IFN regulatory factor-1 negatively regulates CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cell differentiation by repressing Foxp3 expression.

Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.36). 08/2008; 181(3):1673-82. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.181.3.1673
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Regulatory T (Treg) cells are critical in inducing and maintaining tolerance. Despite progress in understanding the basis of immune tolerance, mechanisms and molecules involved in the generation of Treg cells remain poorly understood. IFN regulatory factor (IRF)-1 is a pleiotropic transcription factor implicated in the regulation of various immune processes. In this study, we report that IRF-1 negatively regulates CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg cell development and function by specifically repressing Foxp3 expression. IRF-1-deficient (IRF-1(-/-)) mice showed a selective and marked increase of highly activated and differentiated CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) Treg cells in thymus and in all peripheral lymphoid organs. Furthermore, IRF-1(-/-) CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells showed extremely high bent to differentiate into CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) Treg cells, whereas restoring IRF-1 expression in IRF-1(-/-) CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells impaired their differentiation into CD25(+)Foxp3(+) cells. Functionally, both isolated and TGF-beta-induced CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg cells from IRF-1(-/-) mice exhibited more increased suppressive activity than wild-type Treg cells. Such phenotype and functional characteristics were explained at a mechanistic level by the finding that IRF-1 binds a highly conserved IRF consensus element sequence (IRF-E) in the foxp3 gene promoter in vivo and negatively regulates its transcriptional activity. We conclude that IRF-1 is a key negative regulator of CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg cells through direct repression of Foxp3 expression.


Available from: Emilia Stellacci, May 29, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Genetic and population studies suggest that onset, progression and ultimate outcome of infection with Mycobacteria, including the agent of tuberculosis Mycobacterium tuberculosis, are strongly influenced by genetic factors. Family-based and case-control linkage and association studies have suggested a complex genetic component for susceptibility to tuberculosis. On the other hand, patients with inborn errors in the IL12/IFNγ circuit may develop disseminated mycobacterial infections following perinatal BCG vaccination. The study of such MSMD (Mendelian Susceptibility to Mycobacterial Diseases) patients has provided much insight into innate and acquired immune defenses against mycobacteria. Parallel genetic analyses in mouse models of mycobacterial infections have also indicated complex genetic control, and have provided candidate genes for parallel testing in humans. Recently, mutations in human IRF8 were discovered and shown to cause two distinct forms of a novel primary immunodeficiency and associated susceptibility to mycobacteria. Autosomal recessive IRF8 deficiency is caused by mutation K108E and associated with severe disease with complete depletion of monocytes and dendritic cells. Mutation T80A causes autosomal dominant IRF8 deficiency and a milder form of the disease with selective loss of a subset of dendritic cells. These findings have established that IRF8 is required for ontogeny of the myeloid lineage and for host response to mycobacteria. The ongoing study of the IRF8 transcriptome has shown promise for the identification of IRF8 dependent pathways that play a critical role in host defense against mycobacteria in particular, and against intracellular pathogens in general.
    Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 01/2013; 783:45-80. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4614-6111-1_3 · 2.01 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Regulatory T cells (Treg) exert a dominant role in the protection of unwanted immune responses and in the resolution of inflammation. To ensure the proper mounting of protective immune responses, Treg should be finely modulated by microenvironmental signals, mostly conveyed by cytokines. Type-I interferons are pleiotropic cytokines, best known for their anti-viral activities but also playing relevant immunostimulatory as well as immunomodulatory functions. The impact of type-I interferons on Treg homeostasis and functions is quite controversial, as some studies indicate that interferons sustain Treg stability and suppression, while other reports describe a null or even negative role for interferons in Treg activities. Interferons may also establish alternative routes of suppression, through the induction of other suppressive populations, such as Tr1 and the recently discovered FoxA1+ Treg. Discrepant results about Treg behavior in vivo emerge also from data collected in patients with multiple sclerosis, chronic hepatitis C or cancer undergoing interferon therapy. Concurrent events, such as Treg-extrinsic interferon activities, desensitization to chronic interferon exposure, and changes in microenvironmental signals during the evolution of diseases, may contribute to depict such a complex scenario, in which short-term and long-term effects of interferon exposure may give rise to apparently opposite conclusions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Cytokine & Growth Factor Reviews 10/2014; 26(2). DOI:10.1016/j.cytogfr.2014.10.012 · 6.54 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aberrant immune activation is a strong correlate of HIV disease progression, but little is known about how immune activation alters susceptibility to HIV infection. Susceptibility to HIV infection varies between individuals, but the immunological determinants of HIV transmission are not well understood. Here, we present evidence from studies of HIV transmission in the context of clinical trials and HIV-exposed seronegative (HESN) cohorts that implicates elevated immune activation as a risk factor for acquiring HIV. We propose a model of protection from infection based on a phenotype of low baseline immune activation referred to as immune quiescence. Immune quiescence is evidenced by reduced expression of T cell activation markers, low levels of generalized gene transcription and low levels of proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine production in the periphery and genital mucosa of HESN. Since HIV preferentially replicates in activated CD4+ T cells, immune quiescence may protect against infection by limiting HIV target cell availability. Although the determinants of immune quiescence are unclear, several potential factors have been identified that may be involved in driving this phenotype. HESN were shown to have elevated proportions of regulatory T cells (Tregs), which are known to suppress T cell activation. Likewise, proteins involved in controlling inflammation in the genital tract have been found to be elevated in HESN. Furthermore, expression of interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1) is reduced in HESN as a consequence of genetic polymorphisms and differential epigenetic regulation. Since IRF-1 is an important regulator of immune responses, it may play a role in maintaining immune quiescence. Based on this model, we propose a novel avenue for HIV prevention targeted based on reducing host mucosal immune activation.
    Retrovirology 11/2013; 10(1):141. DOI:10.1186/1742-4690-10-141 · 4.77 Impact Factor