Generalized multi-organ autoimmunity in CCR7-deficient mice.
ABSTRACT Development of autoimmunity is a multi-factorial process involving genetic predisposition as well as environmental and stochastic factors. Although the mechanisms responsible for the initiation of autoimmunity remain only partially understood, several studies have demonstrated that genetic predisposition plays a major role in this process. In the present study, we analyzed the influence of CCR7 signaling in the development of autoimmunity, because this chemokine receptor is essentially involved in the functional organization of thymus architecture. We demonstrate that CCR7-deficient mice are prone to develop generalized multi-organ autoimmunity. The autoimmune phenotype of CCR7-/- mice encompasses the presence of lymphocyte infiltrates in several peripheral organs, circulating autoantibodies against a multitude of tissue-specific antigens and IgG deposition on renal glomeruli. Additionally, CCR7-deficient mice show increased susceptibility to streptozotocin-induced diabetes and spontaneously display signs of chronic autoimmune renal disease. Thus, this study identifies CCR7 as a genetic factor involved in the regulation of autoimmunity.
Article: Identification of novel type 1 diabetes candidate genes by integrating genome-wide association data, protein-protein interactions, and human pancreatic islet gene expression.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have heralded a new era in susceptibility locus discovery in complex diseases. For type 1 diabetes, >40 susceptibility loci have been discovered. However, GWAS do not inevitably lead to identification of the gene or genes in a given locus associated with disease, and they do not typically inform the broader context in which the disease genes operate. Here, we integrated type 1 diabetes GWAS data with protein-protein interactions to construct biological networks of relevance for disease. A total of 17 networks were identified. To prioritize and substantiate these networks, we performed expressional profiling in human pancreatic islets exposed to proinflammatory cytokines. Three networks were significantly enriched for cytokine-regulated genes and, thus, likely to play an important role for type 1 diabetes in pancreatic islets. Eight of the regulated genes (CD83, IFNGR1, IL17RD, TRAF3IP2, IL27RA, PLCG2, MYO1B, and CXCR7) in these networks also harbored single nucleotide polymorphisms nominally associated with type 1 diabetes. Finally, the expression and cytokine regulation of these new candidate genes were confirmed in insulin-secreting INS-1 β-cells. Our results provide novel insight to the mechanisms behind type 1 diabetes pathogenesis and, thus, may provide the basis for the design of novel treatment strategies.Diabetes 02/2012; 61(4):954-62. · 8.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Thymocytes must complete an elaborate developmental program in the thymus to ultimately generate T cells that express functional but neither harmful nor useless TCRs. Each developmental step coincides with dynamic relocation of the thymocytes between anatomically discrete thymic microenvironments, suggesting that thymocytes' migration is tightly regulated by their developmental status. Chemokines produced by thymic stromal cells and chemokine receptors on the thymocytes play an indispensable role in guiding developing thymocytes into the different microenvironments. In addition to long-range migration, chemokines increase the thymocytes' motility, enhancing their interaction with stromal cells. During the past several years, much progress has been made to determine the various signals that guide thymocytes on their journey within the thymus. In this review, we summarize the progress in identifying chemokines and other chemoattractant signals that direct intrathymic migration. Furthermore, we discuss the recent advances of two-photon microscopy in determining dynamic motility and interaction behavior of thymocytes within distinct compartments to provide a better understanding of the relationship between thymocyte motility and development.Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 08/2011; 69(5):663-82. · 6.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: For decades, chemokines and their receptors have received a great deal of attention for their multiple roles in controlling leukocyte functions during inflammation and immunity. The ability of chemokines to convey remarkably versatile but context-specific signals identifies them as powerful modulators of immune responses generated in response to diverse pathogenic or non-infectious insults. A number of recent studies have speculated that the C-C chemokine receptor type 7 (CCR7), plays important roles in immune-cell trafficking in various tissue compartments during inflammation and in immune surveillance. Using computational modeling and microfluidics-based approaches, recent studies have explored leukocyte migration behavior in response to CCR7 ligands in a complex chemokine environment existing with other coexisting chemokine fields. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the effects of soluble versus immobilized ligands and of the downstream signaling pathways of CCR7 that control leukocyte motility, directionality, and speed. This review also integrates the current knowledge about the role of CCR7 in coordinating immune responses between secondary lymphoid organs and peripheral tissue microenvironments during primary or secondary antigen encounters. CCR7 seems to influence distinct immunological events during inflammatory responses in the central nervous system (CNS) including immune-cell entry and migration, and neuroglial interactions. The clinical and pathological outcome may vary depending on its contribution in the inflamed CNS microenvironment. Understanding these mechanisms has direct implications for therapeutic developments favoring more protective and efficient immune responses.Journal of Neuroinflammation 04/2012; 9:77. · 3.83 Impact Factor