[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human CD2 (hCD2) locus control region (LCR) inserted in the mouse CD8 gene complex activates expression of the CD8 genes in T cell subsets in which the CD8 locus is normally silenced (e.g., CD4(+) single-positive T cells). In this article, we show that, in conditional mCD8/hCD2-LCR (CD8/LCR) knock-in mice, the continuous presence of the hCD2-LCR is required for this effect. Deletion of the inserted hCD2-LCR in a developmental stage and cell lineage-specific manner revealed that the temporary presence of the LCR during early development does not permanently alter the expression pattern of the CD8 genes. As a result, cells that have been affected by the insertion of the LCR can convert to their destined phenotype once the LCR is removed. DNaseI hypersensitive sites 1 and 2 of the hCD2-LCR influence the expression of the CD8 genes in a similar manner as does the full LCR, whereas insertion of hypersensitive site 3 alone of the LCR does not result in a changed expression pattern. This analysis revealed a dynamic interaction between the hCD2-LCR and the endogenous regulatory elements of the CD8 genes.
The Journal of Immunology 08/2011; 187(7):3712-20. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many functions of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1 (mTORC1) have been defined, but relatively little is known about the biology of an alternative mTOR complex, mTORC2. We showed that conditional deletion of rictor, an essential subunit of mTORC2, impaired differentiation into T helper 1 (Th1) and Th2 cells without diversion into FoxP3(+) status or substantial effect on Th17 cell differentiation. mTORC2 promoted phosphorylation of protein kinase B (PKB, or Akt) and PKC, Akt activity, and nuclear NF-kappaB transcription factors in response to T cell activation. Complementation with active Akt restored only T-bet transcription factor expression and Th1 cell differentiation, whereas activated PKC-theta reverted only GATA3 transcription factor and the Th2 cell defect of mTORC2 mutant cells. Collectively, the data uncover vital mTOR-PKC and mTOR-Akt connections in T cell differentiation and reveal distinct pathways by which mTORC2 regulates development of Th1 and Th2 cell subsets.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alleles that express reporters after Cre recombination allow for fate-mapping studies when used in combination with appropriate cre alleles. In this study, we describe two fluorescent reporter alleles that differentially mark populations of cells as a function of their level of expression of Cre recombinase. Mice carrying these alleles were generated and used to demonstrate the usefulness of the reporter alleles for informing on prior Cre recombinase expression in lymphocytes. The alleles expand the range of genetic tools available for understanding how differences in gene expression result in divergent developmental fates during the development and differentiation of lymphocytes and other cells.
The Journal of Immunology 06/2010; 184(11):6170-6. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Monosomy 7 and del(7q) are associated with adverse features in myeloid malignancies. A 2.5-Mb commonly deleted segment (CDS) of chromosome band 7q22 is implicated as harboring a myeloid tumor suppressor gene (TSG); however, molecular analysis of candidate TSGs has not uncovered loss of function. To determine whether haploinsufficiency for the 7q22 CDS contributes to myeloid leukemogenesis, we performed sequential gene targeting to flank a region of orthologous synteny on mouse chromosome band 5A3 with loxP sites. We then generated Mx1-Cre, 5A3(fl) mutant mice and deleted the targeted interval in vivo. Although excision was inefficient, we confirmed somatic deletion of the 5A3 CDS in the hematopoietic stem cell compartment. Mx1-Cre, 5A3(fl) mice show normal hematologic parameters and do not spontaneously develop myeloid malignancies. The 5A3(fl) deletion does not cooperate with oncogenic Kras(G12D) expression, Nf1 inactivation, or retroviral mutagenesis to accelerate leukemia development and did not modulate responsiveness to antileukemia drugs. These studies demonstrate that it is feasible to somatically delete a large chromosomal segment implicated in tumor suppression in hematopoietic cell populations in vivo; however, our data do not support the hypothesis that the 7q22/5A3 CDS interval contains a myeloid TSG.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In addition to progressive CD4(+) T cell immune deficiency, HIV infection is characterized by generalized immune activation, thought to arise from increased microbial exposure resulting from diminishing immunity.
Here we report that, in a virus-free mouse model, conditional ablation of activated CD4(+) T cells, the targets of immunodeficiency viruses, accelerates their turnover and produces CD4(+) T cell immune deficiency. More importantly, activated CD4(+) T cell killing also results in generalized immune activation, which is attributable to regulatory CD4(+) T cell insufficiency and preventable by regulatory CD4(+) T cell reconstitution. Immune activation in this model develops independently of microbial exposure. Furthermore, microbial translocation in mice with conditional disruption of intestinal epithelial integrity affects myeloid but not T cell homeostasis.
Although neither ablation of activated CD4(+) T cells nor disruption of intestinal epithelial integrity in mice fully reproduces every aspect of HIV-associated immune dysfunction in humans, ablation of activated CD4(+) T cells, but not disruption of intestinal epithelial integrity, approximates the two key immune alterations in HIV infection: CD4(+) T cell immune deficiency and generalized immune activation. We therefore propose activated CD4(+) T cell killing as a common etiology for both immune deficiency and activation in HIV infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OX40 is a member of the TNF receptor family expressed on activated and regulatory T (Treg) cells. Using an Ox40-cre allele for lineage marking, we found that a subpopulation of naive T cells had also previously expressed OX40 in the thymus. Ox40-cre was induced in a small fraction of thymocytes that were OX40(+), some of which were CD25(high) Treg cell precursors. Thymic OX40 expression distinguished cells experiencing a strong signaling response to positive selection. Naive T cells that had previously expressed OX40 demonstrated a partially activated phenotype that was distinct from that of most naive T cells. The results are consistent with the selection of Treg cells and a minor subpopulation of naive T cells being dependent on strong signaling responses to thymic self ligands.
The Journal of Immunology 05/2009; 182(8):4581-9. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein disulfide isomerases (PDIs) aid protein folding and assembly by catalyzing formation and shuffling of cysteine disulfide bonds in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Many members of the PDI family are expressed in mammals, but the roles of specific PDIs in vivo are poorly understood. A recent homology-based search for additional PDI family members identified anterior gradient homolog 2 (AGR2), a protein originally presumed to be secreted by intestinal epithelial cells. Here, we show that AGR2 is present within the ER of intestinal secretory epithelial cells and is essential for in vivo production of the intestinal mucin MUC2, a large, cysteine-rich glycoprotein that forms the protective mucus gel lining the intestine. A cysteine residue within the AGR2 thioredoxin-like domain forms mixed disulfide bonds with MUC2, indicating a direct role for AGR2 in mucin processing. Mice lacking AGR2 were viable but were highly susceptible to colitis, indicating a critical role for AGR2 in protection from disease. We conclude that AGR2 is a unique member of the PDI family, with a specialized and nonredundant role in intestinal mucus production.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2009; 106(17):6950-5. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Signaling through the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) is important for the homeostasis of naïve and memory CD4(+) T cells. The significance of TCR signaling in regulatory T (Treg) cells has not been systematically addressed. Using an Ox40-cre allele that is prominently expressed in Treg cells, and a conditional null allele of the gene encoding p56(Lck), we have examined the importance of TCR signaling in Treg cells. Inactivation of p56(Lck) resulted in abnormal Treg homeostasis characterized by impaired turnover, preferential redistribution to the lymph nodes, loss of suppressive function, and striking changes in gene expression. Abnormal Treg cell homeostasis and function did not reflect the involvement of p56(Lck) in CD4 function because these effects were not observed when CD4 expression was inactivated by Ox40-cre.The results make clear multiple aspects of Treg cell homeostasis and phenotype that are dependent on a sustained capacity to signal through the TCR.
PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(8):e6580. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MLL5 is a novel trithorax group gene and a candidate tumor suppressor gene located within a 2.5-Mb interval of chromosome band 7q22 that frequently is deleted in human myeloid malignancy. Here we show that inactivation of the Mll5 gene in mice results in a 30% reduction in the average representation of hematopoietic stem cells and in functional impairment of long-term hematopoietic repopulation potential under competitive conditions. Bone marrow cells from Mll5-deficient mice were defective in spleen colony-forming assays, and the mutant mice showed enhanced susceptibility to 5-fluorouracil-induced myelosuppression. Heterozygous and homozygous Mll5 mutant mice did not spontaneously develop hematologic cancers, and loss of Mll5 did not alter the phenotype of a fatal myeloproliferative disorder induced by oncogenic Kras in vivo. Collectively, the data reveal an important role for Mll5 in HSC homeostasis and provide a basis for further studies to explore its role in leukemogenesis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During thymic development, T cell progenitors undergo positive selection based on the ability of their T cell Ag receptors (TCR) to bind MHC ligands on thymic epithelial cells. Positive selection determines T cell fate, in that thymocytes whose TCR bind MHC class I (MHC-I) develop as CD8-lineage T cells, whereas those that bind MHC class II (MHC-II) develop as CD4 T cells. Positive selection also induces migration from the cortex to the medulla driven by the chemokine receptor CCR7. In this study, we show that CCR7 is up-regulated in a larger proportion of CD4(+)CD8(+) thymocytes undergoing positive selection on MHC-I compared with MHC-II. Mice bearing a mutation of Th-POK, a key CD4/CD8-lineage regulator, display increased expression of CCR7 among MHC-II-specific CD4(+)CD8(+) thymocytes. In addition, overexpression of CCR7 results in increased development of CD8 T cells bearing MHC-II-specific TCR. These findings suggest that the timing of CCR7 expression relative to coreceptor down-regulation is regulated by lineage commitment signals.
The Journal of Immunology 01/2008; 179(11):7358-64. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Th cell access to primary B cell follicles is dependent on CXCR5. However, whether CXCR5 induction on T cells is sufficient in determining their follicular positioning has been unclear. In this study, we find that transgenic CXCR5 overexpression is not sufficient to promote follicular entry of naive T cells unless the counterbalancing influence of CCR7 ligands is removed. In contrast, the positioning of Ag-engaged T cells at the B/T boundary could occur in the absence of CXCR5. The germinal center (GC) response was 2-fold reduced when T cells lacked CXCR5, although these T cells were able to access the GC. Finally, CXCR5(high)CCR7(low) T cells were found to have elevated IL-4 transcript and programmed cell death gene-1 (PD-1) expression, and PD-1(high) cells were reduced in the absence of T cell CXCR5 or in mice compromised in GC formation. Overall, these findings provide further understanding of how the changes in CXCR5 and CCR7 expression regulate Th cell positioning during Ab responses, and they suggest that development and/or maintenance of a PD-1(high) follicular Th cell subset is dependent on appropriate interaction with GC B cells.
The Journal of Immunology 11/2007; 179(8):5099-108. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OX40 is a recently identified T-cell costimulatory molecule that belongs to the TNF/TNFR superfamily. OX40 can be expressed by both activated T effector cells and Foxp3(+) Tregs. It is well known that OX40 delivers a potent costimulatory signal to T effector cells, but very little is known about the role of OX40 in regulating the suppressor properties of Foxp3(+) Tregs and the de novo generation of new inducible Foxp3(+) Tregs from T effector cells. In the present study, we found, by using a newly created foxp3gfp knockin model, that OX40 was dispensable for the genesis and suppressor functions of naturally arising CD4(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs, but stimulating OX40 on the Foxp3(+) Tregs abrogated their ability to suppress T effector cell proliferation, IFN-gamma production, and T effector cell-mediated allograft rejection. OX40 costimulation did not significantly affect proliferation and survival of the naturally arising Foxp3(+) Tregs, but profoundly inhibited Foxp3 gene expression. Importantly, OX40 costimulation to T effector cells prevented the induction of new inducible Foxp3(+) Tregs from T effector cells. Our study identified OX40 as a key negative regulator of Foxp3(+) Tregs and may have important clinical implications in models of transplantation and autoimmunity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A hallmark of mammalian immunity is the heterogeneity of cell fate that exists among pathogen-experienced lymphocytes. We show that a dividing T lymphocyte initially responding to a microbe exhibits unequal partitioning of proteins that mediate signaling, cell fate specification, and asymmetric cell division. Asymmetric segregation of determinants appears to be coordinated by prolonged interaction between the T cell and its antigen-presenting cell before division. Additionally, the first two daughter T cells displayed phenotypic and functional indicators of being differentially fated toward effector and memory lineages. These results suggest a mechanism by which a single lymphocyte can apportion diverse cell fates necessary for adaptive immunity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycoplasmas cause chronic inflammation and are implicated in asthma. Mast cells defend against mycoplasma infection and worsen allergic inflammation, which is mediated partly by histamine. To address the hypothesis that mycoplasma provokes histamine release, we exposed mice to Mycoplasma pulmonis, comparing responses in wild-type and mast cell-deficient KitW-sh/KitW-sh (W-sh) mice. Low histamine levels in uninfected W-sh mice confirmed the conventional wisdom that mast cells are principal sources of airway and serum histamine. Although mycoplasma did not release histamine acutely in wild-type airways, levels rose up to 50-fold above baseline 1 week after infection in mice heavily burdened with neutrophils. Surprisingly, histamine levels also rose profoundly in infected W-sh lungs, increasing in parallel with neutrophils and declining with neutrophil depletion. Furthermore, neutrophils from infected airway were highly enriched in histamine compared with naive neutrophils. In vitro, mycoplasma directly stimulated histamine production by naive neutrophils and strongly upregulated mRNA encoding histidine decarboxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in histamine synthesis. In vivo, treatment with antihistamines pyrilamine or cimetidine decreased lung weight and severity of pneumonia and tracheobronchitis in infected W-sh mice. These findings suggest that neutrophils, provoked by mycoplasma, greatly expand their capacity to synthesize histamine, thereby contributing to lung and airway inflammation.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 01/2007; 203(13):2907-17. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retroviruses can cause tumors when they integrate near a protooncogene or tumor suppressor gene of the host. We infected >2,500 mice with the SL3-3 murine leukemia virus; in 22 resulting tumors, we found provirus integrations nearby or within the gene that contains the mir-17-92 microRNA (miRNA) cistron. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we showed that expression of miRNA was increased in these tumors, indicating that retroviral infection can induce expression of oncogenic miRNAs. Our results demonstrate that retroviral mutagenesis can be a potent tool for miRNA discovery.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2006; 103(49):18680-4. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As the smallest free-living bacteria and a frequent cause of respiratory infections, mycoplasmas are unique pathogens. Mice infected with Mycoplasma pulmonis can develop localized, life-long airway infection accompanied by persistent inflammation and remodeling.
Because mast cells protect mice from acute septic peritonitis and gram-negative pneumonia, we hypothesized that they defend against mycoplasma infection. This study tests this hypothesis using mast cell-deficient mice.
Responses to airway infection with M. pulmonis were compared in wild-type and mast cell-deficient Kit(W-sh)/Kit(W-sh) mice and sham-infected control mice.
Endpoints include mortality, body and lymph node weight, mycoplasma antibody titer, and lung mycoplasma burden and histopathology at intervals after infection. The results reveal that infected Kit(W-sh)/Kit(W-sh) mice, compared with other groups, lose more weight and are more likely to die. Live mycoplasma burden is greater in Kit(W-sh)/Kit(W-sh) than in wild-type mice at early time points. Four days after infection, the difference is 162-fold. Titers of mycoplasma-specific IgM and IgA appear earlier and rise higher in Kit(W-sh)/Kit(W-sh) mice, but antibody responses to heat-killed mycoplasma are not different compared with wild-type mice. Infected Kit(W-sh)/Kit(W-sh) mice develop larger bronchial lymph nodes and progressive pneumonia and airway occlusion with neutrophil-rich exudates, accompanied by angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. In wild-type mice, pneumonia and exudates are less severe, quicker to resolve, and are not associated with increased angiogenesis.
These findings suggest that mast cells are important for innate immune containment of and recovery from respiratory mycoplasma infection.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 02/2006; 173(2):219-25. · 11.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic inflammation in the airways is associated with dramatic architectural changes in the walls of the airways and in the vasculature they contain. In this study, we show that the adaptive immune system is essential for airway remodeling that occurs in mice that are chronically infected with the respiratory pathogen Mycoplasma pulmonis. Angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, and epithelial remodeling were greatly reduced in mice that lacked B cells. Substantiating a role for Ab and airway immune complexes, we found that the transfer of immune serum to B cell-deficient mice could reconstitute pathogen-induced angiogenesis. Inflammatory cells recruited to the infected airways were activated by the humoral response, and this activation correlated with the induction of genes for remodeling factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor-D. The results reveal a novel pathway whereby T cell-dependent humoral immunity to a persistent airway infection can induce inflammation-dependent angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, and chronic airway pathology.
The Journal of Immunology 12/2005; 175(10):6319-26. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To monitor IL-4 expression at the single-cell level, we generated mice with insertions of different reporter genes into both copies of the Il4 gene that permitted the simultaneous analysis of IL-4 transcripts via GFP and IL-4 protein secretion by use of huCD2. Innate and adaptive cells competent for IL-4 production were marked by GFP, while cells that presently or recently secreted IL-4 additionally displayed huCD2. After challenge with the strictly enteric helminth, Heligmosomoides polygyrus, GFP-positive innate and adaptive cells disseminated widely, but IL-4 secretion was predominantly mediated by CD4+ T cells in the intestines and draining lymphoid organs. IL-4-competent cells persisted in cured animals, and memory responses reflected rapid cytokine production at the site of rechallenge. These data reveal a two-step process for cytokine production: the first generating poised cells that disseminate systemically and the second inducing the rapid production of the cytokine in response to local stimulation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transgenic mouse lines were generated that express the Cre recombinase under the control of the distal promoter of the mouse Lck gene. Cre recombination in four of these lines of transgenic mice was characterized at the single cell level using ROSA26-regulated loxP-Stop-loxP-betageo and loxP-Stop-loxP-YFP reporter mouse lines. Two of the lines showed T cell-restricted Cre recombination, whereas the other two also expressed Cre in B cells, NK cells, and monocytes. Cre recombination began at a late stage of T cell development (at or after up-regulation of the TCR during positive selection) in the two T cell-restricted lines. Lines of mice that express the Cre recombinase at late stages of thymocyte development are of value for determining the impact of mutations on T cell function in the absence of complicating effects on early thymocyte selection.
The Journal of Immunology 07/2005; 174(11):6725-31. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expression of the transcription factor GATA-3 is strongly associated with T helper type 2 (T(H)2) differentiation, but genetic evidence for its involvement in this process has been lacking. Here, we generated a conditional GATA-3-deficient mouse line. In vitro deletion of Gata3 diminished both interleukin 4 (IL-4)-dependent and IL-4-independent T(H)2 cell differentiation; without GATA-3, T(H)1 differentiation occurred in the absence of IL-12 and interferon-gamma. Gata3 deletion limited the growth of T(H)2 cells but not T(H)1 cells. Deletion of Gata3 from established T(H)2 cells abolished IL-5 and IL-13 but not IL-4 production. In vivo deletion of Gata3 using OX40-Cre eliminated T(H)2 responses and allowed the development of interferon-gamma-producing cells in mice infected with Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. Thus, GATA-3 serves as a principal switch in determining T(H)1-T(H)2 responses.