The induction of potent CD8+ T cell responses by vaccines to fight microbes or tumors remains a major challenge, as many candidates for human vaccines have proved to be poorly immunogenic. Deoxycytidyl-deoxyguanosin oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODNs) trigger Toll-like receptor 9, resulting in dendritic cell maturation that can enhance immunogenicity of peptide-based vaccines in mice. We tested whether a synthetic ODN, CpG 7909, could improve human tumor antigen–specific CD8+ T cell responses. Eight HLA-A2+ melanoma patients received 4 monthly vaccinations of low-dose CpG 7909 mixed with melanoma antigen A (Melan-A; identical to MART-1) analog peptide and incomplete Freund’s adjuvant. All patients exhibited rapid and strong antigen-specific T cell responses: the frequency of Melan-A–specific T cells reached over 3% of circulating CD8+ T cells. This was one order of magnitude higher than the frequency seen in 8 control patients treated similarly but without CpG and 1–3 orders of magnitude higher than that seen in previous studies with synthetic vaccines. The enhanced T cell populations consisted primarily of effector memory cells, which in part secreted IFN-γ and expressed granzyme B and perforin ex vivo. In vitro, T cell clones recognized and killed melanoma cells in an antigen-specific manner. Thus, CpG 7909 is an efficient vaccine adjuvant that promotes strong antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses in humans.
Daniel E. Speiser, Danielle Liénard, Nathalie Rufer, Verena Rubio-Godoy, Donata Rimoldi, Ferdy Lejeune, Arthur M. Krieg, Jean-Charles Cerottini, Pedro Romero
Genetic factors are known to strongly influence susceptibility to allergic inflammation. The Th2 cytokine IL-13 is a central mediator of allergy and asthma, and common single-nucleotide polymorphisms in IL13 are associated with allergic phenotypes in several ethnically diverse populations. In particular, IL13+2044G→A is expected to result in the nonconservative replacement of arginine 130 (R130) with glutamine (Q). We examined the impact of IL13+2044G→A on the functional properties of IL-13 by directly comparing the activity of WT IL-13 and IL-13 R130Q on primary human cells involved in the effector mechanisms of allergic inflammation. Our results show that IL-13 R130Q was significantly more active than WT IL-13 in inducing STAT6 phosphorylation and CD23 expression in monocytes and hydrocortisone-dependent IgE switching in B cells. Notably, IL-13 R130Q was neutralized less effectively than WT IL-13 by an IL-13Rα2 decoy. Decreased neutralization of the minor variant could contribute to its enhanced in vivo activity. Neither IL-13 variant was able to engage T cells, which suggests that increased allergic inflammation in carriers of IL13+2044A depends on enhanced IL-13–mediated Th2 effector functions rather than increased Th2 differentiation. Collectively, our data indicate that natural variation in the coding region of IL13 may be an important genetic determinant of susceptibility to allergy.
Frank D. Vladich, Susan M. Brazille, Debra Stern, Michael L. Peck, Raffaella Ghittoni, Donata Vercelli
We show in these studies that Qa-1–dependent CD8+ T cells are involved in the establishment and maintenance of peripheral self tolerance as well as facilitating affinity maturation of CD4+ T cells responding to foreign antigen. We provide experimental evidence that the strategy used by the Qa-1–dependent CD8+ T cells to accomplish both these tasks in vivo is to selectively downregulate T cell clones that respond to both self and foreign antigens with intermediate, not high or low, affinity/avidity. Thus, the immune system evolved to regulate peripheral immunity using a unified mechanism that efficiently and effectively permits the system to safeguard peripheral self tolerance yet promote the capacity to deal with foreign invaders.
Hong Jiang, Yilun Wu, Bitao Liang, Zongyu Zheng, Guomei Tang, Jean Kanellopoulos, Mark Soloski, Robert Winchester, Itamar Goldstein, Leonard Chess
The cytokine IL-6 acts via a specific receptor complex that consists of the membrane-bound IL-6 receptor (mIL-6R) or the soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) and glycoprotein 130 (gp130). In this study, we investigated the role of IL-6R components in asthma. We observed increased levels of sIL-6R in the airways of patients with allergic asthma as compared to those in controls. In addition, local blockade of the sIL-6R in a murine model of late-phase asthma after OVA sensitization by gp130–fraction constant led to suppression of Th2 cells in the lung. By contrast, blockade of mIL-6R induced local expansion of Foxp3-positive CD4+CD25+ Tregs with increased immunosuppressive capacities. CD4+CD25+ but not CD4+CD25– lung T cells selectively expressed the IL-6R α chain and showed IL-6–dependent STAT-3 phosphorylation. Finally, in an in vivo transfer model of asthma in immunodeficient Rag1 mice, CD4+CD25+ T cells isolated from anti–IL-6R antibody–treated mice exhibited marked immunosuppressive and antiinflammatory functions. IL-6 signaling therefore controls the balance between effector cells and Tregs in the lung by means of different receptor components. Furthermore, inhibition of IL-6 signaling emerges as a novel molecular approach for the treatment of allergic asthma.
Aysefa Doganci, Tatjana Eigenbrod, Norbert Krug, George T. De Sanctis, Michael Hausding, Veit J. Erpenbeck, El-Bdaoui Haddad, Edgar Schmitt, Tobias Bopp, Karl-J. Kallen, Udo Herz, Steffen Schmitt, Cornelia Luft, Olaf Hecht, Jens M. Hohlfeld, Hiroaki Ito, Norihiro Nishimoto, Kazuyuki Yoshizaki, Tadamitsu Kishimoto, Stefan Rose-John, Harald Renz, Markus F. Neurath, Peter R. Galle, Susetta Finotto
Regulation of the immune response requires the cooperation of multiple signals in the activation of effector cells. For example, T cells require signals emanating from both the TCR for antigen (upon recognition of MHC/antigenic peptide) and receptors for costimulatory molecules (e.g., CD80 and CD60) for full activation. Here we show that IgE-mediated reactions in the conjunctiva also require multiple signals. Immediate hypersensitivity reactions in the conjunctiva were inhibited in mice deficient in macrophage inflammatory protein–1α (MIP-1α) despite normal numbers of tissue mast cells and no decrease in the levels of allergen-specific IgE. Treatment of sensitized animals with neutralizing antibodies with specificity for MIP-1α also inhibited hypersensitivity in the conjunctiva. In both cases (MIP-1α deficiency and antibody treatment), the degranulation of mast cells in situ was affected. In vitro sensitization assays showed that MIP-1α is indeed required for optimal mast cell degranulation, along with cross-linking of the high-affinity IgE receptor, FcεRI. The data indicate that MIP-1α constitutes an important second signal for mast cell degranulation in the conjunctiva in vivo and consequently for acute-phase disease. Antagonizing the interaction of MIP-1α with its receptor CC chemokine receptor 1 (CCR1) or signal transduction from CCR1 may therefore prove to be effective as an antiinflammatory therapy on the ocular surface.
Dai Miyazaki, Takao Nakamura, Masako Toda, Kam-Wa Cheung-Chau, Ricardo M. Richardson, Santa Jeremy Ono
MyD88 is a common Toll-like receptor (TLR) adaptor molecule found to be essential for induction of adaptive Th1 immunity. Conversely, innate control of adaptive Th2 immunity has been shown to occur in a MyD88-independent manner. In this study, we show that MyD88 is an essential innate component in the induction of TLR4-dependent Th2 responses to intranasal antigen; thus we demonstrate what we believe to be a novel role for MyD88 in pulmonary Th2 immunity. Induction of the MyD88-independent type I IFN response to LPS is defective in the pulmonary environment. Moreover, in the absence of MyD88, LPS-induced upregulation of costimulatory molecule expression on pulmonary DCs is defective, in contrast to what has been observed with bone marrow–derived DCs (BMDCs). Reconstitution of Th2 responses occurs upon adoptive pulmonary transfer of activated BMDCs to MyD88-deficient recipients. Furthermore, the dependence of Th2 responses on MyD88 is governed by the initial route of antigen exposure; this demonstrates what we believe are novel site-specific innate mechanisms for control of adaptive Th2 immunity.
Damani A. Piggott, Stephanie C. Eisenbarth, Lan Xu, Stephanie L. Constant, James W. Huleatt, Christina A. Herrick, Kim Bottomly
Tamm-Horsfall glycoprotein (THP) is expressed exclusively in the kidney and constitutes the most abundant protein in mammalian urine. A critical role for THP in antibacterial host defense and inflammatory disorders of the urogenital tract has been suggested. We demonstrate that THP activates myeloid DCs via Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) to acquire a fully mature DC phenotype. THP triggers typical TLR signaling, culminating in activation of NF-κB. Bone marrow–derived macrophages from TLR4- and MyD88-deficient mice were nonresponsive to THP in contrast to those from TLR2- and TLR9-deficient mice. In vivo THP-driven TNF-α production was evident in WT but not in Tlr4–/– mice. Importantly, generation of THP-specific Abs consistently detectable in urinary tract inflammation was completely blunted in Tlr4–/– mice. These data show that THP is a regulatory factor of innate and adaptive immunity and therefore could have significant impact on host immunity in the urinary tract.
Marcus D. Säemann, Thomas Weichhart, Maximilian Zeyda, Günther Staffler, Michael Schunn, Karl M. Stuhlmeier, Yuri Sobanov, Thomas M. Stulnig, Shizuo Akira, Alexander von Gabain, Uwe von Ahsen, Walter H. Hörl, Gerhard J. Zlabinger
Oligoclonal IgM bands restricted to cerebrospinal fluid are an unfavorable prognostic marker in MS, the most common demyelinating disease of the CNS. We have attempted to identify the B cell subpopulation responsible for oligoclonal IgM secretion and the specificity of these bands. In addition, we explored the relationship between specificity and disease evolution. Intrathecal B cell subpopulations present in 29 MS patients with oligoclonal IgM bands and 52 without them were analyzed. A considerable increase in CD5+ B lymphocytes was found in patients with oligoclonal IgM bands. These cells mostly secrete IgM antibodies recognizing nonproteic molecules. We also studied whether oligoclonal IgM bands present in cerebrospinal fluid of 53 MS patients were directed against myelin lipids. This was the case in most patients, with phosphatidylcholine being the most frequently recognized lipid. Disease course of 15 patients with oligoclonal IgM against myelin lipids and 33 patients lacking them was followed. Patients with anti-lipid IgM suffered a second relapse earlier, had more relapses, and showed increased disability compared with those without anti-lipid IgM. The presence of intrathecal anti–myelin lipid IgM antibodies is therefore a very accurate predictor of aggressive evolution in MS.
Luisa M. Villar, María C. Sádaba, Ernesto Roldán, Jaime Masjuan, Pedro González-Porqué, Noelia Villarrubia, Mercedes Espiño, José A. García-Trujillo, Alfredo Bootello, José C. Álvarez-Cermeño
Adenosine is a signaling nucleoside that has been implicated in the regulation of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Adenosine signaling can serve both pro- and anti-inflammatory functions in tissues and cells. In this study we examined the contribution of A1 adenosine receptor (A1AR) signaling to the pulmonary inflammation and injury seen in adenosine deaminase–deficient (ADA-deficient) mice, which exhibit elevated adenosine levels. Experiments revealed that transcript levels for the A1AR were elevated in the lungs of ADA-deficient mice, in which expression was localized predominantly to alveolar macrophages. Genetic removal of the A1AR from ADA-deficient mice resulted in enhanced pulmonary inflammation along with increased mucus metaplasia and alveolar destruction. These changes were associated with the exaggerated expression of the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 in the lungs, together with increased expression of chemokines and matrix metalloproteinases. These findings demonstrate that the A1AR plays an anti-inflammatory and/or protective role in the pulmonary phenotype seen in ADA-deficient mice, which suggests that A1AR signaling may serve to regulate the severity of pulmonary inflammation and remodeling seen in chronic lung diseases by controlling the levels of important mediators of pulmonary inflammation and damage.
Chun-Xiao Sun, Hays W. Young, Jose G. Molina, Jonathan B. Volmer, Jurgen Schnermann, Michael R. Blackburn
Macrophages perform both injury-inducing and repair-promoting tasks in different models of inflammation, leading to a model of macrophage function in which distinct patterns of activation have been proposed. We investigated macrophage function mechanistically in a reversible model of liver injury in which the injury and recovery phases are distinct. Carbon tetrachloride--–induced liver fibrosis revealed scar-associated macrophages that persisted throughout recovery. A transgenic mouse (CD11b-DTR) was generated in which macrophages could be selectively depleted. Macrophage depletion when liver fibrosis was advanced resulted in reduced scarring and fewer myofibroblasts. Macrophage depletion during recovery, by contrast, led to a failure of matrix degradation. These data provide the first clear evidence that functionally distinct subpopulations of macrophages exist in the same tissue and that these macrophages play critical roles in both the injury and recovery phases of inflammatory scarring.
Jeremy S. Duffield, Stuart J. Forbes, Christothea M. Constandinou, Spike Clay, Marina Partolina, Srilatha Vuthoori, Shengji Wu, Richard Lang, John P. Iredale