A serine/threonine protein kinase, Cot/Tpl2, is indispensable for extracellular signal–regulated kinase (ERK) activation and production of TNF-α and PGE2 in LPS-stimulated macrophages. We show here that Cot/Tpl2 is also activated by other Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands. Bacterial DNA rich in the dinucleotide CG (CpG-DNA), unlike LPS or synthetic lipopeptide, activated ERK in a Cot/Tpl2–independent manner. Peritoneal macrophages and bone marrow–derived DCs from Cot/Tpl2–/– mice produced significantly more IL-12 in response to CpG-DNA than those from WT mice. Enhanced IL-12 production in Cot/Tpl2–/– macrophages is, at least partly, regulated at the transcriptional level, and the elevated IL-12 mRNA level in Cot/Tpl2–/– macrophages is accompanied by decreased amounts of IL-12 repressors, such as c-musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma (c-Maf) and GATA sequence in the IL-12 promoter–binding protein (GA-12–binding protein; GAP-12) in the nucleus. Consistently, Cot/Tpl2–/– mice showed Th1-skewed antigen-specific immune responses upon OVA immunization and Leishmania major infection in vivo. These results indicate that Cot/Tpl2 is an important negative regulator of Th1-type adaptive immunity, that it achieves this regulation by inhibiting IL-12 production from accessory cells, and that it might be a potential target molecule in CpG-DNA–guided vaccination.
Kenji Sugimoto, Mutsuhiro Ohata, Jun Miyoshi, Hiroyoshi Ishizaki, Naotake Tsuboi, Akio Masuda, Yasunobu Yoshikai, Masaya Takamoto, Kazuo Sugane, Seiichi Matsuo, Yasuhiro Shimada, Tetsuya Matsuguchi
Hepatic immunobiology is paradoxical: although the liver possesses unusual tolerogenic properties, it is also the site of effective immune responses against multiple pathogens and subject to immune-mediated pathology. The mechanisms underlying this dichotomy remain unclear. Following previous work demonstrating that the liver may act as a site of primary T cell activation, we demonstrate here that the balance between immunity and tolerance in this organ is established by competition for primary activation of CD8+ T cells between the liver and secondary lymphoid tissues, with the immune outcome determined by the initial site of activation. Using a transgenic mouse model in which antigen is expressed within both liver and lymph nodes, we show that while naive CD8+ T cells activated within the lymph nodes were capable of mediating hepatitis, cells undergoing primary activation within the liver exhibited defective cytotoxic function and shortened half-life and did not mediate hepatocellular injury. The implications of these novel findings may pertain not only to the normal maintenance of peripheral tolerance, but also to hepatic allograft tolerance and the immunopathogenesis of chronic viral hepatitis.
David G. Bowen, Monica Zen, Lauren Holz, Thomas Davis, Geoffrey W. McCaughan, Patrick Bertolino
Understanding the mechanisms underlying the poor immunogenicity of human self/tumor antigens is challenging because of experimental limitations in humans. Here, we developed a human-mouse chimeric model that allows us to investigate the roles of the frequency and self-reactivity of antigen-specific T cells in determination of the immunogenicity of an epitope (amino acids 209–217) derived from a human melanoma antigen, gp100. In these transgenic mice, CD8+ T cells express the variable regions of a human T cell receptor (hTCR) specific for an HLA-A*0201–restricted gp100209–217. Immunization of hTCR-transgenic mice with gp100209–217 peptide elicited minimal T cell responses, even in mice in which the epitope was knocked out. Conversely, a modified epitope, gp100209–217(2M), was significantly more immunogenic. Both biological and physical assays revealed a fast rate of dissociation of the native peptide from the HLA-A*0201 molecule and a considerably slower rate of dissociation of the modified peptide. In vivo, the time allowed for dissociation of peptide-MHC complexes on APCs prior to their exposure to T cells significantly affected the induction of immune responses. These findings indicate that the poor immunogenicity of some self/tumor antigens is due to the instability of the peptide-MHC complex rather than to the continual deletion or tolerization of self-reactive T cells.
Zhiya Yu, Marc R. Theoret, Christopher E. Touloukian, Deborah R. Surman, Scott C. Garman, Lionel Feigenbaum, Tiffany K. Baxter, Brian M. Baker, Nicholas P. Restifo
Mechanical injury to the skin results in activation of the complement component C3 and release of the anaphylatoxin C3a. C3a binds to a seven-transmembrane G protein–coupled receptor, C3aR. We used C3aR–/– mice to examine the role of C3a in a mouse model of allergic inflammation induced by epicutaneous sensitization with OVA. C3aR–/– mice exhibited an exaggerated Th2 response to epicutaneous but not to intraperitoneal sensitization with OVA, as evidenced by significantly elevated levels of serum OVA-specific IgG1 and significantly increased secretion of the Th2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10 by antigen-stimulated splenocytes. Presentation of OVA peptide by C3aR–/– APCs caused significantly more IL-4 and IL-5 secretion by T cells from OVA–T cell receptor (OVA-TCR) transgenic mice compared with presentation by WT APCs. C3a inhibited the ability of splenocytes, but not of highly purified T cells, to secrete Th2 cytokines in response to TCR ligation. This inhibition was mediated by IL-12 secreted by APCs in response to C3a. These results suggest that C3a-C3aR interactions inhibit the ability of APCs to drive Th2 cell differentiation in response to epicutaneously introduced antigen and may have important implications for allergic skin diseases.
Seiji Kawamoto, Ali Yalcindag, Dhafer Laouini, Scott Brodeur, Paul Bryce, Bao Lu, Alison A. Humbles, Hans Oettgen, Craig Gerard, Raif S. Geha
The antiatherogenic properties of apoA-IV suggest that this protein may act as an anti-inflammatory agent. We examined this possibility in a mouse model of acute colitis. Mice consumed 3% dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) in their drinking water for 7 days, with or without daily intraperitoneal injections of recombinant human apoA-IV. apoA-IV significantly and specifically delayed the onset, and reduced the severity and extent of, DSS-induced inflammation, as assessed by clinical disease activity score, macroscopic appearance and histology of the colon, and tissue myeloperoxidase activity. Intravital fluorescence microscopy of colonic microvasculature revealed that apoA-IV significantly inhibited DSS-induced leukocyte and platelet adhesive interactions. Furthermore, apoA-IV dramatically reduced the upregulation of P-selectin on colonic endothelium during DSS-colitis. apoA-IV knockout mice exhibited a significantly greater inflammatory response to DSS than did their WT littermates; this greater susceptibility to DSS-induced inflammation was reversed upon exogenous administration of apoA-IV to knockout mice. These results provide the first direct support for the hypothesis that apoA-IV is an endogenous anti-inflammatory protein. This anti-inflammatory effect likely involves the inhibition of P-selectin–mediated leukocyte and platelet adhesive interactions.
Thorsten Vowinkel, Mikiji Mori, Christian F. Krieglstein, Janice Russell, Fumito Saijo, Sulaiman Bharwani, Richard H. Turnage, W. Sean Davidson, Patrick Tso, D. Neil Granger, Theodore J. Kalogeris
Epidemiological evidence points to the inverse relationship between microbial exposure and the prevalence of allergic asthma and autoimmune diseases in Westernized countries. The molecular basis for this observation has not yet been completely delineated. Here we report that the administration of certain toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands, via the activation of innate immunity, induces high levels of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), the rate-limiting enzyme of tryptophan catabolism in various organs. TLR9 ligand–induced pulmonary IDO activity inhibits Th2-driven experimental asthma. IDO activity expressed by resident lung cells rather than by pulmonary DCs suppressed lung inflammation and airway hyperreactivity. Our results provide a mechanistic insight into the various formulations of the hygiene hypothesis and underscore the notion that activation of innate immunity can inhibit adaptive Th cell responses.
Tomoko Hayashi, Lucinda Beck, Cyprian Rossetto, Xing Gong, Osamu Takikawa, Kenji Takabayashi, David H. Broide, Dennis A. Carson, Eyal Raz
CXC chemokine receptor 3 (CXCR3) is the receptor for the IFN-γ–inducible C-X-C chemokines MIG/CXCL9, IP-10/CXCL10, and I-TAC/CXCL11. CXCR3 is expressed on activated immune cells and proliferating endothelial cells. The role of CXCR3 in fibroproliferation has not been investigated. We examined the role of CXCR3 in pulmonary injury and repair in vivo. CXCR3-deficient mice demonstrated increased mortality with progressive interstitial fibrosis relative to WT mice. Increased fibrosis occurred without increased inflammatory cell recruitment. CXCR3 deficiency resulted in both a reduced early burst of IFN-γ production and decreased expression of CXCL10 after lung injury. We identified a relative deficiency in lung NK cells in the unchallenged CXCR3-deficient lung and demonstrated production of IFN-γ by WT lung NK cells in vivo following lung injury. The fibrotic phenotype in the CXCR3-deficient mice was significantly reversed following administration of exogenous IFN-γ or restoration of endogenous IFN-γ production by adoptive transfer of WT lymph node and spleen cells. Finally, pretreatment of WT mice with IFN-γ–neutralizing Ab’s enhanced fibrosis following lung injury. These data demonstrate a nonredundant role for CXCR3 in limiting tissue fibroproliferation and suggest that this effect may be mediated, in part, by the innate production of IFN-γ following lung injury.
Dianhua Jiang, Jiurong Liang, Jennifer Hodge, Bao Lu, Zhou Zhu, Shuang Yu, Juan Fan, Yunfei Gao, Zhinan Yin, Robert Homer, Craig Gerard, Paul W. Noble
Angiotensin I–converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are thought to lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients, mainly by decreasing angiotensin II (Ang II) formation. Chymase, a human mast cell protease, has recently been proposed to play a role in blood pressure regulation because of its Ang II–forming activity. Here we show that the predominant chymase mRNA species in the mouse aorta are those for types 4 and 5 isoforms, and that both are efficient Ang II–forming enzymes. Evaluation of ACE-dependent and ACE-independent Ang II–forming pathways in mast cell–deficient (Kitw/Kitw-v) mice and their mast cell–sufficient littermate (MC+/+) controls revealed that, in contrast to the latter, Kitw/Kitw-v mice fail to express chymase mRNAs in the vasculature and have almost no ACE-independent Ang II–forming activity in either isolated blood vessels or homogenates. Moreover, in MC+/+ but not in Kitw/Kitw-v mice, a contribution of ACE-independent Ang II generation to blood pressure regulation was evident by a 1.6-fold greater maximal reduction in mean arterial pressure with acute ACE inhibition plus AT1 receptor blockade than with ACE inhibition alone. Thus, mast cells are the source of the vascular ACE-independent pathway, and the antihypertensive benefit of combining ACE inhibitor therapy with AT1 receptor antagonist therapy is most likely due to negation of chymase-catalyzed Ang II generation.
Ming Li, Ke Liu, Jan Michalicek, James A. Angus, John E. Hunt, Louis J. Dell’Italia, Michael P. Feneley, Robert M. Graham, Ahsan Husain
Under normal circumstances, the respiratory tract maintains immune tolerance in the face of constant antigen provocation. Using a murine model of tolerance induced by repeated exposure to a low dose of aerosolized antigen, we show an important contribution by CD4+ T cells in the establishment and maintenance of tolerance. The CD4+ T cells expressed both cell surface and soluble TGF-β and inhibited the development of an allergic phenotype when adoptively transferred to naive recipient mice. While cells expressing cell surface TGF-β were detectable in mice with inflammation, albeit at a lower frequency compared with that in tolerized mice, only those from tolerized mice expressed FOXP3. Blockade of TGF-β in vitro and in vivo interfered with immunosuppression. Although cells that expressed TGF-β on the cell surface (TGF-β+), as well as the ones that did not (TGF-β–), secreted equivalent levels of soluble TGF-β, only the former were able to blunt the development of an allergic phenotype in mice. Strikingly, separation of the TGF-β+ cells from the rest of the cells allowed the TGF-β– cells to proliferate in response to antigen. We propose a model of antigen-induced tolerance that involves cell-cell contact with regulatory CD4+ T cells that coexpress membrane-bound TGF-β and FOXP3.
Marina Ostroukhova, Carole Seguin-Devaux, Timothy B. Oriss, Barbara Dixon-McCarthy, Liyan Yang, Bill T. Ameredes, Timothy E. Corcoran, Anuradha Ray
We describe a murine model of early pregnancy failure induced by systemic activation of the CD40 immune costimulatory pathway. Although fetal loss involved an NK cell intermediate, it was not due to lymphocyte-mediated destruction of the fetus and placenta. Rather, pregnancy failure resulted from impaired progesterone synthesis by the corpus luteum of the ovary, an endocrine defect in turn associated with ovarian resistance to the gonadotropic effects of prolactin. Pregnancy failure also required the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α and correlated with the luteal induction of the prolactin receptor signaling inhibitors suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (Socs1) and Socs3. Such links between immune activation and reproductive endocrine dysfunction may be relevant to pregnancy loss and other clinical disorders of reproduction.
Adrian Erlebacher, Dorothy Zhang, Albert F. Parlow, Laurie H. Glimcher