Upregulated IL-7 Receptor Expression on Colitogenic Memory CD4+ T Cells May Participate in the Development and Persistence of Chronic Colitis

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.36). 02/2011; 186(4):2623-32. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1000057
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We have previously demonstrated that IL-7 is essential for the persistence of colitis as a survival factor of colitogenic IL-7Rα-expressing memory CD4(+) T cells. Because IL-7Rα is broadly expressed on various immune cells, it is possible that the persistence of colitogenic CD4(+) T cells is affected by other IL-7Rα-expressing non-T cells. To test this hypothesis, we conducted two adoptive transfer colitis experiments using IL-7Rα(-/-) CD4(+)CD25(-) donor cells and IL-7Rα(-/-) × RAG-2(-/-) recipient mice, respectively. First, IL-7Rα expression on colitic lamina propria (LP) CD4(+) T cells was significantly higher than on normal LP CD4(+) T cells, whereas expression on other colitic LP immune cells, (e.g., NK cells, macrophages, myeloid dendritic cells) was conversely lower than that of paired LP cells in normal mice, resulting in predominantly higher expression of IL-7Rα on colitogenic LP CD4(+) cells, which allows them to exclusively use IL-7. Furthermore, RAG-2(-/-) mice transferred with IL-7Rα(-/-) CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells did not develop colitis, although LP CD4(+) T cells from mice transferred with IL-7Rα(-/-) CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells were differentiated to CD4(+)CD44(high)CD62L(-) effector-memory T cells. Finally, IL-7Rα(-/-) × RAG-2(-/-) mice transferred with CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells developed colitis similar to RAG-2(-/-) mice transferred with CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells. These results suggest that IL-7Rα expression on colitogenic CD4(+) T cells, but not on other cells, is essential for the development of chronic colitis. Therefore, therapeutic approaches targeting the IL-7/IL-7R signaling pathway in colitogenic CD4(+) T cells may be feasible for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.

Download full-text


Available from: Ryuichi Okamoto, Aug 09, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: CD4(+) memory/effector T cells play a central role in orchestrating the rapid and robust immune responses upon re-encounter with specific Ags. However, the immunologic mechanism(s) underlying these responses are still not fully understood. To investigate this, we generated an allergen (major house dust mite allergen, Blo t 5)-specific murine Th2 cell line that secreted IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13, but not IL-9 or TNF-α, upon activation by the cognate Ag. These cells also exhibited CD44(high)CD62L(-) and CD127(+) (IL-7Rα(+)) phenotypes, which are characteristics of memory/effector T cells. Experiments involving adoptive transfer of this Th2 cell line in mice, followed by three intranasal challenges with Blo t 5, induced a dexamethasone-sensitive eosinophilic airway inflammation. This was accompanied by elevation of Th2 cytokines and CC- and CXC-motif chemokines, as well as recruitment of lymphocytes and polymorphic mononuclear cells into the lungs. Moreover, Blo t 5-specific IgE was detected 4 d after the last intranasal challenge, whereas elevation of Blo t 5-specific IgG1 was found at week two. Finally, pulmonary delivery of the pVAX-IL-35 DNA construct effectively downregulated Blo t 5-specific allergic airway inflammation, and i.m. injection of pVAX-IL-35 led to long-lasting suppression of circulating Blo t 5-specific and total IgE. This model provides a robust research tool to elucidate the immunopathogenic role of memory/effector Th2 cells in allergic airway inflammation. Our results suggested that IL-35 could be a potential therapeutic target for allergic asthma through its attenuating effects on allergen-specific CD4(+) memory/effector Th2 cell-mediated airway inflammation.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2011; 187(1):462-71. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1100259 · 5.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: IL-7 plays many essential roles in human health and disease. Congenital deficiencies in IL-7 signaling result in profound immunodeficiency, polymorphisms in IL7Rα modulate susceptibility to autoimmune disease, and acquired somatic activating mutations in IL7Rα contribute to neoplastic transformation in B cell and T cell leukemia. In response to lymphopenia, IL-7 accumulates to supranormal levels, which alters T cell homeostasis by augmenting T cell reactivity toward self and cognate antigens. This physiologic response is now routinely exploited to improve the efficacy of adoptive cell therapies for cancer. Clinical trials of recombinant IL-7 have demonstrated safety and potent immunorestorative effects, and current studies are investigating whether rhIL-7 therapy can improve outcomes in chronic viral infection and in the context of cancer immunotherapies. Building upon the large fund of knowledge regarding the basic biology of IL-7, this review will discuss the many and varied roles of IL-7 in human health and disease.
    Seminars in Immunology 03/2012; 24(3):218-24. DOI:10.1016/j.smim.2012.02.005 · 6.12 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Interleukin-7 (IL-7) acts primarily on T cells to promote their differentiation, survival, and homeostasis. Under disease conditions, IL-7 mediates inflammation through several mechanisms and cell types. In humans, IL-7 and its receptor (IL-7R) are increased in diseases characterized by inflammation such as atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease. In mice, overexpression of IL-7 results in chronic colitis, and T-cell adoptive transfer studies suggest that memory T cells expressing high amounts of IL-7R drive colitis and are maintained and expanded with IL-7. The studies presented here were undertaken to better understand the contribution of IL-7R in inflammatory bowel disease in which colitis was induced with a bacterial trigger rather than with adoptive transfer. Methods We examined the contribution of IL-7R on inflammation and disease development in two models of experimental colitis: Helicobacter bilis (Hb)-induced colitis in immune-sufficient Mdr1a−/− mice and in T- and B-cell-deficient Rag2−/− mice. We used pharmacological blockade of IL-7R to understand the mechanisms involved in IL-7R-mediated inflammatory bowel disease by analyzing immune cell profiles, circulating and colon proteins, and colon gene expression. Results Treatment of mice with an anti-IL-7R antibody was effective in reducing colitis in Hb-infected Mdr1a−/− mice by reducing T-cell numbers as well as T-cell function. Down regulation of the innate immune response was also detected in Hb-infected Mdr1a−/− mice treated with an anti-IL-7R antibody. In Rag2−/− mice where colitis was triggered by Hb-infection, treatment with an anti-IL-7R antibody controlled innate inflammatory responses by reducing macrophage and dendritic cell numbers and their activity. Conclusions Results from our studies showed that inhibition of IL-7R successfully ameliorated inflammation and disease development in Hb-infected mice by controlling the expansion of multiple leukocyte populations, as well as the activity of these immune cells. Our findings demonstrate an important function of IL-7R-driven immunity in experimental colitis and indicate that the therapeutic efficacy of IL-7R blockade involves affecting both adaptive and innate immunity.
    Journal of Inflammation 10/2012; 9(1):39. DOI:10.1186/1476-9255-9-39 · 2.22 Impact Factor
Show more