A molecular mechanism for TNF-α-mediated downregulation of B cell responses.
ABSTRACT B cell function with age is decreased in class switch recombination (CSR), activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), and stability of E47 mRNA. The latter is regulated, at least in part, by tristetraprolin (TTP), which is increased in aged B cells and also negatively regulates TNF-α. In this study, we investigated whether B cells produce TNF-α, whether this changes with age, and how this affects their function upon stimulation. Our hypothesis is that in aging there is a feedback mechanism of autocrine inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α) that lowers the expression of AID and CSR. Our results showed that unstimulated B cells from old BALB/c mice make significantly more TNF-α mRNA and protein than do B cells from young mice, but after stimulation the old make less than the young; thus, they are refractory to stimulation. The increase in TNF-α made by old B cells is primarily due to follicular, but not minor, subsets of B cells. Incubation of B cells with TNF-α before LPS stimulation decreased both young and old B cell responses. Importantly, B cell function was restored by adding anti-TNF-α Ab to cultured B cells. To address a molecular mechanism, we found that incubation of B cells with TNF-α before LPS stimulation induced TTP, a physiological regulator of mRNA stability of the transcription factor E47, which is crucial for CSR. Finally, anti-TNF-α given in vivo increased B cell function in old, but not in young, follicular B cells. These results suggest new molecular mechanisms that contribute to reduced Ab responses in aging.
- SourceAvailable from: Zoltán Konthur[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The immune system protects us from foreign substances or pathogens by generating specific antibodies. The variety of immunoglobulin (Ig) paratopes for antigen recognition is a result of the V(D)J rearrangement mechanism, while a fast and efficient immune response is mediated by specific immunoglobulin isotypes obtained through class switch recombination (CSR). To get a better understanding on how antibody-based immune protection works and how it changes with age, the interdependency between these two parameters need to be addressed. Here, we have performed an in depth analysis of antibody repertoires of 14 healthy donors representing different gender and age groups. For this task, we developed a unique pyrosequencing approach, which is able to monitor the expression levels of all immunoglobulin V(D)J recombinations of all isotypes including subtypes in an unbiased and quantitative manner. Our results show that donors have individual immunoglobulin repertoires and cannot be clustered according to V(D)J recombination patterns, neither by age nor gender. However, after incorporating isotype-specific analysis and considering CSR information into hierarchical clustering the situation changes. For the first time the donors cluster according to age and separate into young adults and elderly donors (>50). As a direct consequence, this clustering defines the onset of immune senescence at the age of fifty and beyond. The observed age-dependent reduction of CSR ability proposes a feasible explanation why reduced efficacy of vaccination is seen in the elderly and implies that novel vaccine strategies for the elderly should include the "Golden Agers".PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(11):e49774. · 3.73 Impact Factor