Type I IFN Induces Binding of STAT1 to Bcl6: Divergent Roles of STAT Family Transcription Factors in the T Follicular Helper Cell Genetic Program
ABSTRACT CD4(+) T follicular helper cells (TFH) are critical for the formation and function of B cell responses to infection or immunization, but also play an important role in autoimmunity. The factors that contribute to the differentiation of this helper cell subset are incompletely understood, although several cytokines including IL-6, IL-21, and IL-12 can promote TFH cell formation. Yet, none of these factors, nor their downstream cognate STATs, have emerged as nonredundant, essential drivers of TFH cells. This suggests a model in which multiple factors can contribute to the phenotypic characteristics of TFH cells. Because type I IFNs are often generated in immune responses, we set out to investigate whether these factors are relevant to TFH cell differentiation. Type I IFNs promote Th1 responses, thus one possibility was these factors antagonized TFH-expressed genes. However, we show that type I IFNs (IFN-α/β) induced B cell lymphoma 6 (Bcl6) expression, the master regulator transcription factor for TFH cells, and CXCR5 and programmed cell death-1 (encoded by Pdcd1), key surface molecules expressed by TFH cells. In contrast, type I IFNs failed to induce IL-21, the signature cytokine for TFH cells. The induction of Bcl6 was regulated directly by STAT1, which bound to the Bcl6, Cxcr5, and Pdcd1 loci. These data suggest that type I IFNs (IFN-α/β) and STAT1 can contribute to some features of TFH cells but are inadequate in inducing complete programming of this subset.
SourceAvailable from: Jianmei W Leavenworth[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Follicular helper T cells (TFH cells) and follicular regulatory T cells (TFR cells) regulate the quantity and quality of humoral immunity. Although both cell types express the costimulatory receptor ICOS and require the transcription factor Bcl-6 for their differentiation, the ICOS-dependent pathways that coordinate their responses are not well understood. Here we report that activation of ICOS in CD4(+) T cells promoted interaction of the p85α regulatory subunit of the signaling kinase PI(3)K and intracellular osteopontin (OPN-i), followed by translocation of OPN-i to the nucleus, its interaction with Bcl-6 and protection of Bcl-6 from ubiquitin-dependent proteasome degradation. Post-translational protection of Bcl-6 by OPN-i was essential for sustained responses of TFH cells and TFR cells and regulation of the germinal center B cell response to antigen. Thus, the p85α-OPN-i axis represents a molecular bridge that couples activation of ICOS to Bcl-6-dependent functional differentiation of TFH cells and TFR cells; this suggests new therapeutic avenues to manipulate the responses of these cells.Nature Immunology 12/2014; 16(1). DOI:10.1038/ni.3050 · 24.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a primary autoimmune disease with a decreased platelet count caused by platelet destruction mediated mainly by platelet antibodies. T follicular helper (TFH) cells have demonstrated important roles in autoimmune diseases. The aim of this study is to explore the might role of TFH cells in the patients of ITP. Twenty-three ITP patients and 12 healthy controls (HC) were enrolled in this study. The frequency of circulating TFH cells in both the patients and HC was analyzed by flow cytometry. Serum interleukin (IL)-21 and IL-6 levels were measured using ELISA, and platelet antibodies were tested using a solid phase technique. Additionally, IL-21, IL-6, Bcl-6 and c-Maf mRNA expressions in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were detected using real-time PCR. The percentages of circulating CXCR5(+) CD4(+)TFH cells with ICOS(high) or PD-1(high) expression were significantly higher in the ITP patients than in the HC. Moreover, the frequencies of circulating CXCR5(+) CD4(+)TFH cells with inducible costimulator (ICOS)(high) or programmed death-1 (PD-1)(high) expression were notably higher in ITP with platelet-antibody-positive ( ITP (+) ) patients than in ITP with platelet-antibody-negative ( ITP (-) ) patients and HC, as were the serum IL-21 and IL-6 levels (significant). Moreover, a positive correlation was found between the CXCR5(+)CD4(+)TFH cells with ICOS(high) or PD-1(high) expression and the serum IL-21 levels of ITP (+) patients. Additionally, the mRNA expression levels of IL-21, IL-6, Bcl-6 and c-Maf were significantly increased in ITP patients, especially in ITP (+) patients. This study demonstrated TFH cells and effector molecules might play an important role in the pathogenesis of ITP, which are possible therapeutic targets in ITP patients.International journal of biological sciences 01/2015; 11(2):220-9. DOI:10.7150/ijbs.10178 · 4.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Low-dose IL-2 administration suppresses unwanted immune responses in mice and humans, thus evidencing the potential of IL-2 to treat autoimmune disorders. Increased Tregs activity is one of the potential mechanisms by which low-dose IL-2 immunotherapy induces immunosuppression. In addition, recent data indicate that IL-2 may contribute to prevent unwanted self-reactive responses by preventing the developing of T-follicular helper cells, a CD4(+) T-cell subset that expands in autoimmune disease patients and promotes long-term effector B-cell responses. Here we discuss the mechanisms underlying the clinical benefits of low-dose IL-2 administration, focusing on the role of this cytokine in promoting Treg-mediated suppression and preventing self-reactive T-follicular helper cell responses.Immunotherapy 11/2014; 6(11):1207-20. DOI:10.2217/imt.14.83 · 2.44 Impact Factor