T cell reactivity to minor histocompatibility (mH) antigens is responsible for rejection of HLA-matched allografts, limiting the effectiveness of transplantation for the treatment of end-stage organ failure. The deadbox gene Dby is located on the Y chromosome and encodes an mH antigen that prompts rejection of male tissues by female mice. Establishing a network of regulatory T (Treg) cells that is capable of coercing naive cells to adopt a tolerant phenotype offers an attractive strategy for immune intervention in such deleterious immune responses. While various approaches have successfully induced a dominant form of transplantation tolerance, they share the propensity to provoke chronic, incomplete activation of T cells. By identifying the T cell receptor (TCR) contact sites of the dominant epitope of the Dby gene product, we have designed an altered peptide ligand (APL) that delivers incomplete signals to naive T cells from A1 ∞ RAG1–/– mice that are transgenic for a complementary TCR. Administration of this APL to female transgenic mice polarizes T cells toward a regulatory phenotype, securing a form of dominant tolerance to male skin grafts that is capable of resisting rejection by naive lymphocytes. Our results demonstrate that incomplete signaling through the TCR may establish a network of Treg cells that may be harnessed in the service of transplantation tolerance.
Tse-Ching Chen, Herman Waldmann, Paul J. Fairchild
Administration of an agonistic anti-CD28 mAb paradoxically inhibits donor T cell expansion and prevents graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in mice. Here we examined the mechanism of anti-CD28–mediated immunosuppression and found that anti-CD28 mAb activated, rather than blocked, CD28-mediated signaling in vivo. Anti-CD28 treatment prevented GVHD by selectively depleting alloantigen-activated donor T cells through apoptosis but spared the T cells that did not recognize recipient alloantigens. Overexpression of Bcl-xL did not protect T cells from depletion and did not affect GVHD prevention after anti-CD28 treatment. Depletion of activated T cells mediated through CD28 did not depend on the expression of death receptors Fas and TNF receptors type I and II, but both the depletion of activated T cells and the suppressive effect of anti-CD28 mAb on GVHD lethality required donor-derived IFN-γ production. This study demonstrates that agonistic Ab’s specific for the CD28 costimulatory molecule may be used as novel therapeutic agents to abrogate pathogenic T cell responses by selective depletion of activated T cells.
Xue-Zhong Yu, Michael H. Albert, Paul J. Martin, Claudio Anasetti
OCH, a sphingosine-truncated analog of α-galactosylceramide (αGC), is a potential therapeutic reagent for a variety of Th1-mediated autoimmune diseases through its selective induction of Th2 cytokines from natural killer T (NKT) cells. We demonstrate here that the NKT cell production of IFN-γ is more susceptible to the sphingosine length of glycolipid ligand than that of IL-4 and that the length of the sphingosine chain determines the duration of NKT cell stimulation by CD1d-associated glycolipids. Furthermore, IFN-γ production by NKT cells requires longer T cell receptor stimulation than is required for IL-4 production by NKT cells stimulated either with immobilized mAb to CD3 or with immobilized “αGC-loaded” CD1d molecules. Interestingly, transcription of IFN-γ but not that of IL-4 was sensitive to cycloheximide treatment, indicating the intrinsic involvement of de novo protein synthesis for IFN-γ production by NKT cells. Finally, we determined c-Rel was preferentially transcribed in αGC-stimulated but not in OCH-stimulated NKT cells and was essential for IFN-γ production by activated NKT cells. Given the dominant immune regulation by the remarkable cytokine production of ligand-stimulated NKT cells in vivo, in comparison with that of (antigen-specific) T cells or NK cells, the current study confirms OCH as a likely therapeutic reagent for use against Th1-mediated autoimmune diseases and provides a novel clue for the design of drugs targeting NKT cells.
Shinji Oki, Asako Chiba, Takashi Yamamura, Sachiko Miyake
While the initiation of the adaptive and innate immune response is well understood, less is known about cellular mechanisms propagating inflammation. The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), a transmembrane receptor of the immunoglobulin superfamily, leads to perpetuated cell activation. Using novel animal models with defective or tissue-specific RAGE expression, we show that in these animal models RAGE does not play a role in the adaptive immune response. However, deletion of RAGE provides protection from the lethal effects of septic shock caused by cecal ligation and puncture. Such protection is reversed by reconstitution of RAGE in endothelial and hematopoietic cells. These results indicate that the innate immune response is controlled by pattern-recognition receptors not only at the initiating steps but also at the phase of perpetuation.
Birgit Liliensiek, Markus A. Weigand, Angelika Bierhaus, Werner Nicklas, Michael Kasper, Stefan Hofer, Jens Plachky, Herman-Josef Gröne, Florian C. Kurschus, Ann Marie Schmidt, Shi Du Yan, Eike Martin, Erwin Schleicher, David M. Stern, Günter J. Hämmerling, Peter P. Nawroth, Bernd Arnold
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) mediate host responses to bacterial gene products. As the airway epithelium is potentially exposed to many diverse inhaled bacteria, TLRs involved in defense of the airways must be broadly responsive, available at the exposed apical surface of the cells, and highly regulated to prevent activation following trivial encounters with bacteria. We demonstrate that TLR2 is enriched in caveolin-1–associated lipid raft microdomains presented on the apical surface of airway epithelial cells after bacterial infection. These receptor complexes include myeloid differentiation protein (MyD88), interleukin-1 receptor–activated kinase-1, and TNF receptor–associated factor 6. The signaling capabilities of TLR2 are amplified through its association with the asialoganglioside gangliotetraosylceramide (Galβ1,2GalNAcβ1,4Galβ1,4Glcβ1,1Cer), which has receptor function itself for many pulmonary pathogens. Ligation of either TLR2 or asialoGM1 by ligands with specificity for either receptor, by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or by Staphylococcus aureus stimulates IL-8 production through activation of NF-κB, as mediated by TLR2 and MyD88. Thus, TLR2 in association with asialo-glycolipids presented within the context of lipid rafts provides a broadly responsive signaling complex at the apical surfaces of airway cells to initiate the host response to potential bacterial infection.
Grace Soong, Bharat Reddy, Sach Sokol, Robert Adamo, Alice Prince
While Crohn disease (CD) has been clearly identified as a Th1 inflammation, the immunopathogenesis of its counterpart inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis (UC), remains enigmatic. Here we show that lamina propria T (LPT) cells from UC patients produce significantly greater amounts of IL-13 (and IL-5) than control cells and little IFN-γ, whereas comparable cells from CD patients produce large amounts of IFN-γ and small amounts of IL-13. We then show that stimulation of UC LPT cells bearing an NK marker (CD161) with anti-CD2/anti-CD28 or with B cells expressing transfected CD1d induces substantial IL-13 production. While this provided firm evidence that the IL-13–producing cell is an NK T (NKT) cell, it became clear that this cell does not express invariant NKT cell receptors characteristic of most NKT cells since there was no increase in cells binding α-galactosylceramide–loaded tetramers, and α-galactosylceramide did not induce IL-13 secretion. Finally, we show that both human NKT cell lines as well as UC CD161+ LPT cells are cytotoxic for HT-29 epithelial cells and that this cytotoxicity is augmented by IL-13. These studies show that UC is associated with an atypical Th2 response mediated by nonclassical NKT cells producing IL-13 and having cytotoxic potential for epithelial cells.
Ivan J. Fuss, Frank Heller, Monica Boirivant, Francisco Leon, Masaru Yoshida, Stefan Fichtner-Feigl, Zhiqiong Yang, Mark Exley, Atsushi Kitani, Richard S. Blumberg, Peter Mannon, Warren Strober
Chronic intestinal inflammation, as seen in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), results from an aberrant and poorly understood mucosal immune response to the microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract in genetically susceptible individuals. Here we used serological expression cloning to identify commensal bacterial proteins that could contribute to the pathogenesis of IBD. The dominant antigens identified were flagellins, molecules known to activate innate immunity via Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5), and critical targets of the acquired immune system in host defense. Multiple strains of colitic mice had elevated serum anti-flagellin IgG2a responses and Th1 T cell responses to flagellin. In addition, flagellin-specific CD4+ T cells induced severe colitis when adoptively transferred into naive SCID mice. Serum IgG to these flagellins, but not to the dissimilar Salmonella muenchen flagellin, was elevated in patients with Crohn disease, but not in patients with ulcerative colitis or in controls. These results identify flagellins as a class of immunodominant antigens that stimulate pathogenic intestinal immune reactions in genetically diverse hosts and suggest new avenues for the diagnosis and antigen-directed therapy of patients with IBD.
Michael J. Lodes, Yingzi Cong, Charles O. Elson, Raodoh Mohamath, Carol J. Landers, Stephan R. Targan, Madeline Fort, Robert M. Hershberg
Current paradigms of peripheral B cell selection suggest that autoreactive B cells are controlled by clonal deletion, anergy, and developmental arrest. We report that changes to the human antibody repertoire likely resulting from these mechanisms both for a well-characterized autoreactivity from antibodies encoded by the VH4-34 gene and for other hallmarks of an autoreactive repertoire are apparent mainly for class-switched B cells and not for IgM germinal center, IgM memory, or IgM plasma cells. Other possible indicators of autoreactivity found selected with immunoglobulin class include JH6 gene segment usage, increased frequency of B cells with long third hypervariable regions, and distal Jκ gene segment bias. Of particular interest is the finding that B cells with these same characteristics are selected into the lineage of B cells that have undergone the unusual class switch from constant region Cμ to Cδ (Cδ-CS). The Cδ-CS population also displays an increased frequency of charged amino acids localized to the complementarity-determining regions, further suggesting autoreactivity, and evidence is presented that these B cells had undergone extensive receptor editing. Thus, the Cδ-CS lineage may be a “sink” for B cells harboring autoreactive specificities in normal humans. A model for a new tolerizing mechanism that could account for the Cδ-CS lineage is presented.
Nai-Ying Zheng, Kenneth Wilson, Xiaojian Wang, Angela Boston, Grant Kolar, Stephen M. Jackson, Yong-Jun Liu, Virginia Pascual, J. Donald Capra, Patrick C. Wilson
The ability of autoreactive T cells to provoke autoimmune disease is well documented. The finding that immunization with attenuated autoreactive T cells (T cell vaccination, or TCV) can induce T cell–dependent inhibition of autoimmune responses has opened the possibility that regulatory T cells may be harnessed to inhibit autoimmune disease. Progress in the clinical application of TCV, however, has been slow, in part because the underlying mechanism has remained clouded in uncertainty. We have investigated the molecular basis of TCV-induced disease resistance in two murine models of autoimmunity: herpes simplex virus-1 (KOS strain)–induced herpes stromal keratitis and murine autoimmune diabetes in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. We find that the therapeutic effects of TCV depend on activation of suppressive CD8 cells that specifically recognize Qa-1–bound peptides expressed by autoreactive CD4 cells. We clarify the molecular interaction between Qa-1 and self peptides that generates biologically active ligands capable of both inducing suppressive CD8 cells and targeting them to autoreactive CD4 cells. These studies suggest that vaccination with peptide-pulsed cells bearing the human equivalent of murine Qa-1 (HLA-E) may represent a convenient and effective clinical approach to cellular therapy of autoimmune disease.
Vily Panoutsakopoulou, Katharina M. Huster, Nami McCarty, Evan Feinberg, Rijian Wang, Kai W. Wucherpfennig, Harvey Cantor
Studies of B cell antigen receptors (BCRs) expressed by leukemic lymphocytes from patients with B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) suggest that B lymphocytes with some level of BCR structural restriction become transformed. While analyzing rearranged VHDJH and VLJL genes of 25 non–IgM-producing B-CLL cases, we found five IgG+ cases that display strikingly similar BCRs (use of the same H- and L-chain V gene segments with unique, shared heavy chain third complementarity-determining region [HCDR3] and light chain third complementarity-determining region [LCDR3] motifs). These H- and L-chain characteristics were not identified in other B-CLL cases or in normal B lymphocytes whose sequences are available in the public databases. Three-dimensional modeling studies suggest that these BCRs could bind the same antigenic epitope. The structural features of the B-CLL BCRs resemble those of mAb’s reactive with carbohydrate determinants of bacterial capsules or viral coats and with certain autoantigens. These findings suggest that the B lymphocytes that gave rise to these IgG+ B-CLL cells were selected for this unique BCR structure. This selection could have occurred because the precursors of the B-CLL cells were chosen for their antigen-binding capabilities by antigen(s) of restricted nature and structure, or because the precursors derived from a B cell subpopulation with limited BCR heterogeneity, or both.
Fabio Ghiotto, Franco Fais, Angelo Valetto, Emilia Albesiano, Shiori Hashimoto, Mariella Dono, Hideyuki Ikematsu, Steven L. Allen, Jonathan Kolitz, Kanti R. Rai, Marco Nardini, Anna Tramontano, Manlio Ferrarini, Nicholas Chiorazzi