Dll4-Notch signaling in Flt3-independent dendritic cell development and autoimmunity in mice.
ABSTRACT Delta-like ligand 4 (Dll4)-Notch signaling is essential for T cell development and alternative thymic lineage decisions. How Dll4-Notch signaling affects pro-T cell fate and thymic dendritic cell (tDC) development is unknown. We found that Dll4 pharmacological blockade induces accumulation of tDCs and CD4(+)CD25(+)FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells (T(reg) cells) in the thymic cortex. Both genetic inactivation models and anti-Dll4 antibody (Ab) treatment promote de novo natural T(reg) cell expansion by a DC-dependent mechanism that requires major histocompatibility complex II expression on DCs. Anti-Dll4 treatment converts CD4(-)CD8(-)c-kit(+)CD44(+)CD25(-) (DN1) T cell progenitors to immature DCs that induce ex vivo differentiation of naive CD4(+) T cells into T(reg) cells. Induction of these tolerogenic DN1-derived tDCs and the ensuing expansion of T(reg) cells are Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 (Flt3) independent, occur in the context of transcriptional up-regulation of PU.1, Irf-4, Irf-8, and CSF-1, genes critical for DC differentiation, and are abrogated in thymectomized mice. Anti-Dll4 treatment fully prevents type 1 diabetes (T1D) via a T(reg) cell-mediated mechanism and inhibits CD8(+) T cell pancreatic islet infiltration. Furthermore, a single injection of anti-Dll4 Ab reverses established T1D. Disease remission and recurrence are correlated with increased T(reg) cell numbers in the pancreas-draining lymph nodes. These results identify Dll4-Notch as a novel Flt3-alternative pathway important for regulating tDC-mediated T(reg) cell homeostasis and autoimmunity.
Article: Mice lacking flt3 ligand have deficient hematopoiesis affecting hematopoietic progenitor cells, dendritic cells, and natural killer cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The ligand for the receptor tyrosine kinase fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 (flt3), also referred to as fetal liver kinase-2 (flk-2), has an important role in hematopoiesis. The flt3 ligand (flt3L) is a growth factor for hematopoietic progenitors and induces hematopoietic progenitor and stem cell mobilization in vivo. In addition, when mice are treated with flt3L immature B cells, natural killer (NK) cells and dendritic cells (DC) are expanded in vivo. To further elucidate the role of flt3L in hematopoiesis, mice lacking flt3L (flt3L-/-) were generated by targeted gene disruption. Leukocyte cellularity was reduced in the bone marrow, peripheral blood, lymph nodes (LN), and spleen. Thymic cellularity, blood hematocrit, and platelet numbers were not affected. Significantly reduced numbers of myeloid and B-lymphoid progenitors were noted in the BM of flt3L-/- mice. In addition a marked deficiency of NK cells in the spleen was noted. DC numbers were also reduced in the spleen, LN, and thymus. Both myeloid-related (CD11c(++) CD8alpha(-)) and lymphoid-related (CD11c(++) CD8alpha(+)) DC numbers were affected. We conclude that flt3L has an important role in the expansion of early hematopoietic progenitors and in the generation of mature peripheral leukocytes.Blood 07/2000; 95(11):3489-97. · 9.90 Impact Factor
Article: CD8- DCs induce IL-12-independent Th1 differentiation through Delta 4 Notch-like ligand in response to bacterial LPS.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligation is believed to skew T cell responses toward T helper (Th)1 differentiation by inducing interleukin (IL)-12 secretion by CD8(+) dendritic cells (DCs). However, TLR-dependent Th1 responses occur in the absence of IL-12. To determine how DCs induce Th1 differentiation in the absence of IL-12, we examined the response of IL-12-deficient DCs to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We find that LPS activates MyD88-dependent Delta 4 Notch-like ligand expression by CD8(-) DCs, and that these cells direct Th1 differentiation by an IL-12-independent and Notch-dependent mechanism in vitro and in vivo. Thus, activation of the two DC subsets by TLR4 leads to Th1 responses by two distinct MyD88-dependent pathways.Journal of Experimental Medicine 08/2007; 204(7):1525-31. · 13.85 Impact Factor
Article: Hassall's corpuscles instruct dendritic cells to induce CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells in human thymus.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Hassall's corpuscles-first described in the human thymus over 150 years ago-are groups of epithelial cells within the thymic medulla. The physical nature of these structures differs between mammalian species. Although Hassall's corpuscles have been proposed to act in both the removal of apoptotic thymocytes and the maturation of developing thymocytes within the thymus, the function of Hassall's corpuscles has remained an enigma. Here we report that human Hassall's corpuscles express thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP). Human TSLP activates thymic CD11c-positive dendritic cells to express high levels of CD80 and CD86. These TSLP-conditioned dendritic cells are then able to induce the proliferation and differentiation of CD4(+)CD8(-)CD25(-) thymic T cells into CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+) (forkhead box P3) regulatory T cells. This induction depends on peptide-major histocompatibility complex class II interactions, and the presence of CD80 and CD86, as well as interleukin 2. Immunohistochemistry studies reveal that CD25(+)CTLA4(+) (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4) regulatory T cells associate in the thymic medulla with activated or mature dendritic cells and TSLP-expressing Hassall's corpuscles. These findings suggest that Hassall's corpuscles have a critical role in dendritic-cell-mediated secondary positive selection of medium-to-high affinity self-reactive T cells, leading to the generation of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells within the thymus.Nature 09/2005; 436(7054):1181-5. · 36.28 Impact Factor