[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interleukin 9 (IL-9) is a cytokine linked to lung inflammation, but its cellular origin and function remain unclear. Here we describe a reporter mouse strain designed to map the fate of cells that have activated IL-9. We found that during papain-induced lung inflammation, IL-9 production was largely restricted to innate lymphoid cells (ILCs). IL-9 production by ILCs depended on IL-2 from adaptive immune cells and was rapidly lost in favor of other cytokines, such as IL-13 and IL-5. Blockade of IL-9 production via neutralizing antibodies resulted in much lower expression of IL-13 and IL-5, which suggested that ILCs provide the missing link between the well-established functions of IL-9 in the regulation of type 2 helper T cell cytokines and responses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human CD2 (hCD2) locus control region (LCR) inserted in the mouse CD8 gene complex activates expression of the CD8 genes in T cell subsets in which the CD8 locus is normally silenced (e.g., CD4(+) single-positive T cells). In this article, we show that, in conditional mCD8/hCD2-LCR (CD8/LCR) knock-in mice, the continuous presence of the hCD2-LCR is required for this effect. Deletion of the inserted hCD2-LCR in a developmental stage and cell lineage-specific manner revealed that the temporary presence of the LCR during early development does not permanently alter the expression pattern of the CD8 genes. As a result, cells that have been affected by the insertion of the LCR can convert to their destined phenotype once the LCR is removed. DNaseI hypersensitive sites 1 and 2 of the hCD2-LCR influence the expression of the CD8 genes in a similar manner as does the full LCR, whereas insertion of hypersensitive site 3 alone of the LCR does not result in a changed expression pattern. This analysis revealed a dynamic interaction between the hCD2-LCR and the endogenous regulatory elements of the CD8 genes.
The Journal of Immunology 08/2011; 187(7):3712-20. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we describe a reporter mouse strain designed to map the fate of cells that have activated interleukin 17A (IL-17A). We found that IL-17-producing helper T cells (T(H)17 cells) had distinct plasticity in different inflammatory settings. Chronic inflammatory conditions in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) caused a switch to alternative cytokines in T(H)17 cells, whereas acute cutaneous infection with Candida albicans did not result in the deviation of T(H)17 cells to the production of alternative cytokines, although IL-17A production was shut off in the course of the infection. During the development of EAE, interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and other proinflammatory cytokines in the spinal cord were produced almost exclusively by cells that had produced IL-17 before their conversion by IL-23 ('ex-T(H)17 cells'). Thus, this model allows the actual functional fate of effector T cells to be related to T(H)17 developmental origin regardless of IL-17 expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study the influence of a locus control region (LCR) on the expression of a highly characterized, developmentally regulated locus, we have targeted the hCD2-LCR as a single copy into the endogenous mouse CD8 gene complex. Two knock-in mouse lines that differ in the integration site of the hCD2-LCR within the mCD8 gene complex were generated, and the influence on expression of the CD8 coreceptor was assessed. In these mice the normal developmental silencing of the CD8 genes in the CD4 lineage is deregulated, and the mice develop CD4(+) cells that also express the CD8 genes. This is accompanied by the physical maintenance of the CD8 genes within an extended loop away from their subchromosomal territory. Further analysis of these mice revealed unexpected fluid chromatin dynamics, whereby the LCR can be initially dominant over the endogenous CD8 gene-repressive regulatory processes present in CD4(+) cells but is continuously contested by them, resulting in the eventual inactivation of the inserted LCR, probably as a result of multiple rounds of replication.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2010; 107(39):16928-33. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the temporal regulation of the commitment of immature thymocytes to either the CD4(+) or the CD8(+) lineage in the thymus, we developed a transgenic mouse that expressed a tetracycline-inducible gene encoding the tyrosine kinase zeta chain-associated protein kinase of 70 kD (Zap70), which restored development in Zap70(-/-) thymocytes arrested at the preselection, CD4(+)CD8(+) double-positive (DP) stage. After induction of the expression of Zap70 and the production of Zap70 protein, CD4(+) single-positive (SP) cells that expressed Zbtb7b (which encodes the CD4(+) T cell-associated transcription factor ThPOK) became abundant within 30 hours, whereas CD8(+) SP cells were not detectable until day 4. We found that mature CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells arose from phenotypically distinct subsets of DP thymocytes that developed with different kinetics and contrasting sensitivities to stimulation of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR). In wild-type mice, expression of endogenous Zap70 progressively increased during maturation of the DP subsets, and the abundance of Zap70 protein determined the sensitivity of the cells to stimulation of the TCR. This temporal gradient in the amount of Zap70 protein enabled the selection of CD4(+) and CD8(+) repertoires in separate temporal windows and at different TCR signaling thresholds, thereby facilitating discrimination of distinct positive selection signals in these lineages.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The CD8alphabeta heterodimer is integral to the selection of the class I-restricted lineage in the thymus; however, the contribution of the CD8beta chain to coreceptor function is poorly understood. To understand whether the CD8beta membrane proximal stalk region played a role in coreceptor function, we substituted it with the corresponding sequence from the CD8alpha polypeptide and expressed the hybrid molecule in transgenic mice in place of endogenous CD8beta. Although the stalk-swapped CD8beta was expressed on the cell surface as a disulfide-bonded heterodimer at equivalent levels of expression to an endogenous CD8beta molecule, it failed to restore selection of CD8(+) class I MHC-restricted T cells and it altered the response of peripheral T cells. Thus, the stalk region of the CD8beta polypeptide has an essential role in ensuring functionality of the CD8alphabeta heterodimer and its replacement compromises the interaction of CD8 with peptide-MHC complexes.
The Journal of Immunology 02/2009; 182(1):121-9. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic viral infections of the hematopoietic system are associated with bone marrow dysfunction, to which both virus-mediated and immune-mediated effects may contribute. Using unresolving noncytopathic Friend virus (FV) infection in mice, we showed that unregulated CD4(+) T cell response to FV caused IFN-gamma-mediated bone marrow pathology and anemia. Importantly, bone marrow pathology was triggered by relative insufficiency in regulatory T (Treg) cells and was prevented by added Treg cells, which suppressed the local IFN-gamma production by FV-specific CD4(+) T cells. We further showed that the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire of transgenic Treg cells expressing the beta chain of an FV-specific TCR was virtually devoid of FV-specific clones. Moreover, anemia induction by virus-specific CD4(+) T cells was efficiently suppressed by virus-nonspecific Treg cells. Thus, sufficient numbers of polyclonal Treg cells may provide substantial protection against bone marrow pathology in chronic viral infections.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sequences proximal to transgene integration sites are able to deregulate transgene expression resulting in complex position effect phenotypes. In addition, transgenes integrated as repeated arrays are susceptible to repeat-induced gene silencing. Using a Cre recombinase-based system we have addressed the influence of transgene copy number (CN) on expression of hCD2 transgenes. CN reduction resulted in a decrease, increase or no effect on variegation depending upon the site of integration. This finding argues that repeat-induced gene silencing is not the principle cause of hCD2 transgene variegation. These results also suggest that having more transgene copies can be beneficial at some integration sites. The transgenic lines examined in this report also exhibited a form of imprinting, which was manifested by decreased levels of expression and increased levels of variegation, upon maternal transmission; and this correlated with DNA hypermethylation and a reduction in epigenetic chromatin modifications normally associated with active genes.
Nucleic Acids Research 05/2008; 36(7):2320-9. · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role for IL-7R expression in the differentiation of effector T cells into resting memory remains controversial. Here, using a conditional IL-7R transgenic model, we were able to test directly whether CD8 effector T cells require IL-7R expression for their differentiation into resting memory cells. In the absence of IL-7R expression, effector cells transferred into "full" hosts underwent a protracted and unremitting contraction compared with IL-7R-expressing control cells and were unable to develop into long-term resting memory cells. Surprisingly, when the same effector cells were transferred into empty T-cell-deficient hosts, they could generate long-lived fully functional resting memory cells independently of IL-7R expression. Formation of these latter cells was found to be dependent on IL-15, because the same IL-7R-deficient effector cells were rapidly lost from IL-15-deficient hosts, having a half-life of less than 40 hours. Therefore, our data suggest that, under physiological conditions, both IL-7 and IL-15 synergize to promote the formation of memory cells directly by limiting the contraction of effectors that occurs following an immune response and that reexpression of IL-7R is a key checkpoint in the regulation of this process.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been shown previously that a human CD2 (hCD2) disabled locus control region (LCR) transgene is unable to establish an open chromatin configuration in all the T cells, and this leads to position effect variegation of the transgene. In this study we show that thymus-specific overexpression of human high mobility group box transcription factor 1 (HBP1), a transcription factor that binds a specific sequence within the hCD2 LCR, affects thymus cellularity as well as the number of CD8(+) thymocytes in two independent transgenic mouse lines and increases the proportion of T cells that fully activate the transgenic locus in hCD2 variegating mice in a sequence-specific dependent manner. This finding suggests that overexpression of HBP1 can affect lineage commitment and can relieve the suppressive influence of heterochromatin, allowing thymocytes to express the variegating target locus more efficiently. These effects could be the result of direct HBP1 action on LCR activity. Alternatively, the extra HBP1 molecules may sequester repressive elements away from the LCR, thus allowing transcription permissive states to form on the transgene locus.
The Journal of Immunology 11/2005; 175(8):5203-12. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: L-selectin mediates rolling of lymphocytes in high endothelial venules (HEVs) of peripheral lymph nodes (PLNs). Cross-linking of L-selectin causes proteolytic shedding of its ectodomain, the physiological significance of which is unknown. To determine whether L-selectin shedding regulates lymphocyte migration, a mutant form that resists shedding (LdDeltaP-selectin) was engineered. Transgenic mice expressing either LDeltaP or wild-type (WT) L-selectin on T cells were crossed with L-selectin knockout (KO) mice. The cellularity and subset composition of secondary lymphoid organs did not differ between LDeltaP and WT mice, however, they were different from C57BL/6. Plasma levels of soluble L-selectin in LDeltaP mice were reduced to <5% of WT and C57BL/6 mice. The rolling properties of T lymphocytes from LDeltaP and WT mice on immobilized L-selectin ligands were similar. Furthermore, similar numbers of LDeltaP and WT T lymphocytes were recruited from the bloodstream into PLNs in mice, although LDeltaP T cells transmigrated HEVs more slowly. WT, but not LDeltaP-selectin, underwent rapid, metalloproteinase-dependent shedding after TCR engagement, and LDeltaP T cells retained the capacity to enter PLNs from the bloodstream. These results suggest that the ability to shed L-selectin is not required for T cell recirculation and homing to PLNs. However, L-selectin shedding from antigen-activated T cells prevents reentry into PLNs.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 11/2003; 198(9):1323-35. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To generate an experimental model for exploring the function, expression pattern, and developmental regulation of human Ig-like activating and inhibitory receptors, we have generated transgenic mice using two human genomic clones: 52N12 (a 150-Kb clone encompassing the leukocyte Ig-like receptor (LILR)B1 (ILT2), LILRB4 (ILT3), and LILRA1 (LIR6) genes) and 1060P11 (a 160-Kb clone that contains ten killer cell Ig-like receptor (KIR) genes). Both the KIR and LILR families are encoded within the leukocyte receptor complex, and are involved in immune modulation. We have also produced a novel mAb to LILRA1 to facilitate expression studies. The LILR transgenes were expressed in a similar, but not identical, pattern to that observed in humans: LILRB1 was expressed in B cells, most NK cells, and a small number of T cells; LILRB4 was expressed in a B cell subset; and LILRA1 was found on a ring of cells surrounding B cell areas on spleen sections, consistent with other data showing monocyte/macrophage expression. KIR transgenic mice showed KIR2DL2 expression on a subset of NK cells and T cells, similar to the pattern seen in humans, and expression of KIR2DL4, KIR3DS1, and KIR2DL5 by splenic NK cells. These observations indicate that linked regulatory elements within the genomic clones are sufficient to allow appropriate expression of KIRs in mice, and illustrate that the presence of the natural ligands for these receptors, in the form of human MHC class I proteins, is not necessary for the expression of the KIRs observed in these mice.
The Journal of Immunology 10/2003; 171(6):3056-63. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein kinase B (PKB), a serine threonine kinase is critically involved in cellular proliferation and survival. To characterize its role in T cell development in vivo, we have analyzed transgenic mice that express a membrane-targeted constitutively active version of PKB (myr PKB) in thymocytes and peripheral T cells. We report that myr PKB renders proliferative responses of thymocytes more sensitive to TCR signals by increased and sustained activation of Src kinase Lck and the extracellular signal-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. In addition, the proliferative response of myr PKB T cells is relatively independent of calcium mobilization and calcineurin activity. We also find that myr PKB enhances phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase 3, a negative regulator of NFAT and T cell activation, and the recruitment of the adapter protein Cbl-c. Interestingly, we demonstrate that upon TCR/CD3 stimulation of wild-type T cells PKB is translocated into lipid rafts, adding a new role for PKB in TCR-initiated signalosome formation in T cell activation. Localization of transgenic PKB in lipid rafts could contribute to the higher TCR sensitivity of myr PKB thymocytes which is reflected in an increase in positive selection toward the CD4 lineage and variable effects on negative selection depending on the model system analyzed. Thus, our observations clearly indicate a cross-talk between PKB and important signaling molecules downstream of TCR that modulate the thresholds of thymocyte selection and T cell activation.
The Journal of Immunology 09/2003; 171(3):1285-96. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacteriophage P1 Cre/loxP based systems can be used to manipulate the genomes ofmice in vivo and in vitro, allowing the generation of tissue-specific conditional mutants. We have generated mouse lines expressing Cre recombinase in hematopoietic tissues using the vav regulatory elements, or in lymphoid cells using the hCD2 promoter and locus control region (LCR). The R26R-EYFP Cre reporter mouse line was used to determine the pattern of Cre expression in each line and enabled the assessment of Cre activity at a single-cell level. Analysis showed that the vav promoter elements were able to direct Cre-mediated recombination in all cells of the hematopoietic system. The hCD2 promoter and LCR on the other hand were able to drive Cre-mediated recombination only in T cells and B cells, but not in other hematopoietic cell types. Furthermore, in the appropriate tissues, deletion of the floxed target was complete in all cells, thereby excluding the possibility of variegated expression of the Cre transgene. Both of these Cre-transgenic lines will be useful in generating tissue-specific gene deletions within all the cells of hematopoietic or lymphoid tissues.
European Journal of Immunology 03/2003; 33(2):314-25. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ikaros family members are important regulatory factors in lymphocyte development. Here we show that Ikaros may play an important role in CD4 versus CD8 lineage commitment decisions by demonstrating: (1) that it binds to regulatory elements in the endogenous CD8alpha locus in vivo using thymocyte chromatin immunoprecipitations, (2) that Ikaros suppresses position effect variegation of transgenes driven by CD8 regulatory elements, and (3) that mice with reduced levels of Ikaros and Aiolos show an apparent increase in CD4 populations with immature phenotype, i.e., cells that failed to activate the CD8alpha gene locus. We propose that Ikaros family members function as activators of the CD8alpha gene locus and that their associated activities are critical for appropriate chromatin remodeling transitions during thymocyte differentiation and lineage commitment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ikaros family members are important regulatory factors in lymphocyte development. Here we show that Ikaros may play an important role in CD4 versus CD8 lineage commitment decisions by demonstrating: (1) that it binds to regulatory elements in the endogenous CD8α locus in vivo using thymocyte chromatin immunoprecipitations, (2) that Ikaros suppresses position effect variegation of transgenes driven by CD8 regulatory elements, and (3) that mice with reduced levels of Ikaros and Aiolos show an apparent increase in CD4 populations with immature phenotype, i.e., cells that failed to activate the CD8α gene locus. We propose that Ikaros family members function as activators of the CD8α gene locus and that their associated activities are critical for appropriate chromatin remodeling transitions during thymocyte differentiation and lineage commitment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The T lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase p56lck (Lck) is an essential component of the TCR-mediated signal transduction complex. Lck knockout mice have reduced numbers of double-positive thymocytes and very few mature single-positive cells, particularly of the CD4 lineage. Here we demonstrate the ability of a tetracycline-based tissue-specific inducible Lck transgene to restore expansion of early thymocytes and maturation of single-positive cells in Lckneg mice upon induction with doxycycline. Restoration of Lck expression is particularly important for positive selection to the CD4+ lineage but has a lesser impact on selection to the CD8+ lineage, suggesting activation of Lck is an important component of the signals involved in lineage choice during thymic differentiation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Locus control regions (LCRs) are gene regulatory elements in mammals that can overcome the highly repressive effects normally associated with heterochromatic transgene locations (for example the centromere) in mice. Deletion of essential LCR sequences renders the cognate gene susceptible to this form of repression, so a proportion of the cells from transgenic mice that would normally express the transgene are silenced-a phenomenon known as position effect variegation (PEV). We show here that PEV can also occur when the transgene is non-centromeric and that the extent of variegation can be developmentally regulated. Furthermore, by overexpressing a mammalian homologue (M31) of Drosophila melanogaster heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1; refs 7,8) in transgenic mouse lines that exhibit PEV, it is possible to modify the proportion of cells that silence the transgene in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, we show M31 overexpression to have two contrasting effects which are dependent on chromosomal context: (i) it enhanced PEV in those lines with centromeric or pericentromeric transgene locations; and (ii) it suppressed PEV when the transgene was non-centromeric. Our results indicate that components or modifiers of heterochromatin may have a chromosomal-context-dependent role in gene silencing and activation decisions in mammals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The locus control region (LCR) of the human CD2 gene (hCD2) confers T cell-specific, copy-dependent and position-independent gene expression in transgenic mice. This LCR consists of a strong T cell-specific enhancer and an element without enhancer activity (designated HSS3), which is required for prevention of position effect variegation (PEV) in transgenic mice. Here, we identified the HMG box containing protein-1 (HBP1) as a factor binding to HSS3 of the hCD2 LCR. Within the LCR, HBP1 binds to a novel TTCATTCATTCA sequence that is higher in affinity than other recently reported HBP1-binding sites. Mice transgenic for a hCD2 LCR construct carrying a deletion of the HBP1-binding sequences show a propensity for PEV if the transgene integrates in a heterochromatic region of the chromosome such as the centromere or telomere. We propose that HBP1 plays an important role in chromatin opening and remodelling activities by binding to and bending the DNA, thus allowing DNA-protein and/or protein-protein interactions, which increase the probability of establishing an active locus.
The EMBO Journal 12/1999; 18(22):6396-406. · 9.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bad is a distant relative of Bcl-2 and acts to promote cell death. Here, we show that Bad expression levels are greatly increased in thymocytes during apoptosis. We generated bad transgenic mice to study the action of upregulated Bad expression on T cell apoptosis. The T cells from these mice are highly sensitive to apoptotic stimuli, including anti-CD95. The numbers of T cells are greatly depleted and the processes of T cell development and selection are perturbed. We show that the proapoptotic function of Bad in primary T cells is regulated by Akt kinase and that Bad overexpression enhances both cell cycle progression and interleukin 2 production after T cell activation. These data suggest that Bad can act as a key regulator of T cell apoptosis and that this is a consequence of its upregulation after exposure to death stimuli.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 03/1999; 189(3):575-86. · 13.21 Impact Factor