Rima Koka

University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States

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Publications (13)152.56 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: NK cells vigorously proliferate during viral infections. During the course of murine CMV infection, this response becomes dominated by the preferential proliferation of NK cells that express the activation receptor Ly49H. The factors driving such selective NK cell proliferation have not been characterized. In this study, we demonstrate that preferential NK cell proliferation is dependent on DAP12-mediated signaling following the binding of Ly49H to its virally encoded ligand, m157. Ly49H signaling through DAP12 appears to directly augment NK cell sensitivity to low concentrations of proproliferative cytokines such as IL-15. The impact of Ly49H-mediated signaling on NK cell proliferation is masked in the presence of high concentrations of proproliferative cytokines that nonselectively drive all NK cells to proliferate.
    The Journal of Immunology 11/2006; 177(8):4981-90. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.177.8.4981 · 5.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IL-2, IL-15, and IL-7 are cytokines that are critical for regulating lymphoid homeostasis. These cytokines stimulate similar responses from lymphocytes in vitro, but play markedly divergent roles in lymphoid biology in vivo. Their distinct physiological functions can be ascribed to distinct signaling pathways initiated by proprietary cytokine receptor chains, differential expression patterns of the cytokines or their receptor chains, and/or signals occurring in distinct physiological contexts. Recently, the discovery of a novel mechanism of cytokine signaling, trans-presentation, has provided further insights into the different ways these cytokines function. Trans-presentation also raises several novel cell biological and cellular implications concerning how cytokines support lymphoid homeostasis.
    Annual Review of Immunology 02/2006; 24:657-79. DOI:10.1146/annurev.immunol.24.021605.090727 · 41.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The high affinity interleukin (IL)-15 receptor, IL-15Ralpha, is essential for supporting lymphoid homeostasis. To assess whether IL-15Ralpha's role in vivo is to trans present IL-15, we generated mixed bone marrow chimera from IL-15Ralpha- and IL-2/15Rbeta-deficient mice. We find that IL-15Ralpha-competent, IL-2/15Rbeta-deficient cells are able to support IL-15Ralpha-deficient natural killer (NK) and memory CD8+ T cells, thus ruling out secondary signals on these cells and demonstrating that IL-15Ralpha-mediated presentation of IL-15 in trans is the primary mechanism by which IL-15Ralpha functions in vivo. Surprisingly, using IL-15- and IL-15Ralpha-deficient mixed chimera, we also find that IL-15 and IL-15Ralpha must be expressed by the same cells to present IL-15 in trans, indicating that IL-15Ralpha is required on a cellular level for the elaboration of IL-15. These studies indicate that IL-15Ralpha defines homeostatic niches for NK and memory CD8+ T cells by controlling both the production and the presentation of IL-15 in trans to NK and CD8+ memory T cells.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 11/2004; 200(7):825-34. · 13.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: NK cells protect hosts against viral pathogens and transformed cells, and dendritic cells (DCs) play important roles in activating NK cells. We now find that murine IL-15Ralpha-deficient DCs fail to support NK cell cytolytic activity and elaboration of IFN-gamma, despite the fact that these DCs express normal levels of costimulatory molecules and IL-12. By contrast, IL-15Ralpha expression on NK cells is entirely dispensable for their activation by DCs. In addition, blockade with anti-IL-15Ralpha and anti-IL-2Rbeta but not anti-IL-2Ralpha-specific Abs prevents NK cell activation by wild-type DCs. Finally, presentation of IL-15 by purified IL-15Ralpha/Fc in trans synergizes with IL-12 to support NK cell priming. These findings suggest that murine DCs require IL-15Ralpha to present IL-15 in trans to NK cells during NK cell priming.
    The Journal of Immunology 10/2004; 173(6):3594-8. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.173.6.3594 · 5.36 Impact Factor
  • Advances in Immunology 02/2004; 83:191-231. DOI:10.1016/S0065-2776(04)83006-2 · 5.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IL-15Ralpha-deficient (IL-15Ralpha(-/-)) mice lack NK cells. However, when bone marrow (BM) progenitors from IL-15Ralpha(-/-) mice were cultured with IL-7, stem cell factor and flt3 ligand, followed by IL-15, they were able to differentiate into functional NK cells, indicating that IL-15Ralpha is not critical for NK cell development. Whereas NK cells generated in vitro from IL-15Ralpha(-/-) BM progenitors expressed CD94/NKG2, they failed to express Ly-49 receptors. In keeping with this, when IL-15Ralpha(-/-) BM cells were transferred into wild type recipients, they gave rise to NK cells in vivo, but with greatly reduced expression of Ly-49 receptors. Furthermore, the small numbers of NK cells found in IL-15(-/-) as well as IL-15Ralpha(-/-) but not flt3 ligand(-/-) mice expressed much lower levels of Ly-49 receptors than those from wild type mice. These results indicate a novel role for IL-15Ralpha-chain in Ly-49 induction on developing NK cells.
    The Journal of Immunology 12/2003; 171(10):5085-90. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.171.10.5085 · 5.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The generation and maintenance of immunological memory requires the activation, expansion, and persistent proliferation of antigen-specific T cells. Recent work suggests that IL-15 may be important for this process. Surprisingly, we now find that expression of the high-affinity receptor for IL-15, IL-15R alpha, on T cells is dispensable for the generation or maintenance of memory CD8(+) T cells. By contrast, IL-15R alpha expression on cells other than T cells is absolutely critical for this function. These findings may be related to IL-15R alpha's ability to present IL-15 in trans to low-affinity IL-15R beta gamma(c) receptors on memory CD8(+) T cells. These unexpected results provide insights into how IL-15R alpha supports memory CD8(+) T cells.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2003; 100(8):4724-9. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0737048100 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Natural killer (NK) cells protect hosts against viral pathogens and transformed cells. IL-15 is thought to play a critical role in NK cell development, but its role in the regulation of peripheral NK cells is less well defined. We now find that adoptive transfer of normal NK cells into mice lacking the high affinity interleukin (IL)-15 receptor, IL-15Ralpha, surprisingly results in the abrupt loss of these cells. Moreover, IL-15Ralpha-deficient NK cells can differentiate successfully in radiation bone marrow chimera bearing normal cells. Finally, adoptively transferred IL-15Ralpha-deficient NK cells survive in normal but not IL-15Ralpha-deficient mice. These findings demonstrate that NK cell-independent IL-15Ralpha expression is critical for maintaining peripheral NK cells, while IL-15Ralpha expression on NK cells is not required for this function.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 05/2003; 197(8):977-84. DOI:10.1084/jem.20021836 · 13.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Humans and mice deficient in Fas, a tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-receptor family member, cannot induce apoptosis of autoreactive cells, and consequently develop progressive lymphoproliferative disorders and lupus-like autoimmune diseases. Previous studies have shown that short-term administrations of agonistic monoclonal antibodies against CD137, another TNF-receptor family member, activate T cells and induce rejection of allografts and established tumors. Here we report that treatment with an agonistic monoclonal antibody to CD137 (2A) blocks lymphadenopathy and spontaneous autoimmune diseases in Fas-deficient MRL/lpr mice, ultimately leading to their prolonged survival. Notably, 2A treatment rapidly augments IFN-gamma production, and induces the depletion of autoreactive B cells and abnormal double-negative T cells, possibly by increasing their apoptosis through Fas- and TNF receptor-independent mechanisms. This study demonstrates that agonistic monoclonal antibodies specific for costimulatory molecules can be used as novel therapeutic agents to delete autoreactive lymphocytes and block autoimmune disease progression.
    Nature Medicine 01/2003; 8(12):1405-13. DOI:10.1038/nm796 · 28.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interleukin (IL)-15 is a member of the common gamma chain family of cytokines, and is closely related to IL-2. While these two cytokines share several important biological functions in vitro, recent mouse models have demonstrated unique roles for these two cytokines in supporting lymphoid homeostasis in vivo. IL-15 has been shown to regulate the homeostasis of both innate and adaptive immune cells, and this review will discuss several ways in which this pleiotropic cytokine may support lymphoid homeostasis.
    Cytokine & Growth Factor Reviews 01/2003; 13(6):429-39. DOI:10.1016/S1359-6101(02)00029-1 · 6.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is a cytokine that plays unique roles in both innate and adaptive immune cell homeostasis. While early studies suggested that IL-15 resembled IL-2, more recent work suggests that IL-15 may play multiple unique roles in immune homeostasis befitting its pleiotropic expression pattern. This review will focus on recent studies that highlight some of these functions.
    Molecular Immunology 01/2003; 39(9):537-44. DOI:10.1016/S0161-5890(02)00211-0 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although a role for CD4(+) helper cells in CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) induction by vaccines is widely recognized, much less is known about a counterbalancing role of CD4(+) T cells in down-modulating this response, or about ways to optimize vaccine responses through abrogation of this negative regulatory mechanism. Here, we discovered a synergistic enhancement of vaccine-mediated CTL induction and protection by the relief of suppression through depletion of regulatory CD4(+) cells, including CD4(+) NKT cells, or blockade of IL-13 made by these cells, combined with the cytokine granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor and the costimulatory molecule CD40L. Indeed, in the absence of helper epitopes, granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor and the helper-mimetic molecule CD40L are not sufficient to replace help to induce CTL without abrogation of CD4(+) T cell-mediated suppression, suggesting a role for T cell help in overcoming suppression. The increased CTL induction translated to striking protection against viral infection by a vaccine by using this synergistic combined approach. These results argue for a push-pull approach to maximize vaccine efficacy, especially for HIV and cancer.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2002; 99(20):13020-5. DOI:10.1073/pnas.192251199 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Detection of the functional CD8+ CTL response usually requires in vitro restimulation. The differences between the CD8+ CTL repertoire in freshly isolated precursor cells and CD8+ CTL after short-term in vitro expansion have been generally assumed to be minimal, but have never been defined experimentally. Using staining with P18-I10/H-2Dd tetramers and monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against Vβ, we show the surprising result that there was significant skewing of the CD8+ CTL repertoire after just 7 days of stimulation. In contrast, we found that overnight incubation of precursor cells with peptide allows the functional assessment of CD8+ CTL (which cannot be detected ex vivo from freshly isolatedcells) without changing the absolute number of antigen-specific CTL as measured by tetramer staining or the repertoire of TCR analyzed with mAb. This study affords a better understanding of the differences between the ex vivo and in vitro stimulated CTL repertoire, and provides an approach to reveal a more faithful representation of the functional in vivo CTL response without skewing of the repertoire of T cells detected.
    European Journal of Immunology 11/2001; 31(12):3557 - 3566. DOI:10.1002/1521-4141(200112)31:12<3557::AID-IMMU3557>3.0.CO;2-O · 4.52 Impact Factor