[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mice expressing a Cre recombinase from the lysozyme M-encoding locus (Lyz2) have been widely used to dissect gene function in macrophages and neutrophils. Here, we show that while naïve resident tissue macrophages from IL-4Rαflox/deltaLysMCre mice almost completely lose IL-4Rα function, a large fraction of macrophages elicited by sterile inflammatory stimuli, Schistosoma mansoni eggs, or S. mansoni infection, fail to excise Il4rα. These F4/80hiCD11bhi macrophages, in contrast to resident tissue macrophages, express lower levels of Lyz2 explaining why this population resists LysMCre-mediated deletion. We show that in response to IL-4 and IL-13, Lyz2loIL-4Rα+ macrophages differentiate into an arginase 1-expressing alternatively-activated macrophage (AAM) population, which slows the development of lethal fibrosis in schistosomiasis. In contrast, we identified Lyz2hiIL-4Rα+ macrophages as the key subset of AAMs mediating the downmodulation of granulomatous inflammation in chronic schistosomiasis. Our observations reveal a limitation on using a LysMCre mouse model to study gene function in inflammatory settings, but we utilize this limitation as a means to demonstrate that distinct populations of alternatively activated macrophages control inflammation and fibrosis in chronic schistosomiasis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: How the immune system adapts to malnutrition to sustain immunity at barrier surfaces, such as the intestine, remains unclear. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common micronutrient deficiencies and is associated with profound defects in adaptive immunity. Here, we found that type 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s) are severely diminished in vitamin A-deficient settings, which results in compromised immunity to acute bacterial infection. However, vitamin A deprivation paradoxically resulted in dramatic expansion of interleukin-13 (IL-13)-producing ILC2s and resistance to nematode infection in mice, which revealed that ILCs are primary sensors of dietary stress. Further, these data indicate that, during malnutrition, a switch to innate type 2 immunity may represent a powerful adaptation of the immune system to promote host survival in the face of ongoing barrier challenges.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type 2 immunity is essential for host protection against nematode infection but is detrimental in allergic inflammation or asthma. There is a major research focus on the effector molecules and specific cell types involved in the initiation of type 2 immunity. Recent work has implicated an important role of epithelial-derived cytokines, IL-25 and IL-33, acting on innate immune cells that are believed to be the initial sources of type 2 cytokines IL-4/IL-5/IL-13. The identities of the cell types that mediate the effects of IL-25/IL-33, however, remain to be fully elucidated. In the present study, we demonstrate that macrophages as IL-25/IL-33-responsive cells play an important role in inducing type 2 immunity using both in vitro and in vivo approaches. Macrophages produced type 2 cytokines IL-5 and IL-13 in response to the stimulation of IL-25/IL-33 in vitro, or were the IL-13-producing cells in mice administrated with exogenous IL-33 or infected with Heligmosomoides bakeri. In addition, IL-33 induced alternative activation of macrophages primarily through autocrine IL-13 activating the IL-4Rα-STAT6 pathway. Moreover, depletion of macrophages attenuated the IL-25/IL-33-induced type 2 immunity in mice, while adoptive transfer of IL-33-activated macrophages into mice with a chronic Heligmosomoides bakeri infection induced worm expulsion accompanied by a potent type 2 protective immune response. Thus, macrophages represent a unique population of the innate immune cells pivotal to type 2 immunity and a potential therapeutic target in controlling type 2 immunity-mediated inflammatory pathologies.
PLoS ONE 03/2013; 8(3):e59441. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IL-33 is a recently identified cytokine member of the IL-1 family. The biological activities of IL-33 are associated with promotion of Th2 and inhibition of Th1/Th17 immune responses. Exogenous IL-33 induces a typical "type 2" immune response in the gastrointestinal tract, yet the underlying mechanism(s) remain(s) to be fully elucidated. In addition, the role of IL-33 in the regulation of gastrointestinal function is not known. The current study investigated IL-33-dependent intestinal immunity and function in mice. Exogenous IL-33 induced a polarized type 2 cytokine response in the intestine that was entirely MyD88-dependent, but STAT6- and IL-13-independent. Mice injected with recombinant IL-33 exhibited intestinal smooth muscle hypercontractility, decreased epithelial responses to acetylcholine and glucose, and increased mucosal permeability. IL-33 effects on the intestinal epithelial function were STAT6-dependent, and both IL-4 and IL-13 appeared to play a role. The effects on smooth muscle function, however, were attributable to both STAT6-dependent and -independent mechanisms. In addition, IL-13 induction of insulin-like growth factor-1 was implicated in IL-33-induced smooth muscle hypertrophy. Finally, alternative activation of macrophages induced by IL-33 revealed a novel pathway that is IL-4-, IL-13-, and STAT6-independent. Thus, manipulating IL-33 or related signaling pathways represents a potential therapeutic strategy for treating inflammatory diseases associated with dysregulated intestinal function.
AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 12/2012; · 3.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fibrosis is a pathological feature of most chronic inflammatory diseases. Fibrosis, or scarring, is defined by the accumulation of excess extracellular matrix components. If highly progressive, the fibrotic process eventually leads to organ malfunction and death. Fibrosis affects nearly every tissue in the body. Here we discuss how key components of the innate and adaptive immune response contribute to the pathogenesis of fibrosis. We also describe how cell-intrinsic changes in important structural cells can perpetuate the fibrotic response by regulating the differentiation, recruitment, proliferation and activation of extracellular matrix-producing myofibroblasts. Finally, we highlight some of the key mechanisms and pathways of fibrosis that are being targeted as potential therapies for a variety of important human diseases.
Nature medicine 07/2012; 18(7):1028-40. · 28.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Progressive fibrosis contributes to the morbidity of several chronic diseases; it typically develops slowly, so the mechanisms that control its progression and resolution have been difficult to model. The proteins interleukin (IL)-10, IL-12p40, and IL-13Rα2 regulate hepatic fibrosis following infection with the helminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni. We examined whether these mediators interact to slow the progression of hepatic fibrosis in mice with schistosomiasis.
IL-10(-/-), IL-12/23(p40)(-/-), and IL-13Rα2(-/-) mice were crossed to generate triple knockout (TKO) mice. We studied these mice to determine whether the simultaneous deletion of these 3 negative regulators of the immune response accelerated mortality from liver fibrosis following infection with S mansoni.
Induction of inflammation by S mansoni, liver fibrosis, and mortality increased greatly in TKO mice compared with wild-type mice; 100% of the TKO mice died by 10 weeks after infection. Morbidity and mortality were associated with the development of portal hypertension, hepatosplenomegaly, gastrointestinal bleeding, ascites, thrombocytopenia, esophageal and gastric varices, anemia, and increased levels of liver enzymes, all features of advanced liver disease. IL-10, IL-12p40, and IL-13Rα2 reduced the production and activity of the profibrotic cytokine IL-13. A neutralizing antibody against IL-13 reduced the morbidity and mortality of the TKO mice following S mansoni infection.
IL-10, IL-12p40, and IL-13Rα2 act cooperatively to suppress liver fibrosis in mice following infection with S mansoni. This model rapidly reproduces many of the complications observed in patients with advanced cirrhosis, so it might be used to evaluate the efficacy of antifibrotic reagents being developed for schistosomiasis or other fibrotic diseases associated with a T-helper 2 cell-mediated immune response.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Macrophages play key roles in wound repair and fibrosis by regulating extracellular matrix turnover. Macrophages can process matrix components themselves, but also recruit and alter the functions of other cell types that directly build or degrade extracellular matrix. Classically activated macrophages (CAM, also called M1) tend to promote tissue injury while alternatively activated macrophages (AAM, also called M2) are often linked with the mechanisms of wound repair and fibrosis. However, rather than promoting collagen deposition, recent studies suggest that arginase-1-expressing AAM suppress chronic inflammation and fibrosis by inhibiting antigen-specific T cell responses. This unit describes methods to measure arginase activity in macrophages and whole tissues as well as assays to quantify the T cell suppressive activity of AAMs. Modified hydroxyproline and soluble collagen assays that can be used to quantify collagen levels in tissues and brochoalveolar lavage fluid are also described. The protocols in this unit should provide the investigator with all the necessary information required to measure arginase activity and to correlate the observed activity with the progression and resolution of fibrosis.
Current protocols in immunology / edited by John E. Coligan ... [et al.] 04/2011; Chapter 14:Unit14.22.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 is required to maintain immune homeostasis in the gastrointestinal tract. IL-10 null mice spontaneously develop colitis or are more susceptible to induction of colitis by infections, drugs, and autoimmune reactions. IL-13 regulates inflammatory conditions; its activity might be compromised by the IL-13 decoy receptor (IL-13Rα2).
We examined the roles of IL-13 and IL-13Rα2 in intestinal inflammation in mice. To study the function of IL-13Rα2, il10(-/-) mice were crossed with il13rα2(-/-) to generate il10(-/-)il13rα2(-/-) double knockout (dKO) mice. Colitis was induced with the gastrointestinal toxin piroxicam or Trichuris muris infection.
Induction of colitis by interferon (IFN)-γ or IL-17 in IL-10 null mice requires IL-13Rα2. Following exposure of il10(-/-) mice to piroxicam or infection with T muris, production of IL-13Rα2 increased, resulting in decreased IL-13 bioactivity and increased inflammation in response to IFN-γ or IL-17A. In contrast to il10(-/-) mice, dKO mice were resistant to piroxicam-induced colitis; they also developed less severe colitis during chronic infection with T muris infection. In both models, resistance to IFN-γ and IL-17-mediated intestinal inflammation was associated with increased IL-13 activity. Susceptibility to colitis was restored when the dKO mice were injected with monoclonal antibodies against IL-13, confirming its protective role.
Colitis and intestinal inflammation in IL10(-/-) mice results from IL-13Rα2-mediated attenuation of IL-13 activity. In the absence of IL-13Rα2, IL-13 suppresses proinflammatory Th1 and Th17 responses. Reagents that block the IL-13 decoy receptor IL-13Rα2 might be developed for inflammatory bowel disease associated with increased levels of IFN-γ and IL-17.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IL-25 (IL-17E) is a member of the IL-17 cytokine family. IL-25-deficient mice exhibit impaired Th2 immunity against nematode infection, implicating IL-25 as a key component in mucosal immunity. The sources of IL-25 and mechanisms responsible for the induction of Th2 immunity by IL-25 in the gastrointestinal tract remain poorly understood. There is also little information on the regulation of IL-25 during inflammation or its role in gut function. In the current study, we investigated the regulation of IL-25 during Nippostrongylus brasiliensis infection and the contribution of IL-25 to the infection-induced alterations in intestinal function. We found that epithelial cells, but not immune cells, are the major source of IL-25 in the small intestine. N. brasiliensis infection-induced upregulation of IL-25 depends upon IL-13 activation of STAT6. IL-25(-/-) mice had diminished intestinal smooth muscle and epithelial responses to N. brasiliensis infection that were associated with an impaired Th2 protective immunity. Exogenous IL-25 induced characteristic changes similar to those after nematode infection but was unable to restore the impaired host immunity against N. brasiliensis infection in IL-13(-/-) mice. These data show that IL-25 plays a critical role in nematode infection-induced alterations in intestinal function that are important for host protective immunity, and IL-13 is the major downstream Th2 cytokine responsible for the IL-25 effects.
The Journal of Immunology 10/2010; 185(11):6921-9. · 5.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interleukin-13 is a Th2-associated cytokine responsible for many pathological responses in allergic asthma including mucus production, inflammation, and extracellular matrix remodeling. In addition, IL-13 is required for immunity to many helminth infections. IL-13 signals via the type-II IL-4 receptor, a heterodimeric receptor of IL-13Rα1 and IL-4Rα, which is also used by IL-4. IL-13 also binds to IL-13Rα2, but with much higher affinity than the type-II IL-4 receptor. Binding of IL-13 to IL-13Rα2 has been shown to attenuate IL-13 signaling through the type-II IL-4 receptor. However, molecular determinants that dictate the specificity and affinity of mouse IL-13 for the different receptors are largely unknown. Here, we used high-density overlapping peptide arrays, structural modeling, and molecular docking methods to map IL-13 binding sequences on its receptors. Predicted binding sequences on mouse IL-13Rα1 and IL-13Rα2 were in agreement with the reported human IL-13 receptor complex structures and site-directed mutational analysis. Novel structural differences were identified between IL-13 receptors, particularly at the IL-13 binding interface. Notably, additional binding sites were observed for IL-13 on IL-13Rα2. In addition, the identification of peptide sequences that are unique to IL-13Rα1 allowed us to generate a monoclonal antibody that selectively binds IL-13Rα1. Thus, high-density peptide arrays combined with molecular docking studies provide a novel, rapid, and reliable method to map cytokine-receptor interactions that may be used to generate signaling and decoy receptor-specific antagonists.
Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 09/2010; 79(1):282-93. · 3.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infection with the parasitic helminth Schistosoma mansoni causes significant liver fibrosis and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are important regulators of the ECM by regulating cellular inflammation, extracellular matrix deposition, and tissue reorganization. MMP12 is a macrophage-secreted elastase that is highly induced in the liver and lung in response to S. mansoni eggs, confirmed by both DNA microarray and real-time PCR analysis. However, the function of MMP12 in chronic helminth-induced inflammation and fibrosis is unclear. In this study, we reveal that MMP12 acts as a potent inducer of inflammation and fibrosis after infection with the helminth parasite S. mansoni. Surprisingly, the reduction in liver and lung fibrosis in MMP12-deficient mice was not associated with significant changes in cytokine, chemokine, TGF-beta1, or tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinase expression. Instead, we observed marked increases in MMP2 and MMP13 expression, suggesting that Mmp12 was promoting fibrosis by limiting the expression of specific ECM-degrading MMPs. Interestingly, like MMP12, MMP13 expression was highly dependent on IL-13 and type II-IL-4 receptor signaling. However, in contrast to MMP12, expression of MMP13 was significantly suppressed by the endogenous IL-13 decoy receptor, IL-13Ralpha2. In the absence of MMP12, expression of IL-13Ralpha2 was significantly reduced, providing a possible explanation for the increased IL-13-driven MMP13 activity and reduced fibrosis. As such, these data suggest important counter-regulatory roles between MMP12 and ECM-degrading enzymes like MMP2, MMP9, and MMP13 in Th2 cytokine-driven fibrosis.
The Journal of Immunology 02/2010; 184(7):3955-63. · 5.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a destructive inflammatory disease with limited therapeutic options. To better understand the inflammatory responses that precede and concur with collagen deposition, we used three models of pulmonary fibrosis and identify a critical mechanistic role for IL-17A. After exposure to bleomycin (BLM), but not Schistosoma mansoni eggs, IL-17A produced by CD4(+) and gammadelta(+) T cells induced significant neutrophilia and pulmonary fibrosis. Studies conducted with C57BL/6 il17a(-/-) mice confirmed an essential role for IL-17A. Mechanistically, using ifngamma(-/-), il10(-/-), il10(-/-)il12p40(-/-), and il10(-/-)il17a(-/-) mice and TGF-beta blockade, we demonstrate that IL-17A-driven fibrosis is suppressed by IL-10 and facilitated by IFN-gamma and IL-12/23p40. BLM-induced IL-17A production was also TGF-beta dependent, and recombinant IL-17A-mediated fibrosis required TGF-beta, suggesting cooperative roles for IL-17A and TGF-beta in the development of fibrosis. Finally, we show that fibrosis induced by IL-1beta, which mimics BLM-induced fibrosis, is also highly dependent on IL-17A. IL-17A and IL-1beta were also increased in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of patients with IPF. Together, these studies identify a critical role for IL-17A in fibrosis, illustrating the potential utility of targeting IL-17A in the treatment of drug and inflammation-induced fibrosis.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 02/2010; 207(3):535-52. · 13.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IL-13 has a prominent role in host defense against the gastrointestinal nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis; however, the role of IL-13Ralpha2 in the immune and functional response to enteric infection is not known. In the current study, we investigated changes in smooth muscle and epithelial cell function as well as alterations in gene expression of IL-13 and IL-4 and their receptors using laser-capture microdissection of specific cell types in the small intestine of N. brasiliensis-infected mice. An infection-induced up-regulation of IL-13Ralpha2 gene expression was confined to smooth muscle and was dependent on STAT6 and IL-13, but not on IL-4. In contrast, expression of IL-13Ralpha1 was reduced, indicating that changes in IL-13alpha2 expression serve to limit the biological effects of IL-13. The increased availability of IL-13 in IL-13Ralpha2(-/-) mice resulted in marked changes in constitutive epithelial and smooth muscle function. In addition, maximal changes in smooth muscle hypercontractility and epithelial cell resistance peaked earlier after infection in IL-13Ralpha2(-/-) compared with wild-type mice. This did not coincide with an earlier Th2 immune response as expression of IL-4 and IL-13 was attenuated in IL-13Ralpha2(-/-) mice and worm expulsion was similar to that of wild-type mice. These data show that IL-13Ralpha2 plays an important role in nematode infection by limiting the availability of IL-13 during infection, thereby regulating both the immune and biological effects of IL-13.
The Journal of Immunology 09/2009; 183(3):1934-9. · 5.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thymic stromal lymphopoietin was recently identified as a master switch for the development of allergen-driven Th2 responses. However, the role of thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) in the development of helminth-induced Th2 responses is unclear. Here, using TSLPR(-/-) mice, we show that while TSLPR signaling participates in the development of Schistosoma mansoni egg-induced CD4(+) Th2 responses, it plays only a transient role in the development of Th2-dependent pathology in the lung, liver, and intestine. Studies conducted in a pulmonary granuloma model showed that while a reduction in IL-4/IL-13-dependent granulomatous inflammation and tissue eosinophilia was observed in TSLPR(-/-) mice undergoing a primary response, lesion formation was not affected during a secondary granulomatous response, even though IL-5 and IL-13 were modestly reduced in the knockout mice. To evaluate the importance of TSLPR signaling in the development of a chronic Th2-dependent response, TSLPR(-/-) mice were also infected with S. mansoni cercariae. Here, the only significant difference noted in TSLPR(-/-) mice was a modest decrease in liver fibrosis in acutely infected animals. The transient decrease in fibrosis was associated with increased production of the antifibrotic cytokine IFN-gamma and decreased production of the profibrotic cytokine IL-13. Although the altered cytokine response persisted in chronically infected TSLPR(-/-) mice, it failed to reduce granuloma formation or fibrosis, confirming that TSLPR signaling plays a limited role in the development of chronic Th2-dependent pathology. Collectively, these findings suggest that while TSLPR signaling serves a key role in allergen-driven Th2 responses, it exerts minor regulatory activity during this chronic helminth infection.
The Journal of Immunology 06/2009; 182(10):6452-9. · 5.36 Impact Factor