Experimental colitis is mediated by inflammatory or dysregulated immune responses to microbial factors of the gastrointestinal tract. In this study we observed that administration of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonists suppressed the severity of experimental colitis in RAG1–/– but not in SCID mice. This differential responsiveness between phenotypically similar but genetically distinct animals was related to a partial blockade in TLR9 signaling and defective production of type I IFN (i.e., IFN-α/β) in SCID mice upon TLR9 stimulation. The addition of neutralization antibodies against type I IFN abolished the antiinflammatory effects induced by TLR9 agonists, whereas the administration of recombinant IFN-β mimicked the antiinflammatory effects induced by TLR9 agonists in this model. Furthermore, mice deficient in the IFN-α/β receptor exhibited more severe colitis than wild-type mice did upon induction of experimental colitis. These results indicate that TLR9-triggered type I IFN has antiinflammatory functions in colitis. They also underscore the important protective role of type I IFN in intestinal homeostasis and suggest that strategies to modulate innate immunity may be of therapeutic value for the treatment of intestinal inflammatory conditions.
Kyoko Katakura, Jongdae Lee, Daniel Rachmilewitz, Gloria Li, Lars Eckmann, Eyal Raz
Omenn syndrome is a severe primary immunodeficiency with putative autoimmune manifestations of the skin and gastrointestinal tract. The disease is caused by hypomorphic mutations in recombination-activating genes that impair but do not abolish the process of VDJ recombination, leading to the generation of autoreactive T cells with a highly restricted receptor repertoire. Loss of central tolerance in genetically determined autoimmune diseases, e.g., autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy, is associated with defective expression by medullary thymic epithelial cells of AIRE, the transcription activator that induces thymic expression of tissue-specific antigens. Analysis of AIRE expression in the thymi of 2 Omenn syndrome patients and 1 SCID patient, by real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry, demonstrated a profound reduction in the levels of AIRE mRNA and protein in patients as compared with a normal control subject. Lack of AIRE was associated with normal or even increased levels of keratin and lymphotoxin-β receptor mRNAs, while mRNAs of the self-antigens insulin, cytochrome P450 1a2, and fatty acid–binding protein were undetectable in thymi from immunodeficiency patients. These results demonstrate that deficiency of AIRE expression is observed in severe immunodeficiencies characterized by abnormal T cell development and suggest that in Omenn syndrome, the few residual T cell clones that develop may escape negative selection and thereafter expand in the periphery, causing massive autoimmune reactions.
Patrizia Cavadini, William Vermi, Fabio Facchetti, Stefania Fontana, Seiho Nagafuchi, Evelina Mazzolari, Anna Sediva, Veronica Marrella, Anna Villa, Alain Fischer, Luigi D. Notarangelo, Raffaele Badolato
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