The generation of Ig-secreting cells (ISCs) from memory B cells requires interactions between antigen-specific (Ag-specific) B cells, T cells, and dendritic cells. This process must be strictly regulated to ensure sufficient humoral immunity while avoiding production of pathogenic autoantibodies. BAFF, a member of the TNF family, is a key regulator of B cell homeostasis. BAFF exerts its effect by binding to three receptors — transmembrane activator of and CAML interactor (TACI), B cell maturation antigen (BCMA), and BAFF receptor (BAFF-R). To elucidate the contribution of BAFF to the differentiation of B cells into ISCs, we tracked the fate of human memory B cells stimulated with BAFF or CD40L. BAFF and CD40L significantly increased the overall number of surviving B cells. This was achieved via distinct mechanisms. CD40L induced proliferation of nondifferentiated blasts, while BAFF prevented apoptosis of ISCs without enhancing proliferation. The altered responsiveness of activated memory B cells to CD40L and BAFF correlated with changes in surface phenotype such that expression of CD40 and BAFF-R were reduced on ISCs while BCMA was induced. These results suggest BAFF may enhance humoral immunity in vivo by promoting survival of ISCs via a BCMA-dependent mechanism. These findings have wide-ranging implications for the treatment of human immunodeficiencies as well as autoimmune diseases.
Danielle T. Avery, Susan L. Kalled, Julia I. Ellyard, Christine Ambrose, Sarah A. Bixler, Marilyn Thien, Robert Brink, Fabienne Mackay, Philip D. Hodgkin, Stuart G. Tangye
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT). Donor T cells that accompany stem cell grafts cause GVHD by attacking recipient tissues; therefore, all patients receive GVHD prophylaxis by depletion of T cells from the allograft or through immunosuppressant drugs. In addition to providing a graft-versus-leukemia effect, donor T cells are critical for reconstituting T cell–mediated immunity. Ideally, immunity to infectious agents would be transferred from donor to host without GVHD. Most donors have been exposed to common pathogens and have an increased precursor frequency of memory T cells against pathogenic antigens. We therefore asked whether memory CD62L–CD44+ CD4+ T cells would induce less GVHD than unfractionated or naive CD4+ T cells. Strikingly, we found that memory CD4 cells induced neither clinical nor histologic GVHD. This effect was not due to the increased number of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells found in the CD62L–CD44+ fraction because memory T cells depletion of these cells did not cause GVHD. Memory CD4 cells engrafted and responded to antigen both in vivo and in vitro. If these murine results are applicable to human alloSCT, selective administration of memory T cells could greatly improve post-transplant immune reconstitution.
Britt E. Anderson, Jennifer McNiff, Jun Yan, Hester Doyle, Mark Mamula, Mark J. Shlomchik, Warren D. Shlomchik
Hyper-IgM syndrome (HIGM) is a heterogeneous condition characterized by impaired Ig class-switch recombination (CSR). The molecular defects that have so far been associated with this syndrome — which affect the CD40 ligand in HIGM type 1 (HIGM1), CD40 in HIGM3, and activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) in HIGM2 — do not account for all cases. We investigated the clinical and immunological characteristics of 15 patients with an unidentified form of HIGM. Although the clinical manifestations were similar to those observed in HIGM2, these patients exhibited a slightly milder HIGM syndrome with residual IgG production. We found that B cell CSR was intrinsically impaired. However, the generation of somatic hypermutations was observed in the variable region of the Ig heavy chain gene, as in control B lymphocytes. In vitro studies showed that the molecular defect responsible for this new HIGM entity (HIGM4) occurs downstream of the AID activity, as the AID gene was induced normally and AID-induced DNA double-strand breaks in the switch μ region of the Ig heavy chain locus were detected during CSR as normal. Thus, HIGM4 is probably the consequence of a selective defect either in a CSR-specific factor of the DNA repair machinery or in survival signals delivered to switched B cells.
Kohsuke Imai, Nadia Catalan, Alessandro Plebani, László Maródi, Özden Sanal, Satoru Kumaki, Vasantha Nagendran, Philip Wood, Catherine Glastre, Françoise Sarrot-Reynauld, Olivier Hermine, Monique Forveille, Patrick Revy, Alain Fischer, Anne Durandy
In a strategy to specifically target complement inhibitors to sites of complement activation and disease, recombinant fusion proteins consisting of a complement inhibitor linked to a C3 binding region of complement receptor (CR) 2 were prepared and characterized. Natural ligands for CR2 are C3 breakdown products deposited at sites of complement activation. Fusion proteins were prepared consisting of a human CR2 fragment linked to either the N terminus or C terminus of soluble forms of the membrane complement inhibitors decay accelerating factor (DAF) or CD59. The targeted complement inhibitors bound to C3-opsonized cells, and all were significantly more effective (up to 20-fold) than corresponding untargeted inhibitors at protecting target cells from complement. CR2 fusion proteins also inhibited CR3-dependent adhesion of U937 cells to C3 opsonized erythrocytes, indicating a second potential anti-inflammatory mechanism of CR2 fusion proteins, since CR3 is involved in endothelial adhesion and diapedesis of leukocytes at inflammatory sites. Finally, the in vivo validity of the targeting strategy was confirmed by the demonstration that CR2-DAF, but not soluble DAF, targets to the kidney in mouse models of lupus nephritis that are associated with renal complement deposition.
Hongbin Song, Chun He, Christian Knaak, Joel M. Guthridge, V. Michael Holers, Stephen Tomlinson
IL-10 is a pleiotropic cytokine that inhibits several immune parameters, including Th1 cell–mediated immune responses, antigen presentation, and antigen-specific T cell proliferation. Recent data implicate IL-10 as a mediator of suppression of cell-mediated immunity induced by exposure to UVB radiation (280–320 nm). To investigate the effects of IL-10 on the cutaneous immune system, we engineered transgenic mice that overexpress viral IL-10 (vIL-10) in the epidermis. vIL-10 transgenic mice demonstrated a reduced number of I-A+ epidermal and dermal cells and fewer I-A+ hapten-bearing cells in regional lymph nodes after hapten painting of the skin. Reduced CD80 and CD86 expression by I-A+ epidermal cells was also observed. vIL-10 transgenic mice demonstrated a smaller delayed-type hypersensitivity response to allogeneic cells upon challenge but had normal contact hypersensitivity to an epicutaneously applied hapten. Fresh epidermal cells from vIL-10 transgenic mice showed a decreased ability to stimulate allogeneic T cell proliferation, as did splenocytes. Additionally, chronic exposure of mice to UVB radiation led to the development of fewer skin tumors in vIL-10 mice than in WT controls, and vIL-10 transgenic mice had increased splenic NK cell activity against YAC-1targets. These findings support the concept that IL-10 is an important regulator of cutaneous immune function.
Wanhong Ding, Stefan Beissert, Liang Deng, Edward Miranda, Christopher Cassetty, Kristina Seiffert, Kristina L. Campton, Zhengmin Yan, George F. Murphy, Jeffrey A. Bluestone, Richard D. Granstein
Antimicrobial peptides are effector molecules of the innate immune system and contribute to host defense and regulation of inflammation. The human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide LL-37/hCAP-18 is expressed in leukocytes and epithelial cells and secreted into wound and airway surface fluid. Here we show that LL-37 induces angiogenesis mediated by formyl peptide receptor–like 1 expressed on endothelial cells. Application of LL-37 resulted in neovascularization in the chorioallantoic membrane assay and in a rabbit model of hind-limb ischemia. The peptide directly activates endothelial cells, resulting in increased proliferation and formation of vessel-like structures in cultivated endothelial cells. Decreased vascularization during wound repair in mice deficient for CRAMP, the murine homologue of LL-37/hCAP-18, shows that cathelicidin-mediated angiogenesis is important for cutaneous wound neovascularization in vivo. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that LL-37/hCAP-18 is a multifunctional antimicrobial peptide with a central role in innate immunity by linking host defense and inflammation with angiogenesis and arteriogenesis.
Rembert Koczulla, Georges von Degenfeld, Christian Kupatt, Florian Krötz, Stefan Zahler, Torsten Gloe, Katja Issbrücker, Pia Unterberger, Mohamed Zaiou, Corinna Lebherz, Alexander Karl, Philip Raake, Achim Pfosser, Peter Boekstegers, Ulrich Welsch, Pieter S. Hiemstra, Claus Vogelmeier, Richard L. Gallo, Matthias Clauss, Robert Bals
The absence of immune defects that occurs in the syndrome of long-term nonprogressive (LTNP) HIV infection offers insights into the pathophysiology of HIV-induced immune disease. The (H[F/S]RIG)2 domain of viral protein R (Vpr) induces apoptosis and may contribute to HIV-induced T cell depletion. We demonstrate a higher frequency of R77Q Vpr mutations in patients with LTNP than in patients with progressive disease. In addition, T cell infections using vesicular stomatitis virus G (VSV-G) pseudotyped HIV-1 Vpr R77Q result in less (P = 0.01) T cell death than infections using wild-type Vpr, despite similar levels of viral replication. Wild-type Vpr-associated events, including procaspase-8 and -3 cleavage, loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Δψm), and DNA fragmentation factor activation are attenuated by R77Q Vpr. These data highlight the pathophysiologic role of Vpr in HIV-induced immune disease and suggest a novel mechanism of LTNP.
Julian J. Lum, Oren J. Cohen, Zilin Nie, Joel G. Weaver, Timothy S. Gomez, Xiao-Jian Yao, David Lynch, André A. Pilon, Nanci Hawley, John E. Kim, Zhaoxia Chen, Michael Montpetit, Jaime Sanchez-Dardon, Eric A. Cohen, Andrew D. Badley
Stat3 plays an essential role in IL-10 signaling pathways. A myeloid cell-specific deletion of Stat3 resulted in inflammatory cytokine production and development of chronic enterocolitis with enhanced Th1 responses in mice. In this study, we analyzed the mechanism by which a Stat3 deficiency in myeloid cells led to the induction of chronic enterocolitis in vivo. Even in the absence of Stat1, which is essential for IFN-γ signaling pathways, Stat3 mutant mice developed chronic enterocolitis. TNF-α/Stat3 double-mutant mice developed severe chronic enterocolitis with enhanced Th1 cell development. IL-12p40/Stat3 double-mutant mice, however, showed normal Th1 responses and no inflammatory change in the colon. RAG2/Stat3 double-mutant mice did not develop enterocolitis, either. These findings indicate that overproduction of IL-12p40, which induces potent Th1 responses, is essential for the development of chronic enterocolitis in Stat3 mutant mice. Furthermore, enterocolitis was significantly improved and IFN-γ production by T cells was reduced in TLR4/Stat3 double-mutant mice, indicating that TLR4-mediated recognition of microbial components triggers aberrant IL-12p40 production by myeloid cells, leading to the development of enterocolitis. Thus, this study clearly established a sequential innate and acquired immune mechanism for the development of Th1-dependent enterocolitis.
Masaya Kobayashi, Mi-Na Kweon, Hirotaka Kuwata, Robert D. Schreiber, Hiroshi Kiyono, Kiyoshi Takeda, Shizuo Akira
Azathioprine and its metabolite 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) are immunosuppressive drugs that are used in organ transplantation and autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases such as Crohn disease. However, their molecular mechanism of action is unknown. In the present study, we have identified a unique and unexpected role for azathioprine and its metabolites in the control of T cell apoptosis by modulation of Rac1 activation upon CD28 costimulation. We found that azathioprine and its metabolites induced apoptosis of T cells from patients with Crohn disease and control patients. Apoptosis induction required costimulation with CD28 and was mediated by specific blockade of Rac1 activation through binding of azathioprine-generated 6-thioguanine triphosphate (6-Thio-GTP) to Rac1 instead of GTP. The activation of Rac1 target genes such as mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK), NF-κB, and bcl-xL was suppressed by azathioprine, leading to a mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. Azathioprine thus converts a costimulatory signal into an apoptotic signal by modulating Rac1 activity. These findings explain the immunosuppressive effects of azathioprine and suggest that 6-Thio-GTP derivates may be useful as potent immunosuppressive agents in autoimmune diseases and organ transplantation.
Imke Tiede, Gerhard Fritz, Susanne Strand, Daniela Poppe, Radovan Dvorsky, Dennis Strand, Hans Anton Lehr, Stefan Wirtz, Christoph Becker, Raja Atreya, Jonas Mudter, Kai Hildner, Brigitte Bartsch, Martin Holtmann, Richard Blumberg, Henning Walczak, Heiko Iven, Peter R. Galle, Mohammad Reza Ahmadian, Markus F. Neurath
Experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) is a disease of the neural retina induced by immunization with retinal antigens, such as interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP) and arrestin (retinal soluble antigen, S-Ag). EAU serves as a model for human autoimmune uveitic diseases associated with major histocompatibility complex (HLA) genes, in which patients exhibit immunological responses to retinal antigens. Here we report the development of a humanized EAU model in HLA transgenic (TG) mice. HLA-DR3, -DR4, -DQ6, and -DQ8 TG mice were susceptible to IRBP-induced EAU. Importantly, HLA-DR3 TG mice developed severe EAU with S-Ag, to which wild-type mice are highly resistant. Lymphocyte proliferation was blocked by anti-HLA antibodies, confirming that antigen is functionally presented by the human MHC molecules. Disease could be transferred by immune cells with a Th1-like cytokine profile. Antigen-specific T cell repertoire, as manifested by responses to overlapping peptides derived from S-Ag or IRBP, differed from that of wild-type mice. Interestingly, DR3 TG mice, but not wild-type mice, recognized an immunodominant S-Ag epitope between residues 291 and 310 that overlaps with a region of S-Ag recognized by uveitis patients. Thus, EAU in HLA TG mice offers a new model of uveitis that should represent human disease more faithfully than currently existing models.
Giuseppina Pennesi, Mary J. Mattapallil, Shu-Hui Sun, Dody Avichezer, Phyllis B. Silver, Zaruhi Karabekian, Chella S. David, Paul A. Hargrave, J. Hugh McDowell, W. Clay Smith, Barbara Wiggert, Larry A. Donoso, Chi-Chao Chan, Rachel R. Caspi