Christina Claus

Universität Bern, Bern, BE, Switzerland

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Publications (6)59.67 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Signaling of the TNF receptor superfamily member CD27 activates costimulatory pathways to elicit T- and B-cell responses. CD27 signaling is regulated by the expression of its ligand CD70 on subsets of dendritic cells and lymphocytes. Here, we analyzed the role of the CD27-CD70 interaction in the immunologic control of solid tumors in Cd27-deficient mice. In tumor-bearing wild-type mice, the CD27-CD70 interaction increased the frequency of regulatory T cells (Tregs), reduced tumor-specific T-cell responses, increased angiogenesis, and promoted tumor growth. CD27 signaling reduced apoptosis of Tregs in vivo and induced CD4(+) effector T cells (Teffs) to produce interleukin-2, a key survival factor for Tregs. Consequently, the frequency of Tregs and growth of solid tumors were reduced in Cd27-deficient mice or in wild-type mice treated with monoclonal antibody to block CD27 signaling. Our findings, therefore, provide a novel mechanism by which the adaptive immune system enhances tumor growth and may offer an attractive strategy to treat solid tumors.
    Cancer Research 05/2012; 72(14):3664-76. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immune responses have the important function of host defense and protection against pathogens. However, the immune response also causes inflammation and host tissue injury, termed immunopathology. For example, hepatitis B and C virus infection in humans cause immunopathological sequel with destruction of liver cells by the host's own immune response. Similarly, after infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) in mice, the adaptive immune response causes liver cell damage, choriomeningitis and destruction of lymphoid organ architecture. The immunopathological sequel during LCMV infection has been attributed to cytotoxic CD8(+) T cells. However, we now show that during LCMV infection CD4(+) T cells selectively induced the destruction of splenic marginal zone and caused liver cell damage with elevated serum alanin-transferase (ALT) levels. The destruction of the splenic marginal zone by CD4(+) T cells included the reduction of marginal zone B cells, marginal zone macrophages and marginal zone metallophilic macrophages. Functionally, this resulted in an impaired production of neutralizing antibodies against LCMV. Furthermore, CD4(+) T cells reduced B cells with an IgM(high)IgD(low) phenotype (transitional stage 1 and 2, marginal zone B cells), whereas other B cell subtypes such as follicular type 1 and 2 and germinal center/memory B cells were not affected. Adoptive transfer of CD4(+) T cells lacking different important effector cytokines and cytolytic pathways such as IFNγ, TNFα, perforin and Fas-FasL interaction did reveal that these cytolytic pathways are redundant in the induction of immunopathological sequel in spleen. In conclusion, our results define an important role of CD4(+) T cells in the induction of immunopathology in liver and spleen. This includes the CD4(+) T cell mediated destruction of the splenic marginal zone with consecutively impaired protective neutralizing antibody responses.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e24772. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a malignant myeloproliferative disease of hematopoietic stem cells. The disease progresses after several years from an initial chronic phase to a blast phase. Leukemia-specific T cells are regularly detected in CML patients and may be involved in the immunological control of the disease. Here, we analyzed the role of leukemia-specific CD8(+) T cells in CML disease control and the mechanism that maintains CD8(+) T-cell immunosurveillance in a retroviral-induced murine CML model. To study antigen-specific immune responses, the glycoprotein of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus was used as model leukemia antigen. Leukemia-specific CTL activity was detectable in vivo in CML mice and depletion of CD8(+) T cells rapidly led to disease progression. CML-specific CTL were characterized by the expression of the IL-7 receptor α-chain. In addition, leukemia cells produced IL-7 that was crucial for the maintenance of leukemia-specific CTL and for disease control. Therefore, CML cells maintain the specific CD8(+) T-cell-mediated immune control by IL-7 secretion. This results in prolonged control of disease and probably contributes to the characteristic chronic phase of the disease.
    European Journal of Immunology 10/2010; 40(10):2720-30. · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) exhibits natural tropism for dendritic cells and represents the prototypic infection that elicits protective CD8(+) T cell (cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)) immunity. Here we have harnessed the immunobiology of this arenavirus for vaccine delivery. By using producer cells constitutively synthesizing the viral glycoprotein (GP), it was possible to replace the gene encoding LCMV GP with vaccine antigens to create replication-defective vaccine vectors. These rLCMV vaccines elicited CTL responses that were equivalent to or greater than those elicited by recombinant adenovirus 5 or recombinant vaccinia virus in their magnitude and cytokine profiles, and they exhibited more effective protection in several models. In contrast to recombinant adenovirus 5, rLCMV failed to elicit vector-specific antibody immunity, which facilitated re-administration of the same vector for booster vaccination. In addition, rLCMV elicited T helper type 1 CD4+ T cell responses and protective neutralizing antibodies to vaccine antigens. These features, together with low seroprevalence in humans, suggest that rLCMV may show utility as a vaccine platform against infectious diseases and cancer.
    Nature medicine 02/2010; 16(3):339-45. · 27.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a malignant myeloproliferative disease arising from a hematopoietic stem cell expressing the BCR/ABL fusion protein. Leukemic and dendritic cells (DCs) develop from the same transformed hematopoietic progenitors. How BCR/ABL interferes with the immunoregulatory function of DCs in vivo is unknown. We analyzed the function of BCR/ABL-expressing DCs in a retroviral-induced murine CML model using the glycoprotein of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus as a model leukemia antigen. BCR/ABL-expressing DCs were found in bone marrow, thymus, spleen, lymph nodes, and blood of CML mice. They were characterized by a low maturation status and induced only limited expansion of naive and memory cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). In addition, immunization with in vitro-generated BCR/ABL-expressing DCs induced lower frequencies of specific CTLs than immunization with control DCs. BCR/ABL-expressing DCs preferentially homed to the thymus, whereas only few BCR/ABL-expressing DCs reached the spleen. Our results indicate that BCR/ABL-expressing DCs do not efficiently induce CML-specific T-cell responses resulting from low DC maturation and impaired homing to secondary lymphoid organs. In addition, BCR/ABL-expressing DCs in the thymus may contribute to CML-specific tolerance induction of specific CTLs.
    Blood 03/2009; 113(19):4681-9. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CD4+ T cell help during the priming of CD8+ T lymphocytes imprints the capacity for optimal secondary expansion upon re-encounter with antigen. Helped memory CD8+ T cells rapidly expand in response to a secondary antigen exposure, even in the absence of T cell help and, are most efficient in protection against a re-infection. In contrast, helpless memory CTL can mediate effector function, but secondary expansion is reduced. How CD4+ T cells instruct CD8+ memory T cells during priming to undergo efficient secondary expansion has not been resolved in detail. Here, we show that memory CTL after infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus are CD27(high) whereas memory CTL primed in the absence of CD4+ T cell have a reduced expression of CD27. Helpless memory CTL produced low amounts of IL-2 and did not efficiently expand after restimulation with peptide in vitro. Blocking experiments with monoclonal antibodies and the use of CD27(-/-) memory CTL revealed that CD27 ligation during restimulation increased autocrine IL-2 production and secondary expansion. Therefore, regulating CD27 expression on memory CTL is a novel mechanism how CD4+ T cells control CTL memory.
    European Journal of Immunology 08/2008; 38(7):1847-56. · 4.97 Impact Factor