[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IL-23, an IL-12 family member, has been implicated in the development of Th17 cells and the progression of autoimmune diseases. However, due to the lack of availability of sensitive Ab reagents specific for the IL-23 receptor (IL-23R), it has been difficult to characterize the cell types that express the IL-23R and are responsive to IL-23 in vivo. To address the role of IL-23 in vivo, we have generated a novel "knock-in" mouse in which we have replaced the intracellular domain of the IL-23R with the GFP. We show that in addition to Th17 cells, a subset of myeloid cells express IL-23R and respond to IL-23 by producing IL-17 and IL-22. Our studies further demonstrate that IL-23R expression is crucial for generation of encephalitogenic Th17 cells, but its expression on the innate immune system is dispensible in the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
The Journal of Immunology 06/2009; 182(10):5904-8. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The conditions leading to the induction of adaptive Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (T-regs) from peripheral T cells in vivo are incompletely understood. Here, we show that unresponsiveness of T cells to IL-6 by T cell-selective deletion of gp130 or immunization of wild-type mice with antigen in incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA), which fails to induce IL-6, promotes the conversion of peripheral CD4(+) T cells into adaptive Foxp3(+) T-regs. Thus, both T cell-conditional gp130 knockout (KO) mice immunized with MOG35-55 in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) and wild-type mice immunized with MOG35-55 in IFA develop overwhelming antigen-specific T-reg responses and are protected from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Depletion of T-regs restores T helper (Th)17 responses and clinical EAE in MOG/CFA-immunized T cell-conditional gp130 KO mice, but not in MOG/IFA-immunized wild-type mice. We conclude that in the absence of T-regs, IL-6 signaling is dispensable for the induction of Th17 cells, and alternative pathways exist to induce Th17 cells and EAE in the absence of IL-6 signaling. However, IL-6 signaling is dominant in inhibiting the conversion of conventional T cells into Foxp3(+) T-regs in vivo, and in the absence of IL-6 signaling, no other cytokine can substitute in inhibiting T-reg conversion. These data identify IL-6 as an important target to modulate autoimmune responses and chronic inflammation.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2008; 105(47):18460-5. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcription factor Foxp3 is critical for generating regulatory T cells (Treg cells). Transforming growth factor- (TGF-) induces Foxp3 and suppressive Treg cells from naive T cells, whereas interleukin 6 (IL-6) inhibits the generation of inducible Treg cells. Here we show that IL-4 blocked the generation of TGF--induced Foxp3+ Treg cells and instead induced a population of T helper cells that produced IL-9 and IL-10. The IL-9+IL-10+ T cells demonstrated no regulatory properties despite producing abundant IL-10. Adoptive transfer of IL-9+IL-10+ T cells into recombination-activating gene 1–deficient mice induced colitis and peripheral neuritis, the severity of which was aggravated if the IL-9+IL-10+ T cells were transferred with CD45RBhi CD4+ effector T cells. Thus IL-9+IL-10+ T cells lack suppressive function and constitute a distinct population of helper-effector T cells that promote tissue inflammation.