Jens Lohr

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

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Publications (14)124.89 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Transfer of antigen-specific T cells into antigen-expressing lymphopenic recipients leads to the sequential generation of Th1 and Th17 effector and protective CD25(+)FoxP3(+) regulatory cells in the periphery with surprisingly different kinetics. Such an experimental model is potentially valuable for defining the stimuli that regulate lineage decision and plasticity of various T cell effectors and peripheral regulatory T cells. Our studies have shown that IL-17 production occurs rapidly and declines within the first week with the appearance of IFN-gamma producing T cells. Regulatory T cells appear during the recovery phase of the disease. The factors that mediate this complex differentiation originating from a starting naïve T cell population remain to be defined.
    Microbes and Infection 05/2009; 11(5):589-93. DOI:10.1016/j.micinf.2009.04.012 · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple pathways can induce and maintain peripheral T cell tolerance. The goal of this study was to define the contributions of apoptosis and anergy to the maintenance of self-tolerance to a systemic Ag. Upon transfer into mice expressing OVA systemically, OVA-specific DO11 CD4+ T cells are activated transiently, cease responding, and die. Bim is the essential apoptosis-inducing trigger and apoptosis proceeds despite increased expression of Bcl-2 and Bcl-x. However, preventing apoptosis by eliminating Bim does not restore proliferation or cytokine production by DO11 cells. While Foxp3 is transiently induced, anergy is not associated with the stable development of regulatory T cells. Thus, apoptosis is dispensable for tolerance to a systemic self-Ag and cell-intrinsic anergy is sufficient to tolerize T cells.
    The Journal of Immunology 04/2008; 180(5):2762-6. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.180.5.2762 · 5.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A finely orchestrated balance between activating and inhibitory signals is fundamental for the ability of the immune system to effectively attack and eliminate pathogenic microbes but to not react against self-antigens. Derangements of this balance underlie the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Conversely, elucidating the mechanisms of this balance may provide rational strategies for manipulating it in order to enhance the efficacy of vaccines and tumor immunotherapy. One of the clearest illustrations of precise regulation is in the generation of effector and regulatory T cells. In order to analyze the mechanisms of this regulation, we have developed a transgenic mouse model in which a single population of T cells reacts against its known cognate antigen in vivo. Here we summarize our studies with this experimental model, illustrating the sequence of T cell responses that develop and attempting to dissect the stimuli that control these responses.
    Journal of Autoimmunity 03/2007; 28(2-3):59-61. DOI:10.1016/j.jaut.2007.02.002 · 7.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To explore the interactions between regulatory T cells and pathogenic effector cytokines, we have developed a model of a T cell-mediated systemic autoimmune disorder resembling graft-versus-host disease. The cytokine responsible for tissue inflammation in this disorder is interleukin (IL)-17, whereas interferon (IFN)-gamma produced by Th1 cells has a protective effect in this setting. Because of the interest in potential therapeutic approaches utilizing transfer of regulatory T cells and inhibition of the IL-2 pathway, we have explored the roles of these in the systemic disease. We demonstrate that the production of IL-17 and tissue infiltration by IL-17-producing cells occur and are even enhanced in the absence of IL-2. Regulatory T cells favor IL-17 production but prevent the disease when administered early in the course by suppressing expansion of T cells. Thus, the pathogenic or protective effects of cytokines and the therapeutic capacity of regulatory T cells are crucially dependent on the timing and the nature of the disease.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 01/2007; 203(13):2785-91. DOI:10.1084/jem.20061341 · 13.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recognition of a systemic antigen by CD4+ T cells in a lymphopenic host leads to the sequential generation of pathogenic effector cells and protective CD25+ forkhead box protein (Foxp3+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the periphery. Such an experimental model is potentially valuable for defining the stimuli that determine the balance of effector and regulatory T cells. Our studies have shown that interleukin-2 (IL-2) enhances the development of effector cells and is essential for the peripheral generation of regulatory cells. Other models of peripheral Treg generation suggest that the concentration of antigen, the nature of the antigen-presenting cells, and cytokines such as transforming growth factor-beta and IL-10 may all influence the peripheral generation of Tregs.
    Immunological Reviews 09/2006; 212:149-62. DOI:10.1111/j.0105-2896.2006.00414.x · 12.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tolerance in vivo is maintained by multiple mechanisms that function to prevent autoimmunity. An encounter of CD4+ T cells with a circulating self-Ag leads to partial thymic deletion, the development of CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs), and functional anergy in the surviving CD25- population. We have compared anergic and regulatory T cells of the same Ag specificity generated in vivo by the systemic self-Ag. Anergic cells are unresponsive to the self-Ag that induces tolerance, but upon transfer into a new host and immunization, anergic cells can induce a pathologic autoimmune reaction against tissue expressing the same Ag. Tregs, in contrast, are incapable of mediating harmful reactions. To define the basis of this functional difference, we have compared gene expression profiles of anergic and regulatory T cells. These analyses show that Tregs express a distinct molecular signature, but anergic cells largely lack such a profile. Anergic cells express transcripts that are associated with effector differentiation, e.g., the effector cytokines IL-4 and IFN-gamma. Anergic cells do not produce these cytokines in response to self-Ag, because the cells exhibit a proximal signaling block in response to TCR engagement. Thus, anergy reflects an aborted activation pathway that can readily be reversed, resulting in pathologic effector cell responses, whereas Treg development follows a distinct developmental pathway that extinguishes effector functions.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2006; 176(11):6473-83. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.176.11.6473 · 5.36 Impact Factor
  • Clinical Immunology 01/2006; 119. DOI:10.1016/j.clim.2006.04.293 · 3.99 Impact Factor
  • Clinical Immunology 01/2006; 119. DOI:10.1016/j.clim.2006.04.125 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transfer of naive antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells into lymphopenic mice that express an endogenous antigen as a systemic, secreted protein results in severe autoimmunity resembling graft-versus-host disease. T cells that respond to this endogenous antigen develop into effector cells that cause the disease. Recovery from this disease is associated with the subsequent generation of FoxP3(+)CD25(+) regulatory cells in the periphery. Both pathogenic effector cells and protective regulatory cells develop from the same antigen-specific T cell population after activation, and their generation may occur in parallel or sequentially. Interleukin (IL)-2 plays a dual role in this systemic T cell reaction. In the absence of IL-2, the acute disease is mild because of reduced T cell effector function, but a chronic and progressive disease develops late and is associated with a failure to generate FoxP3(+) regulatory T (T reg) cells in the periphery. Thus, a peripheral T cell reaction to a systemic antigen goes through a phase of effector cell-mediated pathology followed by T reg cell-mediated recovery, and both require the growth factor IL-2.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 12/2005; 202(10):1375-86. DOI:10.1084/jem.20050855 · 13.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We demonstrate that transfer of OVA-specific DO11 CD4(+) T cells into mice that lack T and B cells and produce secreted OVA as an endogenous self-protein results in a severe systemic autoimmune reaction with skin inflammation, wasting, and death. The transferred DO11 T cells undergo massive expansion and produce IL-2 and IFN-gamma abundantly. Transfer of DO11 cells into OVA-expressing animals in which T cells are absent but B cells are present, leads to mild disease with no death. In this situation, the DO11 cells undergo similar expansion but show poor Th1 differentiation. This regulatory effect of B cells correlates with profound TCR down-regulation. If T cells are present, the DO11 cells fail to expand independent of B cells. These results suggest that both endogenous T and B lymphocytes control T cell tolerance induction and pathogenicity, but at different stages of an anti-self response. Although endogenous T cells prevent expansion and maintain homeostasis, endogenous B cells limit subsequent effector responses of autoreactive CD4(+) T cells.
    The Journal of Immunology 08/2005; 175(1):21-6. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.175.1.21 · 5.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have used transgenic mouse models to examine the mechanisms of tolerance in CD4(+) T lymphocytes to soluble, systemic and cell-associated, tissue-restricted self-antigens. Anergy to an islet antigen, as a model of a tissue antigen, is dependent on the inhibitory receptor cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4), and tissue-restricted autoimmunity is inhibited by regulatory T lymphocytes. Anergy to a circulating systemic antigen can occur independently of CTLA-4 signals, and it is induced primarily by a block in proximal receptor-initiated signals. CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells are generated in response to both forms of self-antigens, but the induction is much more efficient with the tissue antigen. Receptor desensitization can be induced by the systemic antigen even in the absence of regulatory T cells, but tolerance can be broken by immunization much more easily if these cells are absent. Deletion of mature T cells is striking with the systemic antigen; there is little evidence to support peripheral deletion as a mechanism of tolerance to the tissue antigen. Thus, both distinct and overlapping mechanisms account for unresponsiveness to different forms of self-antigens. These results establish a foundation for searching for genetic influences and pathogenic mechanisms in organ-specific and systemic autoimmune diseases.
    Immunological Reviews 05/2005; 204(1):116-27. DOI:10.1111/j.0105-2896.2005.00241.x · 12.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CD4 T cells are the master controllers of immune responses to protein antigens, and many autoimmune diseases are thought to arise from a breakdown of immunological tolerance in CD4 cells. Peripheral tolerance in CD4 T cells is maintained by several mechanisms, including functional anergy, deletion (death) by apoptosis and suppression by regulatory T lymphocytes (Treg). Using transgenic mouse models, we have explored the roles of these mechanisms in tolerance to cell-associated tissue-restricted self-antigens and secreted systemic self-antigens. Tolerance to a membrane form of the antigen expressed in islet beta cells is maintained by Treg, which block T cell differentiation into pathogenic effectors, and by CTLA-4, which increases the activation threshold of T cells and prevents responses to the self-antigen. A systemically produced soluble form of the antigen induces rapid T cell anergy followed by deletion. The induction of anergy does not require either CTLA-4 or Treg, although in the absence of Treg tolerance can be broken more readily by potent immunogenic signals. Encounter with circulating antigen in T cells induces a state of antigen receptor "desensitization" that is associated with a block in proximal receptor-triggered signals. Thus, different mechanisms play dominant roles in T cell tolerance to different types of self-antigens.
    Autoimmunity Reviews 12/2004; 3(7-8):471-5. DOI:10.1016/j.autrev.2004.07.004 · 7.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The induction of effective immune responses requires costimulation by B7 molecules, and Ag recognition without B7 is thought to result in no response or tolerance. We compared T cell responses in vivo to the same Ag presented either by mature dendritic cells (DCs) or as self, in the presence or absence of B7. We show that Ag presentation by mature B7-1/2-deficient DCs fails to elicit an effector T cell response but does not induce tolerance. In contrast, using a newly developed adoptive transfer system, we show that naive OVA-specific DO11 CD4+ T cells become anergic upon encounter with a soluble form of OVA, in the presence or absence of B7. However, tolerance in DO11 cells transferred into soluble OVA transgenic recipients can be broken by immunization with Ag-pulsed DCs only in B7-deficient mice and not in wild-type mice, suggesting a role of B7 in maintaining tolerance in the presence of strong immunogenic signals. Comparing two double-transgenic models--expressing either a soluble or a tissue Ag--we further show that B7 is not only essential for the active induction of regulatory T cells in the thymus, but also for their maintenance in the periphery. Thus, the obligatory role of B7 molecules paradoxically is to promote effective T cell priming and contain effector responses when self-Ags are presented as foreign.
    The Journal of Immunology 11/2004; 173(8):5028-35. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.173.8.5028 · 5.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: When antigen-presenting cells (APCs) encounter inflammatory stimuli, they up-regulate their expression of B7. A small amount of B7 is also constitutively expressed on resting APCs, but its function is unclear. Here we show that initiation of T cell responses requires the expression of B7 on immunizing APCs, but the responses are much greater in the absence of basal B7 expression. Transfer of antigen-specific CD4+CD25+ cells reverses the increased responsiveness, and tolerance to a self-protein is broken by immunization in the absence of basal B7, thereby inducing autoimmunity. Similar loss of self-tolerance is seen on depletion of CD25+ cells. Thus, constitutively expressed B7 costimulators function to suppress T cell activation and maintain self-tolerance, principally by sustaining a population of regulatory T cells.
    Nature Immunology 08/2003; 4(7):664-9. DOI:10.1038/ni939 · 24.97 Impact Factor