targets of apoptosis in SSc, consistent with the prominent vasculopathy seen in patients with this disease. A circulating effector population of cytotoxic CD4+ T cells, which exhibited signatures of enhanced metabolic activity, was clonally expanded in systemic sclerosis patients. These data suggest that cytotoxic T cells may induce the apoptotic death of endothelial and other cells in systemic sclerosis. Cell loss driven by immune cells may be followed by overly exuberant tissue repair processes that lead to fibrosis and tissue dysfunction..
Takashi Maehara, Naoki Kaneko, Cory Adam Perugino, Hamid Mattoo, Jesper Kers, Hugues Allard-Chamard, Vinay S. Mahajan, Hang Liu, Samuel J.H. Murphy, Musie Ghebremichael, David A. Fox, Aimee S. Payne, Robert Lafyatis, John H. Stone, Dinesh Khanna, Shiv Pillai
Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is initially triggered by alloreactive T cells, which damage peripheral tissues and lymphoid organs. Subsequent transition to chronic GVHD involves the emergence of autoimmunity although the underlying mechanisms driving this process are unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that acute GVHD blocks peripheral tolerance of autoreactive T cells by impairing lymph node (LN) display of peripheral tissue-restricted antigens (PTA). At the initiation of GVHD, LN fibroblastic reticular cells (FRC) rapidly reduced expression of genes regulated by DEAF1, an Autoimmune Regulator-like transcription factor required for intra-nodal expression of PTA. Subsequently, GVHD led to the selective elimination of the FRC population, and blocked the repair pathways required for its regeneration. We used a transgenic mouse model to show that the loss of presentation of an intestinal PTA by FRC during GVHD resulted in the activation of auto-aggressive T cells and gut injury. Finally, we show that FRC normally expressed a unique PTA gene signature that was highly enriched for genes expressed in the target organs affected by chronic GVHD. In conclusion, acute GVHD damages and prevents repair of the FRC network, thus disabling an essential platform for purging auto-reactive T cells from the repertoire.
Simone Dertschnig, Pamela Evans, Pedro Santos e Sousa, Teresa Manzo, Ivana R. Ferrer, Hans J. Stauss, Clare L. Bennett, Ronjon Chakraverty
Although most patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) retain some functional insulin-producing islet β cells at the time of diagnosis, the rate of further β cell loss varies across individuals. It is not clear what drives this differential progression rate. CD8+ T cells have been implicated in the autoimmune destruction of β cells. Here, we addressed whether the phenotype and function of autoreactive CD8+ T cells influence disease progression. We identified islet-specific CD8+ T cells using high-content, single-cell mass cytometry in combination with peptide-loaded MHC tetramer staining. We applied a new analytical method, DISCOV-R, to characterize these rare subsets. Autoreactive T cells were phenotypically heterogeneous, and their phenotype differed by rate of disease progression. Activated islet-specific CD8+ memory T cells were prevalent in subjects with T1D who experienced rapid loss of C-peptide; in contrast, slow disease progression was associated with an exhaustion-like profile, with expression of multiple inhibitory receptors, limited cytokine production, and reduced proliferative capacity. This relationship between properties of autoreactive CD8+ T cells and the rate of T1D disease progression after onset make these phenotypes attractive putative biomarkers of disease trajectory and treatment response and reveal potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
Alice E. Wiedeman, Virginia S. Muir, Mario G. Rosasco, Hannah A. DeBerg, Scott Presnell, Bertrand Haas, Matthew J. Dufort, Cate Speake, Carla J. Greenbaum, Elisavet Serti, Gerald T. Nepom, Gabriele Blahnik, Anna M. Kus, Eddie A. James, Peter S. Linsley, S. Alice Long
Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) are crucial for responses to infections and tissue damage, however, their role in autoimmunity is less clear. Herein we demonstrate that two C-type lectin receptors (CLRs), Mcl and Mincle, play an important role in the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Congenic rats expressing lower levels of Mcl and Mincle on myeloid cells exhibited a drastic reduction in EAE incidence. In vivo silencing of Mcl and Mincle or blockade of their endogenous ligand SAP130 revealed that receptors expression in the central nervous system is crucial for the T cell recruitment and reactivation into a pathogenic Th17/GM-CSF phenotype. Consistent with this, we uncovered MCL/MINCLE-expressing cells in brain lesions of MS patients and we further found an upregulation of the MCL/MINCLE signaling pathway and an increased response following MCL/MINCLE stimulation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from MS patients. Together these data support a role for CLRs in autoimmunity and implicate the MCL/MINCLE pathway as a potential therapeutic target in MS.
Marie N'diaye, Susanna Brauner, Sevasti Flytzani, Lara Kular, Andreas Warnecke, Milena Z. Adzemovic, Eliane Piket, Jin-Hong Min, Will Edwards, Filia Mela, Hoi Ying Choi, Vera Magg, Tojo James, Magdalena Linden, Holger M. Reichardt, Michael R. Daws, Jack van Horssen, Ingrid Kockum, Robert A. Harris, Tomas Olsson, Andre O. Guerreiro-Cacais, Maja Jagodic
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of axial inflammation. Over time, some patients develop spinal ankylosis and permanent disability; however, current treatment strategies cannot arrest syndesmophyte formation completely. Here, we used mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from AS patients (AS MSCs) within the enthesis involved in spinal ankylosis to delineate that the HLA-B27–mediated spliced X-box–binding protein 1 (sXBP1)/retinoic acid receptor-β (RARB)/tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) axis accelerated the mineralization of AS MSCs, which was independent of Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2). An animal model mimicking AS pathological bony appositions was established by implantation of AS MSCs into the lumbar spine of NOD-SCID mice. We found that TNAP inhibitors, including levamisole and pamidronate, inhibited AS MSC mineralization in vitro and blocked bony appositions in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the serum bone-specific TNAP (BAP) level was a potential prognostic biomarker to predict AS patients with a high risk for radiographic progression. Our study highlights the importance of the HLA-B27–mediated activation of the sXBP1/RARB/TNAP axis in AS syndesmophyte pathogenesis and provides a new strategy for the diagnosis and prevention of radiographic progression of AS.
Chin-Hsiu Liu, Sengupta Raj, Chun-Hsiung Chen, Kuo-Hsuan Hung, Chung-Tei Chou, Ing-Ho Chen, Jui-Teng Chien, I-Ying Lin, Shii-Yi Yang, Takashi Angata, Wen-Chan Tsai, James Cheng-Chung Wei, I-Shiang Tzeng, Shih-Chieh Hung, Kuo-I Lin
While the impact of T helper 17 (Th17) cells in autoimmunity is undisputable, their pathogenic effector mechanism is still enigmatic. We have discovered SNARE complex proteins in Th17 cells enabling a vesicular glutamate release pathway inducing local intracytoplasmic calcium release and subsequent damage in neurons. This pathway is glutamine dependent and triggered by binding of β1-integrin to VCAM-1 on neurons in inflammatory context. Glutamate secretion could be blocked by inhibiting either glutaminase or KV1.3 channels, known to be linked to integrin expression and highly expressed on stimulated T cells. While KV1.3 is not expressed in the CNS tissue, intrathecal administration of a KV1.3 channel blocker or a glutaminase inhibitor ameliorated disability in experimental neuroinflammation. In humans, T cells from multiple sclerosis patients secreted higher levels of glutamate, and cerebrospinal fluid glutamine levels were increased. Altogether, our findings demonstrate that β1-integrin- and KV1.3 channel-dependent signaling stimulates glutamate release from Th17 cells upon direct cell-cell contact between Th17 cells and neurons.
Katharina Birkner, Beatrice Wasser, Tobias Ruck, Carine Thalman, Dirk Luchtman, Katrin Pape, Samantha Schmaul, Lynn Bitar, Eva-Maria Krämer-Albers, Albrecht Stroh, Sven G. Meuth, Frauke Zipp, Stefan Bittner
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the CNS. Although CD4 T cells are implicated in MS pathogenesis and have been the main focus of MS research using the animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), substantial evidence from patients with MS points to a role for CD8 T cells in disease pathogenesis. We previously showed that an MHC class I-restricted epitope of myelin basic protein (MBP) is presented in the CNS during CD4 T cell-initiated EAE. Here, we investigated whether naïve MBP-specific CD8 T cells recruited to the CNS during CD4 T cell-initiated EAE engaged in determinant-spreading and influenced disease. We found that the MBP-specific CD8 T cells exacerbated brain but not spinal cord inflammation. We show that a higher frequency of monocytes and monocyte-derived cells presented the MHC class I-restricted MBP ligand in the brain compared to the spinal cord. Infiltration of MBP-specific CD8 T cells enhanced ROS production in the brain only in these cell-types and only when the MBP-specific CD8 T cells expressed Fas ligand (FasL). These results suggest that myelin-specific CD8 T cells may contribute to disease pathogenesis via a FasL-dependent mechanism that preferentially promotes lesion formation in the brain.
Catriona A. Wagner, Pamela J. Roqué, Trevor R. Mileur, Denny Liggitt, Joan M. Goverman
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