Toxoplasma gondii induces B7-2 expression through activation of JNK signal transduction.
ABSTRACT Toxoplasma gondii is a globally distributed parasite pathogen that infects virtually all warm-blooded animals. A hallmark of immunity to acute infection is the production of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and interleukin-12 (IL-12), followed by a protective T cell response that is critical for parasite control. Naïve T cell activation requires both T-cell receptor (TCR) stimulation and the engagement of costimulatory receptors. Because of their important function in activating T cells, the expression of costimulatory ligands is believed to be under tight control. The molecular mechanisms governing their induction during microbial stimulation, however, are not well understood. We found that all three strains of T. gondii (types I, II, and III) upregulated the expression of B7-2, but not B7-1, on the surface of mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages. Additionally, intraperitoneal infection of mice with green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing parasites resulted in enhanced B7-2 levels specifically on infected, GFP(+) CD11b(+) cells. B7-2 induction occurred at the transcript level, required active parasite invasion, and was not dependent on MyD88 or TRIF. Functional assays demonstrated that T. gondii-infected macrophages stimulated naïve T cell proliferation in a B7-2-dependent manner. Genome-wide transcriptional analysis comparing infected and uninfected macrophages revealed the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling in infected cells. Using specific inhibitors against MAPKs, we determined that parasite-induced B7-2 is dependent on Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) but not extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) or p38 signaling. We also observed that T. gondii-induced B7-2 expression on human peripheral blood monocytes is dependent on JNK signaling, indicating that a common mechanism of B7-2 regulation by T. gondii may exist in both humans and mice.
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ABSTRACT: Naturally occurring Foxp3+CD4+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are essential for maintaining immunological self-tolerance and immune homeostasis. Here, we show that a specific deficiency of cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) in Tregs results in spontaneous development of systemic lymphoproliferation, fatal T cell-mediated autoimmune disease, and hyperproduction of immunoglobulin E in mice, and it also produces potent tumor immunity. Treg-specific CTLA-4 deficiency impairs in vivo and in vitro suppressive function of Tregs-in particular, Treg-mediated down-regulation of CD80 and CD86 expression on dendritic cells. Thus, natural Tregs may critically require CTLA-4 to suppress immune responses by affecting the potency of antigen-presenting cells to activate other T cells.Science 11/2008; 322(5899):271-5. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The concept that Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognize specific molecular patterns in various pathogens has been established. In signal transduction via TLRs, MyD88, which harbors a Toll/IL-1 receptor (TIR)-domain and a death domain, has been shown to link between TLRs and MyD88-dependent downstream events leading to proinflammatory cytokine production and splenocyte proliferation. However, recent studies using MyD88-deficient mice have revealed that some TLRs possess a MyD88-independent pathway, which is represented by interferon (IFN)-beta production induced by LPS stimulation. This indicates that additional signaling molecules other than MyD88 exist in the TLR signaling pathway. Indeed, two additional TIR domain-containing adaptors, TIRAP/Mal and TRIF, have recently been identified. Both define the specific biological responses of each TLR.Molecular Immunology 03/2004; 40(12):861-8. · 2.90 Impact Factor
Article: Association of host mitochondria with the parasitophorous vacuole during Toxoplasma infection is not dependent on rhoptry proteins ROP2/8.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Previous work has proposed rhoptry protein 2 (ROP2) as the physical link that tethers host mitochondria to the parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) surrounding the intracellular parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. A recent analysis of the ROP2 structure, however, raised questions about this model. To determine whether ROP2 is necessary, we created a parasite line that lacks the entire ROP2 locus consisting of the three closely related genes, ROP2a, ROP2b and ROP8. We show that this knockout mutant retains the ability to recruit host mitochondria in a manner that is indistinguishable from the parental strain, re-opening the question of which molecules mediate this association.International journal for parasitology 10/2010; 40(12):1367-71. · 3.39 Impact Factor