[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During primary infection, murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) spreads systemically, resulting in virus replication and pathology in multiple organs. This disseminated infection is ultimately controlled, but the underlying immune defense mechanisms are unclear. Investigating the role of the cytokine IL-22 in MCMV infection, we discovered an unanticipated function for neutrophils as potent antiviral effector cells that restrict viral replication and associated pathogenesis in peripheral organs. NK-, NKT-, and T cell-secreted IL-22 orchestrated antiviral neutrophil-mediated responses via induction in stromal nonhematopoietic tissue of the neutrophil-recruiting chemokine CXCL1. The antiviral effector properties of infiltrating neutrophils were directly linked to the expression of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). Our data identify a role for neutrophils in antiviral defense, and establish a functional link between IL-22 and the control of antiviral neutrophil responses that prevents pathogenic herpesvirus infection in peripheral organs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fluorochrome-conjugated peptide-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) multimers are widely used for flow cytometric visualisation of antigen-specific T-cells. The most common multimer, streptavidin-biotin-based ‘tetramers’, can be readily manufactured in the laboratory. Unfortunately, there are large differences between the threshold of T-cell receptor (TCR) affinity required to capture pMHC tetramers from solution and that are required for T-cell activation. This disparity means that tetramers sometimes fail to stain antigen-specific T-cells within a sample, an issue that is particularly problematic when staining tumour-specific, autoimmune or MHC class II-restricted T-cells, which often display TCRs of low affinity for pMHC. Here, we compared optimized staining with tetramers and dextramers (dextran-based multimers), with the latter carrying greater numbers of both pMHC and fluorochrome per molecule. Most notably, we find that: (i) dextramers stain more brightly than tetramers; (ii) dextramers outperform tetramers when TCR/pMHC affinity is low; (iii) dextramers outperform tetramers with pMHC class II reagents where there is an absence of coreceptor stabilization; and, (iv) dextramer sensitivity is further enhanced by specific protein kinase inhibition. Dextramers are compatible with current state-of-the-art flow cytometry platforms and will likely find particular utility in the fields of autoimmunity and cancer immunology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Balancing the generation of immune responses capable of controlling virus replication with those causing immunopathology is critical for the survival of the host and resolution of influenza-induced inflammation. Based on the capacity of interleukin-6 (IL-6) to govern both optimal T-cell responses and inflammatory resolution, we hypothesised that IL-6 plays an important role in maintaining this balance. Comparison of innate and adaptive immune responses in influenza-infected wild-type control and IL-6 deficient mice revealed striking differences in virus clearance, lung immunopathology and generation of heterosubtypic immunity. Mice lacking IL-6 displayed a profound defect in their ability to mount an anti-viral T-cell response. Failure to adequately control virus was further associated with an enhanced infiltration of inflammatory monocytes into the lung and an elevated production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IFN-α and TNF-α. These events were associated with severe lung damage, characterised by profound vascular leakage, and death. Our data highlight an essential role for IL-6 in orchestrating anti-viral immunity through an ability to limit inflammation, promote protective adaptive immune responses and prevent fatal immunopathology. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
European Journal of Immunology 07/2013; · 4.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: There is evidence that natural killer (NK) cells help control persistent viral infections including hepatitis C virus (HCV). The phenotype and function of blood and intrahepatic NK cells, in steady state and after interferon (IFN) α treatment has not been fully elucidated. DESIGN: We performed a comparison of NK cells derived from blood and intrahepatic compartments in multiple paired samples from patients with a variety of chronic liver diseases. Furthermore, we obtained serial paired samples from an average of five time points in HCV patients treated with IFNα. RESULTS: Liver NK cells demonstrate a distinct activated phenotype compared to blood manifested as downregulation of the NK cell activation receptors CD16, NKG2D, and NKp30; with increased spontaneous degranulation and IFN production. In contrast, NKp46 expression was not downregulated. Indeed, NKp46-rich NK populations were the most activated, correlating closely with the severity of liver inflammation. Following initiation of IFNα treatment there was a significant increase in the proportion of intrahepatic NK cells at days 1 and 3. NKp46-rich NK populations demonstrated no reserve activation capacity with IFNα treatment and were associated with poor viral control on treatment and treatment failure. CONCLUSIONS: NKp46 marks out pathologically activated NK cells, which may result from a loss of homeostatic control of activating receptor expression in HCV. Paradoxically these pathological NK cells do not appear to be involved in viral control in IFNα-treated individuals and, indeed, predict slower rates of viral clearance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD4(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) have a fundamental role in maintaining immune balance by preventing autoreactivity and immune-mediated pathology. However this role of Tregs extends to suppression of anti-tumor immune responses and remains a major obstacle in the development of anti-cancer vaccines and immunotherapies. This feature of Treg activity is exacerbated by the discovery that Treg frequencies are not only elevated in the blood of cancer patients, but are also significantly enriched within tumors in comparison to other sites. These observations have sparked off the quest to understand the processes through which Tregs become elevated in cancer-bearing hosts and to identify the specific mechanisms leading to their accumulation within the tumor microenvironment. This manuscript reviews the evidence for specific mechanisms of intra-tumoral Treg enrichment and will discuss how this information may be utilized for the purpose of manipulating the balance of tumor-infiltrating T cells in favor of anti-tumor effector cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability to control HCV with IFN-α-based treatments provides an opportunity in humans to study how the rate of viral clearance in vivo impinges on the development of antiviral responses. Ex vivo (IFN-γ-producing) and cultured antiviral CD4(+) T cells, serum cytokines, and viral loads were measured repeatedly in a cohort of chronically HCV-infected subjects (n = 33) receiving IFN-α. Rapid control of virus indicated by an increased calculated rate of virus clearance, occurred in those subjects demonstrating absent/minimal T-cell responses (p < 0.0006). Surprisingly, in subjects who demonstrated the most robust T-cell responses (and reduced serum IL-10), there was actually a reduced rate of early virus clearance. A subsequent analysis of NK-cell function in available subjects (n = 8) revealed an inverse correlation between pretreatment NK-cell expression of NKp46 and the potential to upregulate cytotoxic function on exposure to IFN-α (p < 0.004), as well as the subsequent measured rate of viral clearance (p = 0.045). Thus, the CD4(+) T-cell response during IFN-α treatment appears to be shaped by the rate of innate virus suppression. These data suggest that individuals who respond most effectively to immune intervention may be most in need of subsequent vaccination to prevent reinfection.
European Journal of Immunology 06/2012; 42(9):2383-94. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is indirect evidence that T cell responses can control the metastatic spread of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, an enrichment of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) has also been documented.
To evaluate whether CRC promotes Treg activity and how this influences anti-tumour immune responses and disease progression.
A longitudinal study of Treg activity on a cohort of patients was performed before and after tumour resection. Specific CD4(+) T cell responses were also measured to the tumour associated antigens carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and 5T4.
Tregs from 62 preoperative CRC patients expressed a highly significant increase in levels of Foxp3 compared to healthy age-matched controls (p=0.007), which returned to normal after surgery (p=0.0075). CD4(+) T cell responses to one or both of the tumour associated antigens, CEA and 5T4, were observed in approximately two-thirds of patients and one third of these responses were suppressed by Tregs. Strikingly, in all patients with tumour recurrence at 12 months, significant preoperative suppression was observed of tumour-specific (p=0.003) but not control CD4(+) T cell responses.
These findings demonstrate that the presence of CRC drives the activity of Tregs and accompanying suppression of CD4(+) T cell responses to tumour-associated antigens. Suppression is associated with recurrence of tumour at 12 months, implying that Tregs contribute to disease progression. These findings offer a rationale for the manipulation of Tregs for therapeutic intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A significant enrichment of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) T cells (regulatory T cells, Treg) is frequently observed in murine and human carcinomas. As Tregs can limit effective antitumor immune responses, thereby promoting tumor progression, it is important that the mechanisms underpinning intratumoral accumulation of Tregs are identified. Because of evidence gathered mostly in vitro, the conversion of conventional T cells (Tconv) into Tregs has been proposed as one such mechanism. We assessed the contribution of conversion in vivo by analyzing the TCR (T-cell receptor) repertoires of Tconvs and Tregs in carcinogen-induced tumors in mice. Our results indicate that the TCR repertoires of Tregs and Tconvs within tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) are largely distinct. Indeed, the cell population with the greatest degree of repertoire similarity with tumor-infiltrating Tregs was the Treg population from the tumor-draining lymph node. These findings demonstrate that conversion of Tconvs does not contribute significantly to the accumulation of tumor-infiltrating Tregs; rather, Tconvs and Tregs arise from different populations with unique TCR repertoires. Enrichment of Tregs within TILs most likely, therefore, reflects differences in the way that Tregs and Tconvs are influenced by the tumor microenvironment. Elucidating the nature of these influences may indicate how the balance between tumor-infiltrating Tregs and Tconvs can be manipulated for therapeutic purposes.
Cancer Research 02/2011; 71(3):736-46. · 9.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is clear that CD4(+) CD25(+) Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells inhibit chronic inflammatory responses as well as adaptive immune responses. Among the CD4(+) T-cell population in the skin, at least one-fifth express Foxp3. As the skin is constantly exposed to antigenic challenge and is a common site of vaccination, understanding the role of these skin-resident Treg cells is important. Although the suppressive effect of Treg cells on T cells is well documented, less is known about the types of innate immune cells influenced by Treg cells and whether the Treg cells suppress acute innate immune responses in vivo. To address this we used a mouse melanoma cell line expressing Fas ligand (B16FasL), which induces an inflammatory response following subcutaneous injection of mice. We demonstrate that Treg cells limit this response by inhibiting neutrophil accumulation and survival within hours of tumour cell inoculation. This effect, which was associated with decreased expression of the neutrophil chemoattractants CXCL1 and CXCL2, promoted survival of the inoculated tumour cells. Overall, these data imply that Treg cells in the skin are rapidly mobilized and that this activity serves to limit the amplification of inflammatory responses at this site.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Flow cytometry with fluorochrome-conjugated peptide-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) tetramers has transformed the study of antigen-specific T-cells by enabling their visualization, enumeration, phenotypic characterization and isolation from ex vivo samples. Here, we demonstrate that the reversible protein kinase inhibitor (PKI) dasatinib improves the staining intensity of human (CD8+ and CD4+) and murine T-cells without concomitant increases in background staining. Dasatinib enhances the capture of cognate pMHC tetramers from solution and produces higher intensity staining at lower pMHC concentrations. Furthermore, dasatinib reduces pMHC tetramer-induced cell death and substantially lowers the T-cell receptor (TCR)/pMHC interaction affinity threshold required for cell staining. Accordingly, dasatinib permits the identification of T-cells with very low affinity TCR/pMHC interactions, such as those that typically predominate in tumour-specific responses and autoimmune conditions that are not amenable to detection by current technology.
Journal of Immunological Methods 11/2008; 340(1):11-24. · 2.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Treg) are known to influence T cell responses to tumours. Here we have explored the role of Treg in inhibiting not only adaptive, but also innate immune responses to tumours. To this end we used a Fas ligand (FasL)-expressing melanoma cell line in a mouse model. In this system, innate immunity is sufficient to reject the tumour. All mice depleted of Treg and challenged with FasL-expressing melanoma remained tumour-free. Investigation of the underlying cellular effector mechanisms revealed that depletion of Treg enhanced an NK cell response capable of tumour lysis. Furthermore, this initial innate immune response primed mice to make an effective adaptive immune response leading to complete rejection of challenge with the parental melanoma. Both antigen-specific antibody and CD4+ T cells were implicated in protection via adaptive immunity. We conclude that removal of Treg and vaccination with whole tumour cells expressing FasL activates multiple arms of the immune system, leading to efficient tumour rejection. These findings highlight a novel role for FasL in inducing innate immune responses that are normally inhibited by Treg and uncover an adjuvant effect of FasL that can be used to stimulate tumour immunity after depletion of Treg.
European Journal of Immunology 04/2007; 37(3):758-67. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In all but a small minority of cases, continued survival of solid organ grafts after transplantation depends on lifelong, nonselective immunosuppression that, although effective, results in increased rates of infection, cancer, and vascular disease. Therapeutic strategies that engage or mimic self-tolerance may allow prolonged allograft survival without the disadvantages of nonspecific immunotherapy. Pretreatment of recipient mice with donor alloantigen combined with transient modulation of the peripheral T cell pool with anti-CD4 Ab leads to the indefinite survival of MHC-incompatible cardiac allografts without further therapy. Tolerance is dependent on CD25+ CD4+ regulatory T cells that arise from naive CD25- precursors and regulate rejection via both IL-10 and CTLA-4. Although these cells are clearly effective at controlling rejection, the proven ability of recently activated CD25+ cells to mediate bystander regulation raises the possibility that tolerized individuals might also have a reduced capacity to respond to environmental pathogens. We have examined anti-influenza responses in tolerized primary heart recipients, secondary recipients following adoptive transfer of regulatory populations, and tolerized mice in which bystander regulation has been deliberately induced. Neither virus-specific CTL activity in vitro nor the clearance of virus in vivo was significantly diminished in any of these treatment groups compared with infected unmanipulated controls. The data suggest that the induction of dominant allograft tolerance dependent on regulatory T cells does not necessarily result in attenuated responses to pathogens providing further support for the development of tolerance induction protocols in clinical transplantation.
The Journal of Immunology 04/2005; 174(6):3290-7. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD25+ regulatory T cells comprise 5-10% of CD4+ T cells in naïve mice and have been shown in several in vivo murine models to prevent the induction of autoimmune disease and inflammatory disease. Since T cells, which mediate autoimmunity, can through recognition of self-antigens also target tumour cells, it was postulated that CD25+ regulatory cells would also inhibit the generation of immune responses to rumours. Depletion of these cells using CD25-specific monoclonal antibodies has indeed been shown to promote rejection of several transplantable murine tumour cell lines including melanoma, leukaemia and colorectal carcinoma. Results obtained using these models indicate that in the absence of regulatory cells, CD4+ T cells mediate tumour immunity, although the precise mechanisms through which these cells result in tumour rejection have not yet been elucidated. The target antigens recognized by these CD4+ T cells have also not yet been identified. Immunization of mice with tumour cells in the absence of CD25+ regulatory cells does, however, induce immunity against a variety of different tumour cell lines indicating that the target antigen(s) are shared amongst tumours of distinct histological origins. Since CD25+ regulatory cells have been identified in humans, the possibility that the cells inhibit immune responses to shared rejection antigens expressed by human tumours is worthy of investigation.
Novartis Foundation symposium 02/2004; 256:149-52; discussion 152-7, 259-69.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytotoxic T lymphocytes recognize short peptides presented in association with MHC class I (MHCI) molecules on the surface of target cells. The Ag specificity of T lymphocytes is conferred by the TCR, but invariable regions of the peptide-MHCI (pMHCI) molecule also interact with the cell surface glycoprotein CD8. The distinct binding sites for CD8 and the TCR allow pMHCI to be bound simultaneously by both molecules. Even before it was established that the TCR recognized pMHCI, it was shown that CTL exhibit clonal heterogeneity in their ability to activate in the presence of anti-CD8 Abs. These Ab-based studies have since been interpreted in the context of the interaction between pMHCI and CD8 and have recently been extended to show that anti-CD8 Ab can affect the cell surface binding of multimerized pMHCI Ags. In this study, we examine the role of CD8 further using point-mutated pMHCI Ag and show that anti-CD8 Abs can either enhance or inhibit the activation of CTL and the stable cell surface binding of multimerized pMHCI, regardless of whether there is a pMHCI/CD8 interaction. We further demonstrate that multimerized pMHCI Ag can recruit CD8 in the absence of a pMHCI/CD8 interaction and that anti-CD8 Abs can generate an intracellular activation signal resulting in CTL effector function. These results question many previous assumptions as to how anti-CD8 Abs must function and indicate that CD8 has multiple roles in CTL activation that are not necessarily dependent on an interaction with pMHCI.
The Journal of Immunology 01/2004; 171(12):6650-60. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection induces a protective CTL response consisting of gp- and nucleoprotein (NP)-specific CTL. We find that a small load of LCMV led to immunodominance of NP-CTL, whereas a large viral load resulted in dominance of gp-CTL. This is the first study describing that immunodominance is not fixed after infection with a given pathogen, but varies with the viral load instead. We assumed higher Ag sensitivity for NP-CTL, which would explain their preferential priming at low viral load, as well as their overstimulation resulting in selective exhaustion at high viral load. The higher Ag sensitivity of NP-CTL was due to faster kinetics of NP-epitope presentation. Thus, we uncover a novel factor that impinges upon immunodominance and is related to the kinetics of virus protein expression. We propose that CTL against early viral proteins swiftly interfere with virus replication, resulting in efficient protection. If these "early" CTL fail in immediate virus control, they are activated in the face of higher viral load compared with "late" CTL and are therefore prone to be exhausted. Thus, the observed absence of early CTL in persistent infections might not be the cause, but rather the consequence of viral persistence.
The Journal of Immunology 12/2003; 171(10):5415-22. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Macrophage inflammatory protein 1alpha (MIP-1alpha), a member of the CC-chemokine subfamily, is known to induce chemotaxis of a variety of cell types in vivo. Although the role of MIP-1alpha in inflammatory responses generated following primary infection of mice with many different pathogens has been characterized, the influence of this chemokine on the generation of antigen-specific T-cell responses in vivo is less well understood. This is important, as virus-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTL) play a crucial role in defence against viral infections, both acutely and in the long term. In this study, we compared the ability of wild-type and MIP-1alpha-deficient (MIP-1alpha-/-) mice to mount CTL responses specific for the immunodominant epitope derived from influenza nucleoprotein (NP366-374). Influenza-specific CTL responses were compared with respect to frequency, cytotoxic activity and ability to clear subsequent infections with recombinant vaccinia viruses expressing the influenza NP. The results indicate that antiviral CTL generated in MIP-1alpha-/- mice are slightly impaired in their ability to protect against a subsequent infection. However, impaired in vivo CTL-mediated antiviral protection was found to be associated with reduced cytotoxicity rather than with a failure of the CTL to migrate to peripheral sites of infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor cells express a range of antigens including self-antigens (those whose expression is shared by normal host tissue) and non-self antigens (such as those that arise as a result of mutations in normal cellular genes or in the case of some tumors, viral antigens). Immune responses to both types of antigen have been identified in human patients with cancer and in murine tumor models. In both cases, these responses are typically weak and generally fail to result in tumor rejection. Accumulating evidence indicates that a population of T cells, namely CD25(+) regulatory cells, is at least partly responsible for the poor immunogenicity of tumor cells. This evidence is discussed in the context of a murine model of melanoma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although it is known that the immune system can mount responses to a variety of tumors it is clear that most tumors exhibit weak or even undetectable immunogenicity. Recent findings suggest that the lack of tumor immunogenicity is partly due to a population of cells called CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells since depletion of these cells in mice can result in tumor rejection. These cells have also been shown to inhibit the development of organ-specific autoimmune diseases suggesting that they inhibit immune responses to tissue-specific self-antigens. Such immune responses may also mediate tumor rejection. Alternatively, immune responses in mice depleted of regulatory cells may target tumor antigens that are not tissue-specific, but which are shared by tumors of diverse origins. In experiments performed to discriminate between these possibilities we found, using the murine colorectal tumor CT26, that tumor immunity stimulated in the absence of regulatory cells is not restricted to tumors of colorectal origin, but is effective against tumors of different histological types such as B cell lymphomas and a renal cell carcinoma. By comparing this to CT26-induced immunity through the use of adjuvant we show that the generation of cross-reactive tumor immunity is a specific manifestation of CD25+ regulatory cell depletion. The generation of CD4+ T cells capable of mediating tumor rejection is another important feature of tumor immunity induced in the absence of CD25+ cells.
European Journal of Immunology 12/2002; 32(11):3267-75. · 4.97 Impact Factor