Tsc22d3 coding for glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ) was initially identified as a dexamethasone-responsive gene involved in the control of T lymphocyte activation and apoptosis. However, the physiological role of this molecule and its function in the biological activity of glucocorticoids (GCs) has not been clarified. Here, we demonstrate that GILZ interacts directly with Ras in vitro and in vivo as shown by GILZ and Ras coimmunoprecipitation and colocalization upon PMA activation in primary mouse spleen T lymphocytes and thymus cells. The analysis of GILZ mutants showed that they bound Ras through the tuberous sclerosis complex box (TSC) and, depending on the Ras activation level, formed a trimeric complex with Ras and Raf, which we previously identified as a GILZ binder. As a consequence of these interactions, GILZ diminished the activation of Ras and Raf downstream targets including ERK1/2, AKT/PKB serine/threonine kinase, and retinoblastoma (Rb) phosphorylation and cyclin D1 expression, leading to inhibition of Ras- and Raf-dependent cell proliferation and Ras-induced NIH-3T3 transformation. GILZ silencing resulted in an increase in concanavalin A–induced T cell proliferation and, most notably, inhibition of dexamethasone antiproliferative effects. Together, these findings indicate that GILZ serves as a negative regulator of Ras- and Raf-induced proliferation and is an important mediator of the antiproliferative effect of GCs.
Emira Ayroldi, Ornella Zollo, Alessandra Bastianelli, Cristina Marchetti, Massimiliano Agostini, Rosa Di Virgilio, Carlo Riccardi
B cells from patients with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) who are heterozygous for transmembrane activator and CAML interactor (TACI) mutation C104R, which abolishes ligand binding, fail to produce Igs in response to TACI ligand. It is not known whether this is due to haploinsufficiency or dominant interference. Using in vitro transfection assays, here we demonstrate that C104R and the corresponding murine TACI mutant, C76R, which also does not bind ligand, dominantly interfere with TACI signaling. This effect was dependent on preassociation of the mutants with WT TACI in the absence of ligand. The mutants did not interfere with ligand binding by WT TACI, suggesting that they may act by disrupting ligand-induced receptor rearrangement and signaling. This work demonstrates that TACI preassembles as an oligomeric complex prior to ligand binding and provides a mechanistic insight into how the heterozygous C104R TACI mutation can potentially lead to CVID.
Lilit Garibyan, Adrian A. Lobito, Richard M. Siegel, Matthew E. Call, Kai W. Wucherpfennig, Raif S. Geha
Markus Cornberg, Alex T. Chen, Lee A. Wilkinson, Michael A. Brehm, Sung-Kwon Kim, Claudia Calcagno, Dario Ghersi, Roberto Puzone, Franco Celada, Raymond M. Welsh, Liisa K. Selin
How the fetus escapes rejection by the maternal immune system remains one of the major unsolved questions in transplantation immunology. Using a system to visualize both CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses during pregnancy in mice, we find that maternal T cells become aware of the fetal allograft exclusively through “indirect” antigen presentation, meaning that T cell engagement requires the uptake and processing of fetal/placental antigen by maternal APCs. This reliance on a relatively minor allorecognition pathway removes a major threat to fetal survival, since it avoids engaging the large number of T cells that typically drive acute transplant rejection through their ability to directly interact with foreign MHC molecules. Furthermore, CD8+ T cells that indirectly recognize fetal/placental antigen undergo clonal deletion without priming for cytotoxic effector function and cannot induce antigen-specific fetal demise even when artificially activated. Antigen presentation commenced only at mid-gestation, in association with the endovascular invasion of placental trophoblasts and the hematogenous release of placental debris. Our results suggest that limited pathways of antigen presentation, in conjunction with tandem mechanisms of immune evasion, contribute to the unique immunological status of the fetus. The pronounced degree of T cell ignorance of the fetus also has implications for the pathophysiology of immune-mediated early pregnancy loss.
Adrian Erlebacher, Daniela Vencato, Kelly A. Price, Dorothy Zhang, Laurie H. Glimcher
We previously demonstrated that artificial lymph nodes (aLNs) could be generated in mice by the implantation of stromal cell–embedded biocompatible scaffolds into their renal subcapsular spaces. T and B cell domains that form in aLNs have immune response functions similar to those of follicles of normal lymphoid tissue. In the present study, we show that the aLNs were transplantable to normal as well as SCID mice, where they efficiently induced secondary immune responses. Antigen-specific secondary responses were strongly induced in aLNs even 4 weeks after their transplantation. The antigen-specific antibody responses in lymphocyte-deficient SCID mice receiving transplanted aLNs were substantial. The cells from the aLNs migrated to the SCID mouse spleen and BM, where they expanded to generate large numbers of antigen-specific antibody-forming cells. Secondary responses were maintained over time after immunization (i.e., antigen challenge), indicating that aLNs can support the development of memory B cells and long-lived plasma cells. Memory CD4+ T cells were enriched in the aLNs and spleens of aLN-transplanted SCID mice. Our results indicate that aLNs support strong antigen-specific secondary antibody responses in immunodeficient mice and suggest the possibility of future clinical applications.
Noriaki Okamoto, Risa Chihara, Chiori Shimizu, Sogo Nishimoto, Takeshi Watanabe
Granulomas represent a localized inflammatory reaction that is characteristically observed in many inflammatory conditions. However, the mechanisms of granuloma formation have not been fully defined. Herein we demonstrate, by using experimental models of intestinal inflammation, that a unique CD11c+ DC-like cell subset that exhibits phenotypic and functional features of immature myeloid DCs and is characterized by the expression of a macrophage marker (F4/80) produces large amounts of IL-23 and directly induces the development of granulomas under a Th1-predominant intestinal inflammatory condition. Importantly, both IL-4 and IgG contribute to the suppression of F4/80+ DC-like cell–mediated granuloma formation by regulating the function and differentiation of this cell subset. In addition, enteric flora is required for the F4/80+ DC-like cell–mediated granuloma formation. Collectively, our data provide what we believe are novel insights into the involvement of F4/80+ DC-like cells in intestinal granuloma formation and demonstrate the role of host (IL-4 and IgG) and environmental (enteric flora) factors that regulate this function.
Atsushi Mizoguchi, Atsushiro Ogawa, Hidetoshi Takedatsu, Ken Sugimoto, Yasuyo Shimomura, Katsunori Shirane, Kiyotaka Nagahama, Takashi Nagaishi, Emiko Mizoguchi, Richard S. Blumberg, Atul K. Bhan
Neutropenia and neutrophil dysfunction are common in many diseases, although their etiology is often unclear. Previous views held that there was a single ER enzyme, glucose-6-phosphatase–α (G6Pase-α), whose activity — limited to the liver, kidney, and intestine — was solely responsible for the final stages of gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis, in which glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) is hydrolyzed to glucose for release to the blood. Recently, we characterized a second G6Pase activity, that of G6Pase-β (also known as G6PC), which is also capable of hydrolyzing G6P to glucose but is ubiquitously expressed and not implicated in interprandial blood glucose homeostasis. We now report that the absence of G6Pase-β led to neutropenia; defects in neutrophil respiratory burst, chemotaxis, and calcium flux; and increased susceptibility to bacterial infection. Consistent with this, G6Pase-β–deficient (G6pc3–/–) mice with experimental peritonitis exhibited increased expression of the glucose-regulated proteins upregulated during ER stress in their neutrophils and bone marrow, and the G6pc3–/– neutrophils exhibited an enhanced rate of apoptosis. Our results define a molecular pathway to neutropenia and neutrophil dysfunction of previously unknown etiology, providing a potential model for the treatment of these conditions.
Yuk Yin Cheung, So Youn Kim, Wai Han Yiu, Chi-Jiunn Pan, Hyun-Sik Jun, Robert A. Ruef, Eric J. Lee, Heiner Westphal, Brian C. Mansfield, Janice Y. Chou
Inhalation of iloprost, a stable prostacyclin (PGI2) analog, is a well-accepted and safe treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension. Although iloprost mainly acts as a vasodilator by binding to the I prostanoid (IP) receptor, recent evidence suggests that signaling via this receptor also has antiinflammatory effects through unclear mechanisms. Here we show in a murine model of asthma that iloprost inhalation suppressed the cardinal features of asthma when given during the priming or challenge phase. As a mechanism of action, iloprost interfered with the function of lung myeloid DCs, critical antigen-presenting cells of the airways. Iloprost treatment inhibited the maturation and migration of lung DCs to the mediastinal LNs, thereby abolishing the induction of an allergen-specific Th2 response in these nodes. The effect of iloprost was DC autonomous, as iloprost-treated DCs no longer induced Th2 differentiation from naive T cells or boosted effector cytokine production in primed Th2 cells. These data should pave the way for a clinical effectiveness study using inhaled iloprost for the treatment of asthma.
Marco Idzko, Hamida Hammad, Menno van Nimwegen, Mirjam Kool, Nanda Vos, Henk C. Hoogsteden, Bart N. Lambrecht
Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) is essential for optimal T cell activation. Patients with WAS exhibit both immunodeficiency and a marked susceptibility to systemic autoimmunity. We investigated whether alterations in Treg function might explain these paradoxical observations. While WASp-deficient (WASp–/–) mice exhibited normal thymic Treg generation, the competitive fitness of peripheral Tregs was severely compromised. The total percentage of forkhead box P3–positive (Foxp3+) Tregs among CD4+ T cells was reduced, and WASp–/– Tregs were rapidly outcompeted by WASp+ Tregs in vivo. These findings correlated with reduced expression of markers associated with self-antigen–driven peripheral Treg activation and homing to inflamed tissue. Consistent with these findings, WASp–/– Tregs showed a reduced ability to control aberrant T cell activation and autoimmune pathology in Foxp3–/–Scurfy (sf) mice. Finally, WASp+ Tregs exhibited a marked selective advantage in vivo in a WAS patient with a spontaneous revertant mutation, indicating that altered Treg fitness likely explains the autoimmune features in human WAS.
Stephanie Humblet-Baron, Blythe Sather, Stephanie Anover, Shirly Becker-Herman, Debora J. Kasprowicz, Socheath Khim, Thuc Nguyen, Kelly Hudkins-Loya, Charles E. Alpers, Steve F. Ziegler, Hans Ochs, Troy Torgerson, Daniel J. Campbell, David J. Rawlings
Obesity and type 2 diabetes are associated with chronic inflammation. Adiponectin is an adipocyte-derived hormone with antidiabetic and antiinflammatory actions. Here, we demonstrate what we believe to be a previously undocumented activity of adiponectin, facilitating the uptake of early apoptotic cells by macrophages, an essential feature of immune system function. Adiponectin-deficient (APN-KO) mice were impaired in their ability to clear apoptotic thymocytes in response to dexamethasone treatment, and these animals displayed a reduced ability to clear early apoptotic cells that were injected into their intraperitoneal cavities. Conversely, adiponectin administration promoted the clearance of apoptotic cells by macrophages in both APN-KO and wild-type mice. Adiponectin overexpression also promoted apoptotic cell clearance and reduced features of autoimmunity in lpr mice whereas adiponectin deficiency in lpr mice led to a further reduction in apoptotic cell clearance, which was accompanied by exacerbated systemic inflammation. Adiponectin was capable of opsonizing apoptotic cells, and phagocytosis of cell corpses was mediated by the binding of adiponectin to calreticulin on the macrophage cell surface. We propose that adiponectin protects the organism from systemic inflammation by promoting the clearance of early apoptotic cells by macrophages through a receptor-dependent pathway involving calreticulin.
Yukihiro Takemura, Noriyuki Ouchi, Rei Shibata, Tamar Aprahamian, Michael T. Kirber, Ross S. Summer, Shinji Kihara, Kenneth Walsh