The migration of effector or memory T cells to the graft is a critical event in the rejection of transplanted organs. The prevailing view is that the key steps involved in T cell migration — integrin-mediated firm adhesion followed by transendothelial migration — are dependent on the activation of Gαi-coupled chemokine receptors on T cells. In contrast to this view, we demonstrated in vivo that cognate antigen was necessary for the firm adhesion and transendothelial migration of CD8+ effector T cells specific to graft antigens and that both steps occurred independent of Gαi signaling. Presentation of cognate antigen by either graft endothelial cells or bone marrow–derived APCs that extend into the capillary lumen was sufficient for T cell migration. The adhesion and transmigration of antigen-nonspecific (bystander) effector T cells, on the other hand, remained dependent on Gαi, but required the presence of antigen-specific effector T cells. These findings underscore the primary role of cognate antigen presented by either endothelial cells or bone marrow–derived APCs in the migration of T cells across endothelial barriers and have important implications for the prevention and treatment of graft rejection.
Jeffrey M. Walch, Qiang Zeng, Qi Li, Martin H. Oberbarnscheidt, Rosemary A. Hoffman, Amanda L. Williams, David M. Rothstein, Warren D. Shlomchik, Jiyun V. Kim, Geoffrey Camirand, Fadi G. Lakkis
Spontaneous antigen-specific T cell responses can be generated in hosts harboring a variety of solid malignancies, but are subverted by immune evasion mechanisms active within the tumor microenvironment. In contrast to solid tumors, the mechanisms that regulate T cell activation versus tolerance to hematological malignancies have been underexplored. A murine acute myeloid leukemia (AML) model was used to investigate antigen-specific T cell responses against AML cells inoculated i.v. versus s.c. Robust antigen-specific T cell responses were generated against AML cells after s.c., but not i.v., inoculation. In fact, i.v. AML cell inoculation prevented functional T cell activation in response to subsequent s.c. AML cell challenge. T cell dysfunction was antigen specific and did not depend on Tregs or myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Antigen-specific TCR-Tg CD8+ T cells proliferated, but failed to accumulate, and expressed low levels of effector cytokines in hosts after i.v. AML induction, consistent with abortive T cell activation and peripheral tolerance. Administration of agonistic anti-CD40 Ab to activate host APCs enhanced accumulation of functional T cells and prolonged survival. Our results suggest that antigen-specific T cell tolerance is a potent immune evasion mechanism in hosts with AML that can be reversed in vivo after CD40 engagement.
Long Zhang, Xiufen Chen, Xiao Liu, Douglas E. Kline, Ryan M. Teague, Thomas F. Gajewski, Justin Kline
Immune tolerance to transplanted organs is impaired when the innate immune system is activated in response to the tissue necrosis that occurs during harvesting and implantation procedures. A key molecule in this immune pathway is the intracellular TLR signal adaptor known as myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88). After transplantation, MyD88 induces DC maturation as well as the production of inflammatory mediators, such as IL-6 and TNF-α. However, upstream activators of MyD88 function in response to transplantation have not been identified. Here, we show that haptoglobin, an acute phase protein, is an initiator of this MyD88-dependent inflammatory process in a mouse model of skin transplantation. Necrotic lysates from transplanted skin elicited higher inflammatory responses in DCs than did nontransplanted lysates, suggesting DC-mediated responses are triggered by factors released during transplantation. Analysis of transplanted lysates identified haptoglobin as one of the proteins upregulated during transplantation. Expression of donor haptoglobin enhanced the onset of acute skin transplant rejection, whereas haptoglobin-deficient skin grafts showed delayed acute rejection and antidonor T cell priming in a MyD88-dependent graft rejection model. Thus, our results show that haptoglobin release following skin necrosis contributes to accelerated transplant rejection, with potential implications for the development of localized immunosuppressive therapies.
Hua Shen, Yang Song, Christopher M. Colangelo, Terence Wu, Can Bruce, Gaia Scabia, Anjela Galan, Margherita Maffei, Daniel R. Goldstein
Following organ transplantation, lifelong immunosuppressive therapy is required to prevent the host immune system from destroying the allograft. This can cause severe side effects and increased recipient morbidity and mortality. Complete cessation of immunosuppressive drugs has been successfully accomplished in selected transplant recipients, providing proof of principle that operational allograft tolerance is attainable in clinical transplantation. The intra-graft molecular pathways associated with successful drug withdrawal, however, are not well defined. In this study, we analyzed sequential blood and liver tissue samples collected from liver transplant recipients enrolled in a prospective multicenter immunosuppressive drug withdrawal clinical trial. Before initiation of drug withdrawal, operationally tolerant and non-tolerant recipients differed in the intra-graft expression of genes involved in the regulation of iron homeostasis. Furthermore, as compared with non-tolerant recipients, operationally tolerant patients exhibited higher serum levels of hepcidin and ferritin and increased hepatocyte iron deposition. Finally, liver tissue gene expression measurements accurately predicted the outcome of immunosuppressive withdrawal in an independent set of patients. These results point to a critical role for iron metabolism in the regulation of intra-graft alloimmune responses in humans and provide a set of biomarkers to conduct drug-weaning trials in liver transplantation.
Felix Bohne, Marc Martínez-Llordella, Juan-José Lozano, Rosa Miquel, Carlos Benítez, María-Carlota Londoño, Tommaso-María Manzia, Roberta Angelico, Dorine W. Swinkels, Harold Tjalsma, Marta López, Juan G. Abraldes, Eliano Bonaccorsi-Riani, Elmar Jaeckel, Richard Taubert, Jacques Pirenne, Antoni Rimola, Giuseppe Tisone, Alberto Sánchez-Fueyo
Chronic rejection, manifested as small airway fibrosis (obliterative bronchiolitis [OB]), is the main obstacle to long-term survival in lung transplantation. Recent studies demonstrate that the airways involved in a lung transplant are relatively hypoxic at baseline and that OB pathogenesis may be linked to ischemia induced by a transient loss of airway microvasculature. Here, we show that HIF-1α mediates airway microvascular repair in a model of orthotopic tracheal transplantation. Grafts with a conditional knockout of Hif1a demonstrated diminished recruitment of recipient-derived Tie2+ angiogenic cells to the allograft, impaired repair of damaged microvasculature, accelerated loss of microvascular perfusion, and hastened denudation of epithelial cells. In contrast, graft HIF-1α overexpression induced via an adenoviral vector prolonged airway microvascular perfusion, preserved epithelial integrity, extended the time window for the graft to be rescued from chronic rejection, and attenuated airway fibrotic remodeling. HIF-1α overexpression induced the expression of proangiogenic factors such as Sdf1, Plgf, and Vegf, and promoted the recruitment of vasoreparative Tie2+ cells. This study demonstrates that a therapy that enhances vascular integrity during acute rejection may promote graft health and prevent chronic rejection.
Xinguo Jiang, Mohammad A. Khan, Wen Tian, Joshua Beilke, Ramesh Natarajan, Jon Kosek, Mervin C. Yoder, Gregg L. Semenza, Mark R. Nicolls
Most degenerative diseases begin with a gradual loss of specific cell types before reaching a threshold for symptomatic onset. However, the endogenous regenerative capacities of different tissues are difficult to study, because of the limitations of models for early stages of cell loss. Therefore, we generated a transgenic mouse line (Mos-iCsp3) in which a lox-mismatched Cre/lox cassette can be activated to produce a drug-regulated dimerizable caspase-3. Tissue-restricted Cre expression yielded stochastic Casp3 expression, randomly ablating a subset of specific cell types in a defined domain. The limited and mosaic cell loss led to distinct responses in 3 different tissues targeted using respective Cre mice: reversible, impaired glucose tolerance with normoglycemia in pancreatic β cells; wound healing and irreversible hair loss in the skin; and permanent moderate deafness due to the loss of auditory hair cells in the inner ear. These mice will be important for assessing the repair capacities of tissues and the potential effectiveness of new regenerative therapies.
Masato Fujioka, Hisashi Tokano, Keiko Shiina Fujioka, Hideyuki Okano, Albert S.B. Edge
Transplantation of allogeneic stem cells into the early gestational fetus, a treatment termed in utero hematopoietic cell transplantation (IUHCTx), could potentially overcome the limitations of bone marrow transplants, including graft rejection and the chronic immunosuppression required to prevent rejection. However, clinical use of IUHCTx has been hampered by poor engraftment, possibly due to a host immune response against the graft. Since the fetal immune system is relatively immature, we hypothesized that maternal cells trafficking into the fetus may pose the true barrier to effective IUHCTx. Here, we have demonstrated that there is macrochimerism of maternal leukocytes in the blood of unmanipulated mouse fetuses, with substantial increases in T cell trafficking after IUHCTx. To determine the contribution of these maternal lymphocytes to rejection after IUHCTx, we bred T and/or B cell–deficient mothers to wild-type fathers and performed allogeneic IUHCTx into the immunocompetent fetuses. There was a marked improvement in engraftment if the mother lacked T cells but not B cells, indicating that maternal T cells are the main barrier to engraftment. Furthermore, when the graft was matched to the mother, there was no difference in engraftment between syngeneic and allogeneic fetal recipients. Our study suggests that the clinical success of IUHCTx may be improved by transplanting cells matched to the mother.
Amar Nijagal, Marta Wegorzewska, Erin Jarvis, Tom Le, Qizhi Tang, Tippi C. MacKenzie
Outcomes in transplantation have been limited by suboptimal long-term graft survival and toxicities associated with current immunosuppressive approaches. T cell costimulation blockade has shown promise as an alternative strategy to avoid the side effects of conventional immunosuppressive therapies, but targeting CD28-mediated costimulation alone has proven insufficient to prevent graft rejection in primates. Donor-specific memory T (TM) cells have been implicated in costimulation blockade–resistant transplant rejection, due to their enhanced effector function and decreased reliance on costimulatory signaling. Thus, we have tested a potential strategy to overcome TM cell–driven rejection by targeting molecules preferentially expressed on these cells, such as the adhesion molecule lymphocyte function–associated antigen 1 (LFA-1). Here, we show that short-term treatment (i.e., induction therapy) with the LFA-1–specific antibody TS-1/22 in combination with either basiliximab (an IL-2Rα–specific mAb) and sirolimus (a mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor) or belatacept (a high-affinity variant of the CD28 costimulation–blocker CTLA4Ig) prolonged islet allograft survival in nonhuman primates relative to control treatments. Moreover, TS-1/22 masked LFA-1 on TM cells in vivo and inhibited the generation of alloproliferative and cytokine-producing effector T cells that expressed high levels of LFA-1 in vitro. These results support the use of LFA-1–specific induction therapy to neutralize costimulation blockade–resistant populations of T cells and further evaluation of LFA-1–specific therapeutics for use in transplantation.
Idelberto R. Badell, Maria C. Russell, Peter W. Thompson, Alexandra P. Turner, Tim A. Weaver, Jennifer M. Robertson, Jose G. Avila, Jose A. Cano, Brandi E. Johnson, Mingqing Song, Frank V. Leopardi, Sarah Swygert, Elizabeth A. Strobert, Mandy L. Ford, Allan D. Kirk, Christian P. Larsen
Rates of graft rejection are high among recipients of heart transplants. The onset and progression of clinically significant heart transplant rejection are currently monitored by serial biopsy, but this approach is highly invasive and lacks sensitivity. Here, we have developed what we believe to be a new technique to measure organ rejection noninvasively that involves the exploration of tissue-infiltrating leukocytes as biomarker sources for diagnostic imaging. Specifically, we profiled the myeloid response in a murine model of heart transplantation with the aim of defining and validating an imaging signature of graft rejection. Ly-6Chi monocytes, which promote inflammation, accumulated progressively in allografts but only transiently in isografts. Ly-6Clo monocytes, which help resolve inflammation, did not accumulate, although they composed the majority of the few remaining monocytes in isografts. The persistence of Ly-6Chi monocytes in allografts prompted us to screen for a Ly-6Chi monocyte–associated imaging marker. Low-density array data revealed that Ly-6Chi monocytes express 10-fold higher levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO) than Ly-6Clo monocytes. Noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging of MPO with an MPO-activatable Gd-chelate revealed a spatially defined T1-weighted signal in rejected allografts but not in isografts or MPO-deficient allograft recipients. Flow cytometry, enzymography, and histology validated the approach by mapping MPO activity to Ly-6Chi monocytes and neutrophils. Thus, MPO imaging represents a potential alternative to the current invasive clinical standard by which transplants are monitored.
Filip K. Swirski, Moritz Wildgruber, Takuya Ueno, Jose-Luiz Figueiredo, Peter Panizzi, Yoshiko Iwamoto, Elizabeth Zhang, James R. Stone, Elisenda Rodriguez, John W. Chen, Mikael J. Pittet, Ralph Weissleder, Matthias Nahrendorf
One of the main unresolved questions in solid organ transplantation is how to establish indefinite graft survival that is free from long-term treatment with immunosuppressive drugs and chronic rejection (i.e., the establishment of tolerance). The failure to achieve this goal may be related to the difficulty in identifying the phenotype and function of the cell subsets that participate in the induction of tolerance. To address this issue, we investigated the suppressive roles of recipient myeloid cells that may be manipulated to induce tolerance to transplanted hearts in mice. Using depleting mAbs, clodronate-loaded liposomes, and transgenic mice specific for depletion of CD11c+, CD11b+, or CD115+ cells, we identified a tolerogenic role for CD11b+CD115+Gr1+ monocytes during the induction of tolerance by costimulatory blockade with CD40L-specific mAb. Early after transplantation, Gr1+ monocytes migrated from the bone marrow into the transplanted organ, where they prevented the initiation of adaptive immune responses that lead to allograft rejection and participated in the development of Tregs. Our results suggest that mobilization of bone marrow CD11b+CD115+Gr1+ monocytes under sterile inflammatory conditions mediates the induction of indefinite allograft survival. We propose that manipulating the common bone marrow monocyte progenitor could be a useful clinical therapeutic approach for inducing transplantation tolerance.
Mercedes Rodriguez Garcia, Levi Ledgerwood, Yu Yang, Jiangnan Xu, Girdhari Lal, Bryna Burrell, Ge Ma, Daigo Hashimoto, Yansui Li, Peter Boros, Marcos Grisotto, Nico van Rooijen, Rafael Matesanz, Frank Tacke, Florent Ginhoux, Yaozhong Ding, Shu-Hsia Chen, Gwendalyn Randolph, Miriam Merad, Jonathan S. Bromberg, Jordi C. Ochando
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