In transplantation, there is a critical need for noninvasive biomarker platforms for monitoring immunologic rejection. We hypothesized that transplanted tissues release donor-specific exosomes into recipient circulation and that the quantitation and profiling of donor intra-exosomal cargoes may constitute a biomarker platform for monitoring rejection. Here, we have tested this hypothesis in a human-into-mouse xenogeneic islet transplant model and validated the concept in clinical settings of islet and renal transplantation. In the xenogeneic model, we quantified islet transplant exosomes in recipient blood over long-term follow-up using anti-HLA antibody, which was detectable only in xenoislet recipients of human islets. Transplant islet exosomes were purified using anti-HLA antibody–conjugated beads, and their cargoes contained the islet endocrine hormone markers insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin. Rejection led to a marked decrease in transplant islet exosome signal along with distinct changes in exosomal microRNA and proteomic profiles prior to appearance of hyperglycemia. In the clinical settings of islet and renal transplantation, donor exosomes with respective tissue specificity for islet β cells and renal epithelial cells were reliably characterized in recipient plasma over follow-up periods of up to 5 years. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the biomarker potential of transplant exosome characterization for providing a noninvasive window into the conditional state of transplant tissue.
Prashanth Vallabhajosyula, Laxminarayana Korutla, Andreas Habertheuer, Ming Yu, Susan Rostami, Chao-Xing Yuan, Sanjana Reddy, Chengyang Liu, Varun Korutla, Brigitte Koeberlein, Jennifer Trofe-Clark, Michael R. Rickels, Ali Naji
Tissue fibrosis is the primary cause of long-term graft failure after organ transplantation. In lung allografts, progressive terminal airway fibrosis leads to an irreversible decline in lung function termed bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). Here, we have identified an autocrine pathway linking nuclear factor of activated T cells 2 (NFAT1), autotaxin (ATX), lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), and β-catenin that contributes to progression of fibrosis in lung allografts. Mesenchymal cells (MCs) derived from fibrotic lung allografts (BOS MCs) demonstrated constitutive nuclear β-catenin expression that was dependent on autocrine ATX secretion and LPA signaling. We found that
Pengxiu Cao, Yoshiro Aoki, Linda Badri, Natalie M. Walker, Casey M. Manning, Amir Lagstein, Eric R. Fearon, Vibha N. Lama
Patients with leukemia who receive a T cell–depleted allogeneic stem cell graft followed by postponed donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) can experience graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) reactivity, with a lower risk of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Here, we have investigated the magnitude, diversity, and specificity of alloreactive CD8 T cells in patients who developed GVL reactivity after DLI in the absence or presence of GVHD. We observed a lower magnitude and diversity of CD8 T cells for minor histocompatibility antigens (MiHAs) in patients with selective GVL reactivity without GVHD. Furthermore, we demonstrated that MiHA-specific T cell clones from patients with selective GVL reactivity showed lower reactivity against nonhematopoietic cells, even when pretreated with inflammatory cytokines. Expression analysis of MiHA-encoding genes showed that similar types of antigens were recognized in both patient groups, but in patients who developed GVHD, T cell reactivity was skewed to target broadly expressed MiHAs. As an inflammatory environment can render nonhematopoietic cells susceptible to T cell recognition, prevention of such circumstances favors induction of selective GVL reactivity without development of GVHD.
Cornelis A.M. van Bergen, Simone A.P. van Luxemburg-Heijs, Liesbeth C. de Wreede, Matthijs Eefting, Peter A. von dem Borne, Peter van Balen, Mirjam H.M. Heemskerk, Arend Mulder, Fransiscus H.J. Claas, Marcelo A Navarrete, Wilhelmina M. Honders, Caroline E. Rutten, Hendrik Veelken, Inge Jedema, Constantijn J.M. Halkes, Marieke Griffioen, J.H. Frederik Falkenburg
Damage to the gastrointestinal tract is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and is attributable to T cell–mediated inflammation. In this work, we identified a unique CD4+ T cell population that constitutively expresses the β2 integrin CD11c and displays a biased central memory phenotype and memory T cell transcriptional profile, innate-like properties, and increased expression of the gut-homing molecules α4β7 and CCR9. Using several complementary murine GVHD models, we determined that adoptive transfer and early accumulation of β2 integrin–expressing CD4+ T cells in the gastrointestinal tract initiated Th1-mediated proinflammatory cytokine production, augmented pathological damage in the colon, and increased mortality. The pathogenic effect of this CD4+ T cell population critically depended on coexpression of the IL-23 receptor, which was required for maximal inflammatory effects. Non–Foxp3-expressing CD4+ T cells produced IL-10, which regulated colonic inflammation and attenuated lethality in the absence of functional CD4+Foxp3+ T cells. Thus, the coordinate expression of CD11c and the IL-23 receptor defines an IL-10–regulated, colitogenic memory CD4+ T cell subset that is poised to initiate inflammation when there is loss of tolerance and breakdown of mucosal barriers.
Vivian Zhou, Kimberle Agle, Xiao Chen, Amy Beres, Richard Komorowski, Ludovic Belle, Carolyn Taylor, Fenlu Zhu, Dipica Haribhai, Calvin B. Williams, James Verbsky, Wendy Blumenschein, Svetlana Sadekova, Eddie Bowman, Christie Ballantyne, Casey Weaver, David A. Serody, Benjamin Vincent, Jonathan Serody, Daniel J. Cua, William R. Drobyski
The immune response against transplanted allografts is one of the most potent reactions mounted by the immune system. The acute rejection response has been attributed to donor dendritic cells (DCs), which migrate to recipient lymphoid tissues and directly activate alloreactive T cells against donor MHC molecules. Here, using a murine heart transplant model, we determined that only a small number of donor DCs reach lymphoid tissues and investigated how this limited population of donor DCs efficiently initiates the alloreactive T cell response that causes acute rejection. In our mouse model, efficient passage of donor MHC molecules to recipient conventional DCs (cDCs) was dependent on the transfer of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from donor DCs that migrated from the graft to lymphoid tissues. These EVs shared characteristics with exosomes and were internalized or remained attached to the recipient cDCs. Recipient cDCs that acquired exosomes became activated and triggered full activation of alloreactive T cells. Depletion of recipient cDCs after cardiac transplantation drastically decreased presentation of donor MHC molecules to directly alloreactive T cells and delayed graft rejection in mice. These findings support a key role for transfer of donor EVs in the generation of allograft-targeting immune responses and suggest that interrupting this process has potential to dampen the immune response to allografts.
Quan Liu, Darling M. Rojas-Canales, Sherrie J. Divito, William J. Shufesky, Donna Beer Stolz, Geza Erdos, Mara L.G. Sullivan, Gregory A. Gibson, Simon C. Watkins, Adriana T. Larregina, Adrian E. Morelli
Transplantation is the only cure for end-stage organ failure, but without immunosuppression, T cells rapidly reject allografts. While genetic disparities between donor and recipient are major determinants of the kinetics of transplant rejection, little is known about the contribution of environmental factors. Because colonized organs have worse transplant outcome than sterile organs, we tested the influence of host and donor microbiota on skin transplant rejection. Compared with untreated conventional mice, pretreatment of donors and recipients with broad-spectrum antibiotics (Abx) or use of germ-free (GF) donors and recipients resulted in prolonged survival of minor antigen–mismatched skin grafts. Increased graft survival correlated with reduced type I IFN signaling in antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and decreased priming of alloreactive T cells. Colonization of GF mice with fecal material from untreated conventional mice, but not from Abx-pretreated mice, enhanced the ability of APCs to prime alloreactive T cells and accelerated graft rejection, suggesting that alloimmunity is modulated by the composition of microbiota rather than the quantity of bacteria. Abx pretreatment of conventional mice also delayed rejection of major antigen–mismatched skin and MHC class II–mismatched cardiac allografts. This study demonstrates that Abx pretreatment prolongs graft survival, suggesting that targeting microbial constituents is a potential therapeutic strategy for enhancing graft acceptance.
Yuk Man Lei, Luqiu Chen, Ying Wang, Andrew T. Stefka, Luciana L. Molinero, Betty Theriault, Keston Aquino-Michaels, Ayelet S. Sivan, Cathryn R. Nagler, Thomas F. Gajewski, Anita S. Chong, Caroline Bartman, Maria-Luisa Alegre
Programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) interaction with PD-1 induces T cell exhaustion and is a therapeutic target to enhance immune responses against cancer and chronic infections. In murine bone marrow transplant models, PD-L1 expression on host target tissues reduces the incidence of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). PD-L1 is also expressed on T cells; however, it is unclear whether PD-L1 on this population influences immune function. Here, we examined the effects of PD-L1 modulation of T cell function in GVHD. In patients with severe GVHD, PD-L1 expression was increased on donor T cells. Compared with mice that received WT T cells, GVHD was reduced in animals that received T cells from
Asim Saha, Roddy S. O’Connor, Govindarajan Thangavelu, Scott B. Lovitch, Durga Bhavani Dandamudi, Caleph B. Wilson, Benjamin G. Vincent, Victor Tkachev, Jan M. Pawlicki, Scott N. Furlan, Leslie S. Kean, Kazutoshi Aoyama, Patricia A. Taylor, Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Rocio Foncea, Parvathi Ranganathan, Steven M. Devine, Joel S. Burrill, Lili Guo, Catarina Sacristan, Nathaniel W. Snyder, Ian A. Blair, Michael C. Milone, Michael L. Dustin, James L. Riley, David A. Bernlohr, William J. Murphy, Brian T. Fife, David H. Munn, Jeffrey S. Miller, Jonathan S. Serody, Gordon J. Freeman, Arlene H. Sharpe, Laurence A. Turka, Bruce R. Blazar
Experimentally, females show an improved ability to recover from ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) compared with males; however, this sex-dependent response is less established in humans. Here, we developed a series of murine renal ischemia and transplant models to investigate sex-specific effects on recovery after IRI. We found that IRI tolerance is profoundly increased in female mice compared with that observed in male mice and discovered an intermediate phenotype after neutering of either sex. Transplantation of adult kidneys from either sex into a recipient of the opposite sex followed by ischemia at a remote time resulted in ischemia recovery that reflected the sex of the recipient, not the donor, revealing that the host sex determines recovery. Likewise, renal IRI was exacerbated in female estrogen receptor α–KO mice, while female mice receiving supplemental estrogen before ischemia were protected. We examined data from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to determine whether there is an association between sex and delayed graft function (DGF) in patients who received deceased donor renal transplants. A multivariable logistic regression analysis determined that there was a greater association with DGF in male recipients than in female recipients. Together, our results demonstrate that sex affects renal IRI tolerance in mice and humans and indicate that estrogen administration has potential as a therapeutic intervention to clinically improve ischemia tolerance.
David D. Aufhauser Jr., Zhonglin Wang, Douglas R. Murken, Tricia R. Bhatti, Yanfeng Wang, Guanghui Ge, Robert R. Redfield III, Peter L. Abt, Liqing Wang, Nikolaos Svoronos, Arwin Thomasson, Peter P. Reese, Wayne W. Hancock, Matthew H. Levine
Adoptive immunotherapy with regulatory T cells (Tregs) is a promising treatment for allograft rejection and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Emerging data indicate that, compared with polyclonal Tregs, disease-relevant antigen-specific Tregs may have numerous advantages, such as a need for fewer cells and reduced risk of nonspecific immune suppression. Current methods to generate alloantigen-specific Tregs rely on expansion with allogeneic antigen-presenting cells, which requires access to donor and recipient cells and multiple MHC mismatches. The successful use of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) for the generation of antigen-specific effector T cells suggests that a similar approach could be used to generate alloantigen-specific Tregs. Here, we have described the creation of an HLA-A2–specific CAR (A2-CAR) and its application in the generation of alloantigen-specific human Tregs. In vitro, A2-CAR–expressing Tregs maintained their expected phenotype and suppressive function before, during, and after A2-CAR–mediated stimulation. In mouse models, human A2-CAR–expressing Tregs were superior to Tregs expressing an irrelevant CAR at preventing xenogeneic GVHD caused by HLA-A2+ T cells. Together, our results demonstrate that use of CAR technology to generate potent, functional, and stable alloantigen-specific human Tregs markedly enhances their therapeutic potential in transplantation and sets the stage for using this approach for making antigen-specific Tregs for therapy of multiple diseases.
Katherine G. MacDonald, Romy E. Hoeppli, Qing Huang, Jana Gillies, Dan S. Luciani, Paul C. Orban, Raewyn Broady, Megan K. Levings
Grégoire Couvrat-Desvergnes, Apolline Salama, Ludmilla Le Berre, Gwénaëlle Evanno, Ondrej Viklicky, Petra Hruba, Pavel Vesely, Pierrick Guerif, Thomas Dejoie, Juliette Rousse, Arnaud Nicot, Jean-Marie Bach, Evelyn Ang, Yohann Foucher, Sophie Brouard, Stéphanie Castagnet, Magali Giral, Jean Harb, Hélène Perreault, Béatrice Charreau, Marine Lorent, Jean-Paul Soulillou
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