Graft-versus-host disease is enhanced by extracellular ATP activating P2X7R.
ABSTRACT Danger signals released upon cell damage can cause excessive immune-mediated tissue destruction such as that found in acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), allograft rejection and systemic inflammatory response syndrome. Given that ATP is found in small concentrations in the extracellular space under physiological conditions, and its receptor P2X(7)R is expressed on several immune cell types, ATP could function as a danger signal when released from dying cells. We observed increased ATP concentrations in the peritoneal fluid after total body irradiation, and during the development of GVHD in mice and in humans. Stimulation of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) with ATP led to increased expression of CD80 and CD86 in vitro and in vivo and actuated a cascade of proinflammatory events, including signal transducer and activator of transcription-1 (STAT1) phosphorylation, interferon-γ (IFN-γ) production and donor T cell expansion, whereas regulatory T cell numbers were reduced. P2X(7)R expression increased when GVHD evolved, rendering APCs more responsive to the detrimental effects of ATP, thereby providing positive feedback signals. ATP neutralization, early P2X(7)R blockade or genetic deficiency of P2X(7)R during GVHD development improved survival without immune paralysis. These data have major implications for transplantation medicine, as pharmacological interference with danger signals that act via P2X(7)R could lead to the development of tolerance without the need for intensive immunosuppression.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) were initially described as "suppressive" lymphocytes in the 1980s. However, it took almost 20 years until the concept of Treg-mediated immune control in its present form was finally established. Tregs are obligatory for self-tolerance and defects within their population lead to severe autoimmune disorders. On the other hand Tregs may promote tolerance for tumor antigens and even hamper efforts to overcome it. Intratumoral and systemic accumulation of Tregs has been observed in various types of cancer and is often linked to worse disease course and outcome. Increase of circulating Tregs, as well as their presence in mesenteric lymph nodes and tumor tissue of patients with colorectal cancer de facto suggests a strong involvement of Tregs in the antitumor control. This review will focus on the Treg biology in view of colorectal cancer, means of Treg accumulation and the controversies regarding their prognostic significance. In addition, a concise overview will be given on how Tregs and their function can be targeted in cancer patients in order to bolster an inherent immune response and/or increase the efficacy of immunotherapeutic approaches.Cancers. 01/2011;