Clinical tools that measure changes in immune cell metabolism would improve the diagnosis and treatment of immune dysfunction. PET, utilizing probes for specific metabolic processes, detects regions of immune activation in vivo. In this study we investigated the immune cell specificity of PET probes for two different metabolic pathways: [18F]–2-fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]-FDG) for glycolysis and [18F]–2-fluoro-d-(arabinofuranosyl)cytosine ([18F]-FAC) for deoxycytidine salvage. We isolated innate and adaptive immune cells from tissues of mice challenged with a retrovirus-induced sarcoma and measured their ability to accumulate FDG and FAC. We determined that the two probes had distinct patterns of accumulation: FDG accumulated to the highest levels in innate immune cells, while FAC accumulated predominantly in CD8+ T cells in a manner that correlated with cellular proliferation. This study demonstrates that innate and adaptive cell types differ in glycolytic and deoxycytidine salvage demands during an immune response and that these differential metabolic requirements can be detected with specific PET probes. Our findings have implications for the interpretation of clinical PET scans that use [18F]-FDG or [18F]-FAC to assess immune function in vivo and suggest potential applications of metabolic PET to monitor the effects of targeted immune modulation.
Evan Nair-Gill, Stephanie M. Wiltzius, Xiao X. Wei, Donghui Cheng, Mireille Riedinger, Caius G. Radu, Owen N. Witte
IgE-mediated hypersensitivity is central to the pathogenesis of asthma and other allergic diseases. Although neutralization of serum IgE with IgE-specific antibodies is in general an efficacious treatment for allergic asthma, one limitation of this approach is its lack of effect on IgE production. Here, we have developed a strategy to disrupt IgE production by generating monoclonal antibodies that target a segment of membrane IgE on human IgE-switched B cells that is not present in serum IgE. This segment is known as the M1′ domain, and using genetically modified mice that contain the human M1′ domain inserted into the mouse IgE locus, we demonstrated that M1′-specific antibodies reduced serum IgE and IgE-producing plasma cells in vivo, without affecting other immunoglobulin isotypes. M1′-specific antibodies were effective when delivered prophylactically and therapeutically in mouse models of immunization, allergic asthma, and Nippostrongylus brasiliensis infection, likely by inducing apoptosis of IgE-producing B cells. In addition, we generated a humanized M1′-specific antibody that was active on primary human cells in vivo, as determined by its reduction of serum IgE levels and IgE plasma cell numbers in a human PBMC-SCID mouse model. Thus, targeting of human IgE-producing B cells with apoptosis-inducing M1′-specific antibodies may be a novel treatment for asthma and allergy.
Hans D. Brightbill, Surinder Jeet, Zhonghua Lin, Donghong Yan, Meijuan Zhou, Martha Tan, Allen Nguyen, Sherry Yeh, Donnie Delarosa, Steven R. Leong, Terence Wong, Yvonne Chen, Mark Ultsch, Elizabeth Luis, Sree Ranjani Ramani, Janet Jackman, Lino Gonzalez, Mark S. Dennis, Anan Chuntharapai, Laura DeForge, Y. Gloria Meng, Min Xu, Charles Eigenbrot, Wyne P. Lee, Canio J. Refino, Mercedesz Balazs, Lawren C. Wu
Persistent viral infections are often associated with inefficient T cell responses and sustained high-level expression of inhibitory receptors, such as the NK cell receptor 2B4 (also known as CD244), on virus-specific T cells. However, the role of 2B4 in T cell dysfunction is undefined, and it is unknown whether NK cells contribute to regulation of these processes. We show here that persistent lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection of mice lacking 2B4 resulted in diminished LCMV-specific CD8+ T cell responses, prolonged viral persistence, and spleen and thymic pathologies that differed from those observed in infected wild-type mice. Surprisingly, these altered phenotypes were not caused by 2B4 deficiency in T cells. Rather, the entire and long-lasting pathology and viral persistence were regulated by 2B4-deficient NK cells acting early in infection. In the absence of 2B4, NK cells lysed activated (defined as CD44hi) but not naive (defined as CD44lo) CD8+ T cells in a perforin-dependent manner in vitro and in vivo. These results illustrate the importance of NK cell self-tolerance to activated CD8+ T cells and demonstrate how an apparent T cell–associated persistent infection can actually be regulated by NK cells.
Stephen N. Waggoner, Ruth T. Taniguchi, Porunelloor A. Mathew, Vinay Kumar, Raymond M. Welsh
The transcription factor kruppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) is required for the quiescent and migratory properties of naive T cells. Statins, a class of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, display pleiotropic immunomodulatory effects that are independent of their lipid-lowering capacity and may be beneficial as therapeutic agents for T cell–mediated inflammatory diseases. Statins upregulate KLF2 expression in endothelial cells, and this activity is associated with an antiinflammatory phenotype. We therefore hypothesized that the immunomodulatory effects of statins are due, in part, to their direct effects on T cell KLF2 gene expression. Here we report that lipophilic statin treatment of mouse and human T cells increased expression of KLF2 through a HMG-CoA/prenylation–dependent pathway. Statins also diminished T cell proliferation and IFN-γ expression. shRNA blockade of KLF2 expression in human T cells increased IFN-γ expression and prevented statin-induced IFN-γ reduction. In a mouse model of myocarditis induced by heart antigen–specific CD8+ T cells, both statin treatment of the T cells and retrovirally mediated overexpression of KLF2 in the T cells had similar ameliorating effects on disease induction. We conclude that statins reduce inflammatory functions and pathogenic activity of T cells through KLF2-dependent mechanisms, and this pathway may be a potential therapeutic target for cardiovascular diseases.
De-xiu Bu, Margarite Tarrio, Nir Grabie, Yuzhi Zhang, Hiroyuki Yamazaki, George Stavrakis, Elena Maganto-Garcia, Zachary Pepper-Cunningham, Petr Jarolim, Masanori Aikawa, Guillermo García-Cardeña, Andrew H. Lichtman
CD8+ T cell responses to viral infection are characterized by the emergence of dominant and subdominant CTL populations. The immunodominance hierarchies of these populations are highly reproducible for any given spectrum of virus-induced peptide-MHCI complexes and are likely determined by multiple factors. Recent studies demonstrate a direct correlation between naive epitope-specific CD8+ T cell precursor (CTLp) frequency and the magnitude of the response after antigen challenge. Thus, the number of available precursors in the naive pool has emerged as a key predictor of immunodominance. In contrast to this, we report here no consistent relationship between CTLp frequency and the subsequent magnitude of the immune response for 4 influenza virus–derived epitopes following intranasal infection of mice with influenza A virus. Rather, the characteristic, antigen-driven T cell immunodominance hierarchy was determined by the extent of recruitment from the available pool of epitope-specific precursors and the duration of their continued expansion over the course of the infection. These findings suggest possibilities for enhancing protective immune memory by maximizing both the size and diversity of typically subdominant T cell responses through rational vaccine design.
Nicole L. La Gruta, William T. Rothwell, Tania Cukalac, Natasha G. Swan, Sophie A. Valkenburg, Katherine Kedzierska, Paul G. Thomas, Peter C. Doherty, Stephen J. Turner
Sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1) and SphK2 are ubiquitous enzymes that generate sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a ligand for a family of G protein–coupled receptors (S1PR1–S1PR5) with important functions in the vascular and immune systems. Here we explore the role of these kinases and receptors in recovery from anaphylaxis in mice. We found that Sphk2–/– mice had a rapid recovery from anaphylaxis. In contrast, Sphk1–/– mice showed poor recovery from anaphylaxis and delayed histamine clearance. Injection of S1P into Sphk1–/– mice increased histamine clearance and promoted recovery from anaphylaxis. Adoptive cell transfer experiments demonstrated that SphK1 activity was required in both the hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic compartments for recovery from anaphylaxis. Mice lacking the S1P receptor S1PR2 also showed a delay in plasma histamine clearance and a poor recovery from anaphylaxis. However, S1P did not promote the recovery of S1pr2–/– mice from anaphylaxis, whereas S1pr2+/– mice showed partial recovery. Unlike Sphk2–/– mice, Sphk1–/– and S1pr2–/– mice had severe hypotension during anaphylaxis. Thus, SphK1-produced S1P regulates blood pressure, histamine clearance, and recovery from anaphylaxis in a manner that involves S1PR2. This suggests that specific S1PR2 agonists may serve to counteract the vasodilation associated with anaphylactic shock.
Ana Olivera, Christoph Eisner, Yoshiaki Kitamura, Sandra Dillahunt, Laura Allende, Galina Tuymetova, Wendy Watford, Francoise Meylan, Susanne C. Diesner, Lingli Li, Jurgen Schnermann, Richard L. Proia, Juan Rivera
Genetic susceptibility to autoimmunity is frequently associated with specific MHC alleles. Diabetogenic MHC class II molecules, such as human HLA-DQ8 and mouse I-Ag7, typically have a small, uncharged amino acid residue at position 57 of their β chain (β57); this results in the absence of a salt bridge between β57 and Argα76, which is adjacent to the P9 pocket of the peptide-binding groove. However, the influence of Argα76 on the selection of the TCR repertoire remains unknown, particularly when the MHC molecule binds a peptide with a neutral amino acid residue at position P9. Here, we have shown that diabetogenic MHC class II molecules bound to a peptide with a neutral P9 residue primarily selected and expanded cells expressing TCRs bearing a negatively charged residue in the first segment of their complementarity determining region 3β. The crystal structure of one such TCR in complex with I-Ag7 bound to a peptide containing a neutral P9 residue revealed that a network of favorable long-range (greater than 4 Å) electrostatic interactions existed among Argα76, the neutral P9 residue, and TCR, which supported the substantially increased TCR/peptide-MHC affinity. This network could be modulated or switched to a lower affinity interaction by the introduction of a negative charge at position P9 of the peptide. Our results support the existence of a switch at residue β57 of the I-Ag7 and HLA-DQ8 class II molecules and potentially link normal thymic TCR selection with abnormal peripheral behavior.
Kenji Yoshida, Adam L. Corper, Rana Herro, Bana Jabri, Ian A. Wilson, Luc Teyton
Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 1 (NOD1) is an intracellular epithelial cell protein known to play a role in host defense at mucosal surfaces. Here we show that a ligand specific for NOD1, a peptide derived from peptidoglycan, initiates an unexpected signaling pathway in human epithelial cell lines that results in the production of type I IFN. Detailed analysis revealed the components of the signaling pathway. NOD1 binding to its ligand triggered activation of the serine-threonine kinase RICK, which was then able to bind TNF receptor–associated factor 3 (TRAF3). This in turn led to activation of TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and IκB kinase ε (IKKε) and the subsequent activation of IFN regulatory factor 7 (IRF7). IRF7 induced IFN-β production, which led to activation of a heterotrimeric transcription factor complex known as IFN-stimulated gene factor 3 (ISGF3) and the subsequent production of CXCL10 and additional type I IFN. In vivo studies showed that mice lacking the receptor for IFN-β or subjected to gene silencing of the ISGF3 component Stat1 exhibited decreased CXCL10 responses and increased susceptibility to Helicobacter pylori infection, phenotypes observed in NOD1-deficient mice. These studies thus establish that NOD1 can activate the ISGF3 signaling pathway that is usually associated with protection against viral infection to provide mice with robust type I IFN–mediated protection from H. pylori and possibly other mucosal infections.
Tomohiro Watanabe, Naoki Asano, Stefan Fichtner-Feigl, Peter L. Gorelick, Yoshihisa Tsuji, Yuko Matsumoto, Tsutomu Chiba, Ivan J. Fuss, Atsushi Kitani, Warren Strober
Bertrand Huard, Thomas McKee, Carine Bosshard, Stéphane Durual, Thomas Matthes, Samir Myit, Olivier Donze, Christophe Frossard, Carlo Chizzolini, Christiane Favre, Rudolf Zubler, Jean Philippe Guyot, Pascal Schneider, Eddy Roosnek
Rag2 plays an essential role in the generation of antigen receptors. Mutations that impair Rag2 function can lead to severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a condition characterized by complete absence of T and B cells, or Omenn syndrome (OS), a form of SCID characterized by the virtual absence of B cells and the presence of oligoclonal autoreactive T cells. Here, we present a comparative study of a panel of mutations that were identified in the noncanonical plant homeodomain (PHD) of Rag2 in patients with SCID or OS. We show that PHD mutant mouse Rag2 proteins that correspond to those found in these patients greatly impaired endogenous recombination of Ig gene segments in a Rag2-deficient pro-B cell line and that this correlated with decreased protein stability, impaired nuclear localization, and/or loss of the interaction between Rag2 and core histones. Our results demonstrate that point mutations in the PHD of Rag2 compromise the functionality of the entire protein, thus explaining why the phenotype of cells expressing PHD point mutants differs from those expressing core Rag2 protein that lacks the entire C-terminal region and is therefore devoid of the regulation imposed by the PHD. Together, our findings reveal the various deleterious effects of PHD Rag2 mutations and demonstrate the crucial role of this domain in regulating antigen receptor gene assembly. We believe these results reveal new mechanisms of immunodeficiency in SCID and OS.
Chrystelle Couëdel, Christopher Roman, Alison Jones, Paolo Vezzoni, Anna Villa, Patricia Cortes