Infection with influenza A virus represents a major public health threat worldwide, particularly in patients with asthma. However, immunity induced by influenza A virus may have beneficial effects, particularly in young children, that might protect against the later development of asthma, as suggested by the hygiene hypothesis. Herein, we show that infection of suckling mice with influenza A virus protected the mice as adults against allergen-induced airway hyperreactivity (AHR), a cardinal feature of asthma. The protective effect was associated with the preferential expansion of CD4–CD8–, but not CD4+, NKT cells and required T-bet and TLR7. Adoptive transfer of this cell population into allergen-sensitized adult mice suppressed the development of allergen-induced AHR, an effect associated with expansion of the allergen-specific forkhead box p3+ (Foxp3+) Treg cell population. Influenza-induced protection was mimicked by treating suckling mice with a glycolipid derived from Helicobacter pylori (a bacterium associated with protection against asthma) that activated NKT cells in a CD1d-restricted fashion. These findings suggest what we believe to be a novel pathway that can regulate AHR, and a new therapeutic strategy (treatment with glycolipid activators of this NKT cell population) for asthma.
Ya-Jen Chang, Hye Young Kim, Lee A. Albacker, Hyun Hee Lee, Nicole Baumgarth, Shizuo Akira, Paul B. Savage, Shin Endo, Takashi Yamamura, Janneke Maaskant, Naoki Kitano, Abel Singh, Apoorva Bhatt, Gurdyal S. Besra, Peter van den Elzen, Ben Appelmelk, Richard W. Franck, Guangwu Chen, Rosemarie H. DeKruyff, Michio Shimamura, Petr Illarionov, Dale T. Umetsu
Characterizing the TCRα and TCRβ chains expressed by T cells responding to a given pathogen or underlying autoimmunity helps in the development of vaccines and immunotherapies, respectively. However, our understanding of complementary TCRα and TCRβ chain utilization is very limited for pathogen- and autoantigen-induced immunity. To address this problem, we have developed a multiplex nested RT-PCR method for the simultaneous amplification of transcripts encoding the TCRα and TCRβ chains from single cells. This multiplex method circumvented the lack of antibodies specific for variable regions of mouse TCRα chains and the need for prior knowledge of variable region usage in the TCRβ chain, resulting in a comprehensive, unbiased TCR repertoire analysis with paired coexpression of TCRα and TCRβ chains with single-cell resolution. Using CD8+ CTLs specific for an influenza epitope recovered directly from the pneumonic lungs of mice, this technique determined that 25% of such effectors expressed a dominant, nonproductively rearranged Tcra transcript. T cells with these out-of-frame Tcra mRNAs also expressed an alternate, in-frame Tcra, whereas approximately 10% of T cells had 2 productive Tcra transcripts. The proportion of cells with biallelic transcription increased over the course of a response, a finding that has implications for immune memory and autoimmunity. This technique may have broad applications in mouse models of human disease.
Pradyot Dash, Jennifer L. McClaren, Thomas H. Oguin III, William Rothwell, Brandon Todd, Melissa Y. Morris, Jared Becksfort, Cory Reynolds, Scott A. Brown, Peter C. Doherty, Paul G. Thomas
CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Tregs play a major role in prevention of autoimmune diseases. The suppressive effect of Tregs on effector T cells (Teffs), the cells that can mediate autoimmunity, has been extensively studied. However, the in vivo impact of Teff activation on Tregs during autoimmunity has not been explored. In this study, we have shown that CD4+ Teff activation strongly boosts the expansion and suppressive activity of Tregs. This helper function of CD4+ T cells, which we believe to be novel, was observed in the pancreas and draining lymph nodes in mouse recipients of islet-specific Teffs and Tregs. Its physiological impact was assessed in autoimmune diabetes. When islet-specific Teffs were transferred alone, they induced diabetes. Paradoxically, when the same Teffs were cotransferred with islet-specific Tregs, they induced disease protection by boosting Treg expansion and suppressive function. RNA microarray analyses suggested that TNF family members were involved in the Teff-mediated Treg boost. In vivo experiments showed that this Treg boost was partially dependent on TNF but not on IL-2. This feedback regulatory loop between Teffs and Tregs may be critical to preventing or limiting the development of autoimmune diseases.
Yenkel Grinberg-Bleyer, David Saadoun, Audrey Baeyens, Fabienne Billiard, Jérémie D. Goldstein, Sylvie Grégoire, Gaëlle H. Martin, Rima Elhage, Nicolas Derian, Wassila Carpentier, Gilles Marodon, David Klatzmann, Eliane Piaggio, Benoît L. Salomon
Th17 cells promote a variety of autoimmune diseases, including psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. TGF-β is required for conversion of naive T cells to Th17 cells, but the mechanisms regulating this process are unknown. Integrin αvβ8 on DCs can activate TGF-β, and this process contributes to the development of induced Tregs. Here, we have now shown that integrin αvβ8 expression on DCs plays a critical role in the differentiation of Th17 cells. Th17 cells were nearly absent in the colons of mice lacking αvβ8 expression on DCs. In addition, these mice and the DCs harvested from them had an impaired ability to convert naive T cells into Th17 cells in vivo and in vitro, respectively. Importantly, mice lacking αvβ8 on DCs showed near-complete protection from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Our results therefore suggest that the integrin αvβ8 pathway is biologically important and that αvβ8 expression on DCs could be a therapeutic target for the treatment of Th17-driven autoimmune disease.
Andrew C. Melton, Samantha L. Bailey-Bucktrout, Mark A. Travis, Brian T. Fife, Jeffrey A. Bluestone, Dean Sheppard
Th17 cells are a distinct lineage of T helper cells that protect the body from bacterial and fungal infection. However, Th17 cells also contribute to inflammatory and autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Th17 cell generation requires exposure of naive T cells to the cytokine TGF-β in combination with proinflammatory cytokines. Here we show that differentiation of Th17 cells is also critically dependent on αv integrins. In mice, lack of integrin αv in the immune system resulted in loss of Th17 cells in the intestine and lymphoid tissues. It also led to protection from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Further analysis indicated that αv integrins on DCs activated latent TGF-β during T cell stimulation and thereby promoted differentiation of Th17 cells. Furthermore, pharmacologic inhibition of αv integrins using cyclic RGD peptides blocked TGF-β activation and Th17 cell generation in vitro and protected mice from EAE. These data demonstrate that activation of TGF-β by αv-expressing myeloid cells may be a critical step in the generation of Th17 cells and suggest that αv integrins could be therapeutic targets in autoimmune disease.
Mridu Acharya, Subhankar Mukhopadhyay, Helena Païdassi, Tahseen Jamil, Camille Chow, Stephan Kissler, Lynda M. Stuart, Richard O. Hynes, Adam Lacy-Hulbert
Human CMV (HCMV) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in both congenitally infected and immunocompromised individuals. Development of an effective HCMV vaccine would help protect these vulnerable groups. NK group 2, member D (NKG2D) is a potent activating receptor expressed by cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems. Its importance in HCMV immune surveillance is indicated by the elaborative evasion mechanisms evolved by the virus to avoid NKG2D. In order to study this signaling pathway, we engineered a recombinant mouse CMV expressing the high-affinity NKG2D ligand RAE-1γ (RAE-1γMCMV). Expression of RAE-1γ by MCMV resulted in profound virus attenuation in vivo and lower latent viral DNA loads. RAE-1γMCMV infection was efficiently controlled by immunodeficient hosts, including mice lacking type I interferon receptors or immunosuppressed by sublethal γ-irradiation. Features of MCMV infection in neonates were also diminished. Despite tight innate immune control, RAE-1γMCMV infection elicited strong and long-lasting protective immunity. Maternal RAE-1γMCMV immunization protected neonatal mice from MCMV disease via placental transfer of antiviral Abs. Despite strong selective pressure, the RAE-1γ transgene did not exhibit sequence variation following infection. Together, our results indicate that use of a recombinant virus encoding the ligand for an activating NK cell receptor could be a powerful approach to developing a safe and immunogenic HCMV vaccine.
Irena Slavuljica, Andreas Busche, Marina Babić, Maja Mitrović, Iva Gašparović, Đurđica Cekinović, Elitza Markova Car, Ester Pernjak Pugel, Ana Ciković, Vanda Juranić Lisnić, William J. Britt, Ulrich Koszinowski, Martin Messerle, Astrid Krmpotić, Stipan Jonjić
Many common disorders of pregnancy are attributed to insufficient invasion of the uterine lining by trophoblast, fetal cells that are the major cell type of the placenta. Interactions between fetal trophoblast and maternal uterine NK (uNK) cells — specifically interactions between HLA-C molecules expressed by the fetal trophoblast cells and killer Ig-like receptors (KIRs) on the maternal uNK cells — influence placentation in human pregnancy. Consistent with this, pregnancies are at increased risk of preeclampsia in mothers homozygous for KIR haplotype A (KIR AA). In this study, we have demonstrated that trophoblast expresses both paternally and maternally inherited HLA-C surface proteins and that maternal KIR AA frequencies are increased in affected pregnancies only when the fetus has more group 2 HLA-C genes (C2) than the mother. These data raise the possibility that there is a deleterious allogeneic effect stemming from paternal C2. We found that this effect also occurred in other pregnancy disorders (fetal growth restriction and recurrent miscarriage), indicating a role early in gestation for these receptor/ligand pairs in the pathogenesis of reproductive failure. Notably, pregnancy disorders were less frequent in mothers that possessed the telomeric end of the KIR B haplotype, which contains activating KIR2DS1. In addition, uNK cells expressed KIR2DS1, which bound specifically to C2+ trophoblast cells. These findings highlight the complexity and central importance of specific combinations of activating KIR and HLA-C in maternal-fetal immune interactions that determine reproductive success.
Susan E. Hiby, Richard Apps, Andrew M. Sharkey, Lydia E. Farrell, Lucy Gardner, Arend Mulder, Frans H. Claas, James J. Walker, Christopher C. Redman, Linda Morgan, Clare Tower, Lesley Regan, Gudrun E. Moore, Mary Carrington, Ashley Moffett
A key feature of the immune system is its ability to discriminate self from nonself. Breakdown in any of the mechanisms that maintain unresponsiveness to self (a state known as self-tolerance) contributes to the development of autoimmune conditions. Recent studies in mice show that CD8+ T cells specific for the unconventional MHC class I molecule Qa-1 bound to peptides derived from the signal sequence of Hsp60 (Hsp60sp) contribute to self/nonself discrimination. However, it is unclear whether they exist in humans and play a role in human autoimmune diseases. Here we have shown that CD8+ T cells specific for Hsp60sp bound to HLA-E (the human homolog of Qa-1) exist and play an important role in maintaining peripheral self-tolerance by discriminating self from nonself in humans. Furthermore, in the majority of type 1 diabetes (T1D) patients tested, there was a specific defect in CD8+ T cell recognition of HLA-E/Hsp60sp, which was associated with failure of self/nonself discrimination. However, the defect in the CD8+ T cells from most of the T1D patients tested could be corrected in vitro by exposure to autologous immature DCs loaded with the Hsp60sp peptide. These data suggest that HLA-E–restricted CD8+ T cells may play an important role in keeping self-reactive T cells in check. Thus, correction of this defect could be a potentially effective and safe approach in the therapy of T1D.
Hong Jiang, Steve M. Canfield, Mary P. Gallagher, Hong H. Jiang, Yihua Jiang, Zongyu Zheng, Leonard Chess
TNF receptor superfamily member 25 (TNFRSF25; also known as DR3, and referred to herein as TNFR25) is constitutively and highly expressed by CD4+FoxP3+ Tregs. However, its function on these cells has not been determined. Here we used a TNFR25-specific agonistic monoclonal antibody, 4C12, to study the effects of TNFR25 signaling on Tregs in vivo in mice. Signaling through TNFR25 induced rapid and selective expansion of preexisting Tregs in vivo such that they became 30%–35% of all CD4+ T cells in the peripheral blood within 4 days. TNFR25-induced Treg proliferation was dependent upon TCR engagement with MHC class II, IL-2 receptor, and Akt signaling, but not upon costimulation by CD80 or CD86; it was unaffected by rapamycin. TNFR25-expanded Tregs remained highly suppressive ex vivo, and Tregs expanded by TNFR25 in vivo were protective against allergic lung inflammation, a mouse model for asthma, by reversing the ratio of effector T cells to Tregs in the lung, suppressing IL-13 and Th2 cytokine production, and blocking eosinophil exudation into bronchoalveolar fluid. Our studies define what we believe to be a novel mechanism for Treg control and important functions for TNFR25 in regulating autoaggression that balance its known role in enhancing autoimmunity.
Taylor H. Schreiber, Dietlinde Wolf, Matthew S. Tsai, Jackie Chirinos, Vadim V. Deyev, Louis Gonzalez, Thomas R. Malek, Robert B. Levy, Eckhard R. Podack
Cystic fibrosis (CF) results from mutations that disrupt CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), an anion channel found mainly in apical membranes of epithelial cells. CF leads to chronic infection of the airways with normally innocuous bacteria and fungi. Hypotheses to explain the pathophysiology of CF airways have been difficult to test because mouse models of CF do not develop human-like airway disease. The recent production of pigs lacking CFTR and pigs expressing the most common CF-causing CFTR mutant, ΔF508, provide another model that might help clarify the pathophysiology of CF airway disease. Here, we studied individual submucosal glands from 1-day-old piglets in situ in explanted tracheas, using optical methods to monitor mucus secretion rates from multiple glands in parallel. Secretion rates from control piglets (WT and CFTR+/–) and piglets with CF-like disease (CFTR–/– and CFTR–/ΔF508) were measured under 5 conditions: unstimulated (to determine basal secretion), stimulated with forskolin, stimulated with carbachol, stimulated with substance P, and, as a test for synergy, stimulated with forskolin and a low concentration of carbachol. Glands from piglets with CF-like disease responded qualitatively to all agonists like glands from human patients with CF, producing virtually no fluid in response to stimulation with forskolin and substantially less in response to all other agonists except carbachol. These data are a step toward determining whether gland secretory defects contribute to CF airway disease.
Nam Soo Joo, Hyung-Ju Cho, Monal Khansaheb, Jeffrey J. Wine